Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 1st Aug 2006 22:17 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Stardock on Tuesday released the 2007 version of its popular Object Desktop suite of Windows customization utilities. The package of tools enables customers to completely change the way Windows looks and functions to suit their personal tastes. Included in Object Desktop 2007 are the latest iterations of WindowBlinds, IconPackager, DesktopX, WindowFX, RightClick, Keyboard LaunchPad and more. Enhanced File Dialog is a newcomer to the suite, providing a much more expansive Open and Save dialog window than that offered in Windows.
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Nice video...
by thavith_osn on Tue 1st Aug 2006 22:38 UTC
thavith_osn
Member since:
2005-07-11

I liked the fish, but they might get annoying after a while... :-)

Nice to see people do this stuff, I know a lot of people here will probably bag it as useless or whatever, but I think it's cool. I wouldn't personally use it, but it's stuff like this that reminds me that computers can be fun...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice video...
by WorknMan on Tue 1st Aug 2006 22:45 UTC in reply to "Nice video..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Does it have anything that boosts productivity, or is it strictly eye candy ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nice video...
by hobgoblin on Tue 1st Aug 2006 23:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice video..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

hard to tell as i have not seen the video.

windowblinds is about reskinning the window borders and similar, much like applying a new visual style in xp. i guess it could help productivity by having a skin that makes its easier to spot the active window.

iconpackager is about changing the icons. here i think it may help if you get your hands on more descriptive icons.

desktopx i dont realy know. but part of what it supplies are similar to desktop widgets and being able to create new toolbars and similar. i have found myself using a combo of samurize and powerpro for those tasks. having clickable hardrive capacity indicators on the taskbar and desktop is time saving ;)

windowfx i honestly dont know, alltho i guess it can help in feedback and similar...

rightclick, same as i dont use the rightclick that much as key combos work just as well when learned. and i guess that leads me on to keyboard launchpad.

enhanced file dialog? maybe. i have atleast used a program to edit the shortcuts on the left side of the dialog so that i have often used folders there.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nice video...
by karolus on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 11:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice video..."
karolus Member since:
2006-06-13

I found one - virtual desktops. However its a little waste of money, regarding you can have it for free*



*on selected operating systems ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Nice video...
by kamil_chatrnuch on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nice video..."
kamil_chatrnuch Member since:
2005-07-07

hm, like windows xp? ;)

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys....

Virtual Desktop Manager
Manage up to four desktops from the Windows taskbar with this PowerToy.


...and it's from microsoft and free ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Nice video...
by situation on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nice video..."
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

Not sure if you've actually tried that, but it's a far cry from true virtual desktops. More like a messy hack. For example, the taskbar still shows all windows from any workspace, the number and layout of virtual workspaces is limited, etc.
I mean, it's still nice that the option is _sort of_ available officially.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Nice video...
by kamil_chatrnuch on Thu 3rd Aug 2006 06:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nice video..."
kamil_chatrnuch Member since:
2005-07-07

hi Carlo, you are right, my experience with virtual workspaces is very limited, i'm personally more of a multiple-monitor man ;)

i've tried it ones, more than a year ago and i wasn't impressed, but mainly because i dislike to whole concept of it..

so yes, you might be perfectly right about it ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nice video...
by hobgoblin on Tue 1st Aug 2006 22:46 UTC in reply to "Nice video..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

useless? nah, but one hell of a resource hog (on the level of vista glass atleast).

those stardock products allso have a bad habbit of blue screening my computer, or leave it in a unreliable state when they are uninstalled.

all in all i have had more luck with freeware offerings and combos of small programs that do one task only.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Nice video...
by Fass on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice video..."
Fass Member since:
2005-11-05

useless? nah, but one hell of a resource hog

I was just thinking of that, as you can clearly see some of the widgets (especially the weather one) lagging in the video.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Nice video...
by hobgoblin on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 01:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nice video..."
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

...

Edited 2006-08-02 01:16

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Nice video...
by CPUGuy on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 03:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice video..."
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

Windowblinds actually speeds up your system, believe it or not.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Nice video...
by truckweb on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 03:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Nice video..."
truckweb Member since:
2005-07-06

I realy need to drink some of your koolaid. Since when did Windowblind speed up a system? It was allways slower for me at least, even with new computers, faster one with better video card. Running WinXP with and without Windowblind does make a diffrence. It's slower.

And if you add WinFX, DesktopX and everything else... God... Just take a look at your CPU monitor, it wont lie.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Nice video...
by rondeth on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nice video..."
rondeth Member since:
2005-12-05

Actually, truckweb, your statements were (somewhat) true for pre-V5 versions of WB...but v5 really brought its performance up. I've been using it on my WinXP systems for a couple years (miss the customization of kde), and the system is at least no less performant with WB5 skinning the UI.

