Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Jul 2009 22:22 UTC
Windows A lot of our readers are still happily using Windows XP - 36% of our users use XP, 12% Vista, and 6% Windows 7. While Windows XP is showing its age in a lot of areas, there is at least something you can do to prettify the operating system at minimal cost. In Windows XP, and to a lesser extent Windows Vista, there are still a lot of old-style icons and graphics that should be updated to more modern variants. There are free tools that do just this (thanks to IStartedSomething).
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If only...
by Jondice on Wed 29th Jul 2009 22:38 UTC
Jondice
Member since:
2006-09-20

Lately I've felt that I'm appreciating windows xp more and more, if only for the fact that people (including myself) still use it as their choice of windows OS, even when they already own (or ehm, pirated) all the other copies.

It has been hailed as the OS that was just good enough, the OS that wouldn't die, the boy that lived, and the chosen one. Wait, that last bit I got confused with Harry Potter.

I use it on my low-end laptop as well as my higher end gaming laptop (no windows on my workstation, since it doubles as my personal server =().

If only windows xp was open source, things would really be interesting for that OS. Imagine what 10 years of community work could've done for it. Sure, some people would probably bloat it up just like MS has done with Vista and Windows 7. But others I'm sure would add some really cool features that we see in other OS's (security models, better unix interoperability, etc).

Of course, this would also have the side effect of making Wine way better ;) . Not that it isn't awesome already.

Reply Score: 1

RE: If only...
by OSGuy on Thu 30th Jul 2009 00:13 UTC in reply to "If only..."
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

Yes I can imagine: 100 different versions of Windows, 10000 different toolkits, illogical file system structure, incompaibility between DLLs - programs written using Toolkit 1.001 will not work on Toolkit 1.002. Oh and did I mention inconsistent GUI look & feel among apps?

Edited 2009-07-30 00:15 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: If only...
by sbergman27 on Thu 30th Jul 2009 00:33 UTC in reply to "RE: If only..."
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Yes I can imagine: 100 different versions of Windows, 10000 different toolkits

I doubt enough people would understand the code base well enough to make that happen. More likely, a few years from now some smart, hard working group would announce that they got it to compile.

Edited 2009-07-30 00:33 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Windows 7 = farewell my good XP friend
by pcunite on Wed 29th Jul 2009 22:39 UTC
pcunite
Member since:
2008-08-26

I am loving Windows 7. XP was great, still is. But Windows 7 is very nice and has some great improvement to it's memory model that makes it safer. Windows XP with lua + srp is still very safe of course.

Reply Score: 1

Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Can you elaborate on lua + srp?

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Limited User Account and Service Pack.

Reply Score: 1

PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

SRP is also known as "Software Restriction Policies." You can use it to deny execution for all applications other than ones that are certified for your domain. It looks like it's pretty flexible, but I'd imagine that it takes quite a bit of effort to administer a network of any size where you have a default-deny policy and non-single-purpose workstations.

More info here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310791.

Reply Score: 2

pcunite Member since:
2008-08-26

Actually it is really easy. I am being serious. Not trying to sell you on anything or make myself feel better. I have been doing this for years without any ant-virus installed. I also setup friends and family machines this way too.

Edited 2009-07-30 14:17 UTC

Reply Score: 1

pcunite Member since:
2008-08-26

Limited User Account and Software Restriction Policies

Read here for more info:
http://www.mechbgon.com/srp/

Reply Score: 1

call me old fashoined...
by poundsmack on Wed 29th Jul 2009 22:42 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

but i always liked the old looking icons. I never cared if an OS was pretty and would always sacrafice looks for speed. I do like xpize though, it's subtle touch is nice. but then again, i am the kind of user who gets a licence to windows xp embeded, builds a custom image with only the bare escentials, and loves it (6 second boot times and 6+ hours of battery life).

Windows 2000, OS/2, and BeOS was as advanced in the UI department as i "needed" (never liked CDE though). I do really love what MS has done with windows 7 though and as far as XP goes xpize is nice.

Reply Score: 2

RE: call me old fashoined...
by Happy-Dude on Thu 30th Jul 2009 05:11 UTC in reply to "call me old fashoined..."
Happy-Dude Member since:
2009-01-18

You know, with the new framework of the -ize and Anolis project, David made it easier for people to make their own packages...

And as far as I know, the author of Tango Patcher and Inexperience Patcher is also on board in this. Once he has the time, that is ;)

(Old icons, hm? Check this out yourself ;) -- http://vertigosity.deviantart.com/art/Inexperience-Patcher-0-7-2-27... )

Reply Score: 1

These are great
by cmost on Wed 29th Jul 2009 22:44 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

As an IT enthusiast and professional, I do a lot of work reinstalling computers for family and friends. As an added courtesy, I will usually pretty up Windows XP by installing the Brico pack and a few other third party freeware apps that add Vista's elegance and many of its features (like thumbnail previews, Vista sidebar, transparent task bar, etc.) to a standard XP desktop. While Vista was a flop, it did, admittedly look nice!

