Make windows
August 13, 2000 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Make windows look like MacOS, OS/2, or some cool custom interfaces. Stolen from
posted by skallas (8 comments total)
Windowblinds, and other similar windows shell replacements have been around for a while. Beware: a lot of them aren't nearly as stable as explorer, so if you don't back up system.ini, and any other files that are changed by the shell installation, you could be up a creek with a very small paddle. I used Litestep for a while. LS itself is pretty dependable, but beware when installing new themes. Many will give you a lot of trouble if not installed and edited correctly, and others are just plain poorly written and won't work.
posted by tomorama at 5:06 PM on August 13, 2000

Not nearly as stable as Explorer? But... but... Microsoft writes the worst software on earth! I'm sure I could find dozens right here to tell me so...

Hm. You'd almost think those boys and girls in Redmond actually work for a living, eh?

posted by aurelian at 10:05 PM on August 13, 2000

Okay... first off, as far as I know windowblinds isn't a shell replacement, as tomorama thinks... it only skins the widgets in windows...

These programs have been around for a long time... I've known about WindowBlinds for about 3 years...

While WB is probably the most comprehensive of these apps, eFX is more to the point (it only skins titlebars)(BTW: the official site is down), and Chroma is much prettier (it has animations and translucency)...

These apps are great fun for a while, but the novelty wears thin pretty quick...
It turns out windows doesn't like other programs grabbing it's api calls and these programs are never quite stable...
Even if you don't mind the occasional crash, you'll still find yourself turning it off to save resources... these things are never memory-friendly...

As for actual shell replacements, LiteStep is great... I'm using it right now... In fact, I switched to it because win98's explorer hogs too many system resources and crashes too much...

As a matter of fact, I've been working on a theme for it for a while now...
posted by Bane at 12:51 AM on August 14, 2000

And please, don't bother to tell me my theme is cheesy... It's supposed to look that way.
posted by Bane at 12:56 AM on August 14, 2000

Back in the days when I used Windows, GeOshell appealed to me. The bloke behind it worked on UI/shell stuff for Microsoft, and he was pissed off enough with the default shell to write his own. The old version's still about if you look for it, and it's very stable and nicely minimalistic.
posted by holgate at 4:37 AM on August 14, 2000

As far as I can remember the first version of WindowsBlinds was way too *unstable* for my PC to handle it, so I uninstalled it. I'm not sure whether the new one is good enough to use it.
posted by kchristidis at 3:24 PM on August 14, 2000

Something about skinning windows was posted here a while back, and while discussing that thread I ended up downloading and installing windowblinds and the effects thingamajigger, hoping for good transparent windowing.

They're both stablish. They don't crash nearly as often as wb used to, but they're massive resource hogs. If you're using your computer to surf, and only surf, there's a good chance you'll be able to live with it.

If you end up with multiple open windows, using your computer constantly all day, running mildly intensive software, you'll definetely notice a performance hit.

They're amusing, and more entertaining than the usual windows skin, but after a while the performance hit became too much for me.

One thing I really like about WB was the scritable buttons (with editable hotkeys), so you could add apps to your windows borders. At my last job I used VC++ a lot, and occasionally had to pop open notepad, or winamp, or whatever, so I scripted a good amount of stuff into the window interface that became mildly handy.
posted by cCranium at 3:45 PM on August 14, 2000

(sarcasm) because we all know, no matter how great most of the software is, you can never ever admit that Microsoft has some great products (VC++), or ever miss the oppurtunity to spell it with an $.... (/sarcasm) i wonder how many people really understand the whole ordeal.... blah... same as everyone who immediately screams "MACS SUCK!" idiots.
posted by Satapher at 4:17 PM on August 14, 2000

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