The other stuff? Yeah...it does slow it down. But I've tried a lot of the widget engines and whatnot, and DX doesn't seem to be tremendously worse than any others. Cheers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Nice video...
by HappyGod on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 09:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nice video..."
HappyGod Member since:
2005-10-19

As of WB 4, all WB themes are hardware accelerated and are no faster or slower than the standard WinXP "Luna" theme.

MS and Stardock collaborated on the themes used in WinXP. The XP Luna theme uses exactly the same technology.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Nice video...
by Morgan on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Nice video..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I've not had any speed issues with WB (shareware version) since the v5 days. StyleXP is said to be even faster, and in my experience it's certainly not slow. StyleXP seems to be as fast as the native Windows skins, probably because it is just an addon to the native theme engine in Windows. In fact, you could say that it's faster if you use a skin that enhances productivity.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Nice video...
by CPUGuy on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Nice video..."
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

StyleXP isn't an add-on, all it does is hack one file so that unsigned themes can be used.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Nice video...
by bonjour on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 12:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice video..."
bonjour Member since:
2005-07-12

agreed, i purchased their software in the past, it would always blue screen or freeze my laptop, these guys are terrible developers, everyone should stay away from buying them. i actually was foolish enough to buy their product twice in the span of 4 years thinking that they had improved their product, but it's still the same, crash, crash, crash, mouse movement frozen.

Reply Score: 2

linux
by halfmanhalfamazing on Tue 1st Aug 2006 23:06 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

They oughtta port this stuff to linux based OS's.

KDE, GNOME, XFce, etc etc etc

Reply Score: 1

RE: linux
by monodeldiablo on Tue 1st Aug 2006 23:54 UTC in reply to "linux"
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you used Linux?

Every window manager is *designed* to be themed. Icons are not only interchangeable, there's a set of standards that Freedesktop devised so that they're also cross-desktop. Karamba and Gdesklets have all your widget needs covered. The file selector boxes *already have* frequently used directories on the left side...

Linux has been there, done that.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[2]: linux
by proforma on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 00:38 UTC in reply to "RE: linux"
RE[3]: linux
by wirespot on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 08:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: linux"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Will you cut out this dumb twisting of the previous poster's statement? He replied to someone who was obviously misinformed and didn't know the first thing about Linux window managers and desktop environments. Otherwise they would know that this kind of customization was available to Linux years ago.

Then you come along and troll the discussion into a completely silly direction. He wasn't boasting about Linux capabilities, he was simply stating facts.

Reply Score: 4

RE: linux
by evilbastard on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 02:06 UTC in reply to "linux"
evilbastard Member since:
2006-03-22

Object Desktop was originally written for OS/2. It was around the time of Warp 4/Windows 95 that it was ported to Windows. Around the time that OS/2 went "Underground" Stardock became a Windows only publisher.

I use Object Desktop with Win2K at work, and the control center crashes my desktop at least three times a week.

There are already enough free utilities for Linux, and once that KDE 4 is available, along with the Yahoo-Widgets, we will have enough choice that Object Desktop will not be needed.

Reply Score: 2

advantage of winfx
by kurenai on Tue 1st Aug 2006 23:35 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

I believe windowfx allows you to add drop shadows to applications. That's a pretty useful functionality for people that have many applications open, some of them with multiple floating dialogs. App shadows allow you to better understand the desktop that you're looking at.

I myself use a freeware utility called Y'z shadow, but it has some smallish bugs, and isn't maintained.

Reply Score: 2

RE: linux
by Gullible Jones on Tue 1st Aug 2006 23:36 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

Between KDE's built-in stuff and Karamba, it can already be done.

Reply Score: 1

How did they do it?
by RGCook on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 01:44 UTC
RGCook
Member since:
2005-07-12

I watched the video and I am amazed. How can Stardock come out with something that offers this level of sophistication and polish and not only beat Vista to the punch but undoubtedly bests it from the vantage point of flexibility, options and flat out fun? Its almost criminal the amount of options, themes, flexibiity, etc. this offers!

Folks who prefer Gnome over KDE might be rolling their eyes at this pure evil incarnation of desktop customizability. After all, this makes KDE look like it has no user options! In terms of the argument, is it eye candy for the sake of eye candy or does it promote productivity, I would have to say that anything that encourages creativity and makes computing more fun will reap rewards indirectly to those enthusiasts who use it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: How did they do it?
by Rayz on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 05:05 UTC in reply to "How did they do it?"
Rayz Member since:
2006-06-24

"How can Stardock come out with something that offers this level of sophistication and polish and not only beat Vista to the punch but undoubtedly bests it from the vantage point of flexibility, options and flat out fun?"

