Sunday, 8 May 2011

Computer Customization

So for everyone out there who is sitting, facing a cluttered screen of desktop shortcuts and a less-than-appealing default background, we’re here to save your day!
Clean up that desktop! Nobody wants to have a mess on their screen while browsing, especially on the desktop, which is the first thing you really see when you log on. Unfortunately, this clutter of icons and shortcuts also serves a purpose which many people would refuse to give up easily. For people like this, Stardock has the solution!
Stardock has an amazing program called “Fences” (available as both freeware and payware).It allows the user to place all his or her icons into titled groups, then hides everything when the desktop is double-clicked. This cleans up everything and maintains the desktop’s function.
http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/

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How about some colour?
The next step is to get yourself a decent background image. No more defult pictures for you! Grab anything that suits your fancy.
 
Wallbase is a great place to start. Easy to search and thousands of images for any resolution. Diviantart is also a good place to search. Interfacelift is an old favourite and is a great site for downloading all sorts of backgrounds, especially ones taken by actual photogrophers. 

http://wallbase.net/
http://www.deviantart.com/
http://interfacelift.com/
Time for some tools!
Ever get tired of opening your browser just to check up on that favourite site? Sick of those windows gadgets you have on your desktop that don’t match anything and don’t perform as well as you’d like? If so, Rainmeter is for you.
Rainmeter: Rainmeter is probably one of the most popular customization tools on the web. It is a free utility that adds widgets and feeds to your desktop. It is customizable in almost any way and can add some “Shazam” to your computer.
http://rainmeter.net/

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Rainlender: Similar to Rainmeter, Rainlender is offered for those who would like some organization in their lives. It is a free utility that puts a customizable and skinnable calender on your desktop that can keep track of events, To-do list items and many other things.
http://www.rainlendar.net/

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Launchers
The windows task bar is nice and all, but come on, don’t you want something that is a little more usable? Maybe something like what Macs have? If so, check out some new ways to do things.
Rocket Dock: Rocket Dock a beautiful example of freeware that can change the dynamics of how programs are launched and windows are minimized. It provides you with a Mac-like bar that can clean up where your windows task bar used to be. Almost everything is customizable about Rocket Dock, making it a great idea to use with different themes and skins.
http://rocketdock.com/
Object Dock: Object Dock is available as both freeware and payware from Stardock. It operates in the same way as the Mac task bars do. The freeware version is basically the same as Rocket Dock whereas the paid version is better than both.
http://www.stardock.com/products/objectdock/
I suggest downloading both of them and testing them out so that you can decide which one suits your needs better.
Here’s an example of how they look (This is object dock pro):

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Further Customization
Windowblinds: Stardock (I seem to be referencing them a lot, eh?) offers a program called “Windowblinds.” It allows you to customize almost every aspect of Windows XP, Vista, and 7. It is payware, but they do offer a free 30 day trial.
http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/
Windows 7 Log on Screen Changer: A great free utility that can change the log on screen for Windows 7. I’ve been using it for quite some time and have not had any problems so far.
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/5382-log-screen-change.html
So that’s a good start for anyone out there who wants to explore the world of desktop customization. We will more than likely do more in depth articles on each of the programs shown here so that you can better decide if you should use them and how you can use them.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the info! Will be following for more!

    ReplyDelete