Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What's gone

As I alluded to earlier, while that first month accounted for the most drastic changes to my desktop and parts beyond, some of the choices I made were inevitably overwritten. Here are some of the stuff that I ended up jettisoning after a week or more of usage:

  • Windowblinds - A dark Windows theme is awesome, but it was a lot of work to integrate it with a lot of Windows applications, most of which were designed with a light theme in mind. The Windowblinds theme I was using, the gorgeous Eminence, for example, had incompatibilities with Macromedia Flash, in which the layer names were the same font color as their background (or just about), and made it difficult to go from one layer to another. I also didn't like how Windowblinds added yet another process in the background, which slowed things down even more.

    Luckily though, I discovered that Microsoft had released their own readymade themes for XP free for download: Royale, Royale Noir, and Zune, which was what I ultimately settled with. They all offered the shiny gloss of Vista but was a quick install that didn't involve an extra process. It basically just installs itself to show up like the other builtin XP themes like Classic and Silver (which was what I'd been using since getting XP 5 years ago)

  • Google Desktop - as much as I loved the gadgets, Google Desktop just took too much ram, CPU, and hard drive space for its own good (almost all for the desktop search function, which I couldn't find any more handy than how I'd laid out my hard drive already... I also had some privacy issues with it). I momentarily tried Yahoo Widgets, which had less of a footprint, but I just came to realize that all those widgets weren't giving me much more functionality, and were really kinda cluttering up my desktop. Besides, widgets like To-Do Lists and Calendars I was able to integrate very nicely into Thunderbird using the Lightning extension.

  • Proud of my new streamlined desktop, I treated myself to a really nice dual-display wallpaper. Then, becoming so enamored with looking at it, I sought out applications that could turn other apps translucent. You can see what my desktop looked like in November, a month after I started my quasi-project:

    It looked really cool like that for a couple of weeks, but in the end the app I used (whose name now escapes me... I tried a whole bunch of different ones) wouldn't work perfectly at startup, and really strained the 32 mb Rage 128 video card powering my 2nd monitor, (the 2nd display of my ATI radeon 9600 was reserved for my Wacom Cintiq). So after a while, that app went away also.
There are many other changes/upgrades/downgrades since back in November, but I plan on covering those in future editions dedicated to specific areas, like how I switched again from Trillian Pro to Miranda. Hope you come back to read them!

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LEGIT freebies dude! said...

Do you remember the name of that translucent program now? I would like to give it a try.

Arvin Bautista said...

Unfortunately I don't. I just checked my DVD of downloaded applications and checked online and couldn't find the one that seemed to be exactly what I'd used. There seem to be a few of them out there however, like AlphaXP, that seem promising. Good luck, and thanks for commenting!

LEGIT freebies dude! said...

Ok, thanks. I'll check it out.