Because they're actually building a skinning front end, and MS is actually building a whole operating system?

When Stardock has to rejig the Windows kernel and rebuild security from the ground up, and then add in support for flash ram and hybrid disks, then you can make a comparison.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: How did they do it?
by wirespot on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE: How did they do it?"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

When Stardock has to rejig the Windows kernel and rebuild security from the ground up, and then add in support for flash ram and hybrid disks, then you can make a comparison.

What are you saying, that poor little Microsoft doesn't have the resources? They could buy Stardock in a blink and give us Vista with this stuff already integrated if they wanted. Isn't this their long standing policy: "why duplicate development work when you can buy it ready-made"?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: How did they do it?
by MollyC on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 12:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How did they do it?"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

What, exactly is your point?
Stardock has better programmers than Microsoft.
Is that the answer you're fishing for? Then just say it, rather than making snide remarks that make you sound like a 12-year old.

(I direct this to wirespot, not RGCook, who was more praising Stardock than trashing Microsoft.)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: How did they do it?
by RGCook on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 14:22 UTC in reply to "RE: How did they do it?"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

I didn't mean to demean MS's efforts with Vista. I guess some frustration leaked out. After all, XP has been around for years and the only color theme options you have are Silver, Green and (released recently) the media center them (whoopie). Five long years. Don't bother looking for anything else unless changing your menu fonts turns you on. I'll take my advancements in more frequent increments, thanks!

I guess this is why folks who try KDE will generally walk away thinking, wow, there is more to a desktop than changing fonts and widget title color. That said, nothing can touch Cleartype (yet).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: How did they do it?
by Ford Prefect on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 17:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: How did they do it?"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Nothing can touch Cleartype? I would say the freetype font rendering with subpixel antialiasing has taken the lead years ago.

Reply Score: 1

No development on Linux? Come on...
by Gullible Jones on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 02:03 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

AIGLX anyone? XGL? Compiz? *nix can do all of what is seen in that video, the wobbling windows and transparency and everything. Xorg 7.1 + Compiz supports that stuff *right now*, and on cheapo hardware to boot. Please, don't post about what you don't know about.

(Alright, so the fish haven't been implemented yet. Windows for teh win!!! Don't worry, folks, I'm sure someone with make a GL version xpenguins or somesuch.)

And please, don't auto-associate X11 and OSS desktop environments with Linux, they also run on the BSDs and Solaris. There is more to OSS than just Linux.

(And before anyone tells me I'm a rabid Linux (or just OSS) fanboy, let it be known that I'm the guy who kept criticizing Linux's handling of buffer overflows and such. I'm the guy who still moans about how shoddy Firefox is. I do not care which side you are on, you need to know what you are talking about before you post.)

Reply Score: 5

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Look at the Xgl videos again, there's fish in there too, FWIW. There's also animated wallpapers and pretty much everything else.

Reply Score: 1

It's all nice....
by truckweb on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 03:13 UTC
truckweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

But it's mostly only eye candy and nothing more.

And it's heavy on resource,like others have said. It's the perfect software to install if you need to justify upgrading your CPU and video card.

It's a cool software, but it has bugs, crash alot and will NEVER be as stable as Vista is right now. You're patching a OS that was never intended on doing those things.

Reply Score: 1

RE: It's all nice....
by Sphinx on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 04:46 UTC in reply to "It's all nice...."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

You mean video cards, takes at least two now to run a decent looking desktop with full effect and at least two cores to still have enough horsepower left to get something done behind it all.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: It's all nice....
by wirespot on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 09:08 UTC in reply to "RE: It's all nice...."
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

You mean video cards, takes at least two now to run a decent looking desktop with full effect and at least two cores to still have enough horsepower left to get something done behind it all.

Not if you're running Linux it doesn't. You can have all these cool effects, if you want them, working smoothly on a good old single core AMD XP 1,5 GHz CPU and a GeForce4 video card. And most of the work is done by the GPU so it leaves plenty of power for regular work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: It's all nice....
by Sphinx on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 13:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: It's all nice...."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

We're obviously not running the same desktop here.

Reply Score: 1

Multiple desktops
by pandronic on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 06:06 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

The only thing that is appealing to me is the "Virtual Desktops" app. It's nice to have multiple desktops in Windows. Too bad it's shareware and too bad you can't right click on the taskbar to send a running application to a certain desktop. The only way to move them between desktops is to drag the little previews from one desktop to the other.

