The following was written in my "private journals" to keep track of the earliest parts of my progress.
My desktop is almost indistinguishable from its former self just a few days ago. First and most noticeable change is using Windowblinds to use custom desktop themes. Clearly I want something sleek, and takes up just as much if not less of a footprint as the stock XP Silver theme. But it was still a lot of switching back and forth from bright and dark themes. Dark looks so much cooler, but there are parts of XP that are just inevitably bright (most backgrounds of windows), where the contrast from the dark borders to the bright backgrounds takes your view away from the most important thing, the data. Meanwhile, bright can be both obnoxious and bland at the same time, and runs the awful risk of making my PC look like a Mac (you know, equal but separate).
I settled on a theme that was dark and glossy but had a nice gray base that made the transition from bright to dark more manageable.
Part of the reason I went with the dark look was also because I've started using Google Desktop search and its gadgets, and its default layout is a really sexy shiny, satiny translucent black. I'd tried to use the skins found online for Google Desktop Search, but it wouldn't work, so I went with the black theme, not risking having opposite schemes cancelling each others' coolness out.
Tomorrow's entry will be about the aforementioned selling my not just web-based soul to google.