Also, I had some trouble with Winamp. Even if I dragged it from desktop #1 to #2, the main window also remained in #1. The Video Window had to be dragged separately.

Edited 2006-08-02 06:12

Reply Score: 1

RE: Multiple desktops
by unapersson on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 08:42 UTC in reply to "Multiple desktops"
unapersson Member since:
2005-07-19

Have you tried Virtual Dimension? That lets you right click on the toolbar and send apps to a different desktop, or set them to be on all desktops. I moved to that after trying the truly awful powertoys version for a while.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Multiple desktops
by pandronic on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Multiple desktops"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Yes the XP power toys virtual desktop manager is one of the worst experiences I've had with virtual desktops on Windows.

Thanks for Virtual Dimension, didn't know about it. I'll give it a try.

Reply Score: 1

Object Desktop 2007 ?
by Kochise on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 07:23 UTC
Kochise
Member since:
2006-03-03

With this bad habit to overestimate the program enhancement by providing an overestimated release date (remember 80's program named Xxxx 2000), why not naming the new version Object Desktop 2010 or 2100, no, directly Object Desktop 3000 ?

Wake up, we're still in 2006, does it mean that the next version will be named 2008 or 2009 before 2008 or 2009 ? That's pretty silly...

Kochise

Reply Score: 2

OD - IMO
by flywheel on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 18:13 UTC
flywheel
Member since:
2005-12-28

I knew the OD from its OS/2 days - some issues where never resolved - but it was/is an incredible extension package, partly because of the open class-hieracy of the WPS, that enables full integration with the shell.
Quite a lot still uses the OD. I do not, since other Virtual desktop managers has appeared - and offcause the product has dissapeared from the shelves.

But I do own an older OD installation on an WinXP. The OD has always been a huge ressource hog, so I have only installed the Virtual Desktop manager. Every time it boots up, it tells me about an internal crash due to an adress conflict and then keeps on loading. After that it works perfectly, could not live without virtual desktops.

But AFAIK it is very difficult to avoid any form of ressource hogging, when creating GUI extensions for Windows - since they cannot be properly integrated.

Reply Score: 1

Features
by smoke on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 20:55 UTC
smoke
Member since:
2005-07-08

Some of the programs on object desktop might be a resource hog but Windowblinds is not one of them especially with WB5. Plus it does things that you won't be getting otherwise until windows vista like 32-bit (24-bit with an 8-bit alpha channel) per-pixel borders which most of the window managers in Linux don't even have yet and it does things which you normally have to pile on other utilities (in Windows) to do like window shading, setting always on top or making a window transparent depending on how a skin is made. Some people have used the themes service (ms styles)+ seperate winshade app+Y'z Shadow+shellwm to get more of the features of WB without paying for it but it's not as seamless uses more resources and still doesn't have the per-pixel borders. In my experience it doesn't crash, is light on the resources and is very compatible in fact the per pixel borders work on my laptops intel integrated graphics where Vistas glass most likely wouldn't.

BTW, I really don't think a typical person would pile on all the programs and widgets etc. like in that video it was just so he could show off most everything in the same video also I don't think the examples in the video where the best ones but they where the ones he personally liked.

Edited 2006-08-02 21:04

Reply Score: 1

Always On Top
by situation on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 21:07 UTC
situation
Member since:
2006-01-10

Although they didn't focus on it heavily in the video, I noticed an 'Always On Top' item was added to the title bar context menu. Whenever I use Windows (coming from mainly Linux), there are 3 things I miss:

1. Window layering (set to bottom, always on top, etc.)
2. Hotkeys for standard commands (alt+f8 to minimize, alt+f6 to max vertically, etc.)
3. Virtual workspaces (and no, the official PowerToys hack is no sufficient).

It looks like Object Desktop might deliver #1 and #3, so I might have to check it out (or at least recommend it to my Windows-centric friends).

Reply Score: 1

RE: Always On Top
by smoke on Wed 2nd Aug 2006 21:14 UTC in reply to "Always On Top"
smoke Member since:
2005-07-08

WB5 has the always on top option but for the next two things on your list I would actually recommend an alternative shell like litestep (which has imo the best virtual desktops on windows) and bblean which has the hotkeys for standard commands. I have used bblean both on it's own and also with all it's GUI stuff shut off and using it as a base instead of Explorer for objectbar, WB5 and RK Launcher. Before that I was a big litestep fan (since it first came out). But either way I have always been a fan of mixing freeware and commercial desktop enhancements depending on their features.

Edited 2006-08-02 21:19

Reply Score: 2