Reply Score: 2

RE: These are great
by Laurence on Thu 30th Jul 2009 07:37 UTC in reply to "These are great"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

As an IT enthusiast and professional, I do a lot of work reinstalling computers for family and friends. As an added courtesy, I will usually pretty up Windows XP by installing the Brico pack and a few other third party freeware apps that add Vista's elegance and many of its features (like thumbnail previews, Vista sidebar, transparent task bar, etc.) to a standard XP desktop. While Vista was a flop, it did, admittedly look nice!


That's a matter of perspective. I, personally, never really took to Vista's looks. But then I'm sure there's plenty of people who think my OS theme looks naff despite how much I like it.

Reply Score: 2

Make XP look like Ubuntu
by chemical_scum on Thu 30th Jul 2009 02:17 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

On a related topic does anyone now how I can theme my locked down XP at work so that it looks like Ubuntu.

OK it would still remain an inferior operating system but at least it wouldn't look so childishly ugly.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Make XP look like Ubuntu
by ecruz on Thu 30th Jul 2009 05:09 UTC in reply to "Make XP look like Ubuntu"
ecruz Member since:
2007-06-16

"childishly ugly"

The only child here it is YOU!

I hope you get fired for wasting your company time reading OS News. Have some integrity and do that at home, where it belongs!

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Make XP look like Ubuntu
by righard on Thu 30th Jul 2009 09:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Make XP look like Ubuntu"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

Is this sarcastic?, else you are really getting worked up about nothing :S
Maybe he is reading OSNews at home, maybe he is reading it during a luch break, maybe it's a calm day and is he allowed to read OSNews at work.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Make XP look like Ubuntu
by fukudasan on Thu 30th Jul 2009 11:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Make XP look like Ubuntu"
fukudasan Member since:
2006-06-04

Funny, that's exactly what happened to me today . . . looking at the article at work (as things were slow and we were close to going home in any case), downloaded it and installed it, my work PC now actually looks cool.

But even better, I stuck the package on my own two PCs (desktop and laptop) at home and now they really look great, especially the desktop where the fonts always looked awful before (at 1680x1050 res) and were difficult to read. Now there is almost nothing illegible on the XP desktop - it's almost as good as my Mandriva desktops, even the smallest fonts are completely clear.

In all three cases, the software installed without any errors, and I am happy now not to resort to the 98SE-style "Classic" look.

Now, if I could only change the default language from Korean to English . . . anyway, well done, guys, you've done a great job; please keep up the good work.


EDIT: Help!!! Too many "now"s!

Edited 2009-07-30 11:33 UTC

Reply Score: 1

chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Is this sarcastic?, else you are really getting worked up about nothing :S
Maybe he is reading OSNews at home, maybe he is reading it during a luch break, maybe it's a calm day and is he allowed to read OSNews at work.


He appears to be a troll or MS astroturfer who goes around marking more things down than he marks up. Actually I wrote that post in the evening from home (convert UTC to EST) using a real operating system but it is none of his fscking business anyway.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Make XP look like Ubuntu
by Laurence on Thu 30th Jul 2009 07:40 UTC in reply to "Make XP look like Ubuntu"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

On a related topic does anyone now how I can theme my locked down XP at work so that it looks like Ubuntu.


I'm not even sure it's a wise idea to do so if it's:
a/ a work machine
b/ intentionally locked down.

Particularly when all the Ubuntu themes (with minimal system overhead) I've seen for XP required a small degree of hacking and replacing system files (as XP doesn't like to be themed unless it's an official MS theme)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Make XP look like Ubuntu
by OSGuy on Thu 30th Jul 2009 10:11 UTC in reply to "Make XP look like Ubuntu"
OSGuy Member since:
2006-01-01

I believe I found your answer. Read here: http://www.manast.com/2007/04/03/make-windows-xp-look-like-ubuntu-l... - Make Windows XP look like Ubuntu Linux

Additionally, there is Ubuntu for Windows. It's the Ubuntu toolbar (the menu bar) with all of the Ubuntu apps installed on Windows. It was announced on OSNews.com at one stage. It is called Portable Ubuntu: Screenshot: http://www.geekology.co.za/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/portable...
and download http://portableubuntu.demonccc.cloudius.com.ar/

Put that thing with your XP Ubuntu mix.

I hope this helps regardless whether your post was sarcastic or not ;) ;)

Edited 2009-07-30 10:18 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Make XP look like Ubuntu
by pakmovast on Fri 31st Jul 2009 14:45 UTC in reply to "Make XP look like Ubuntu"
pakmovast Member since:
2009-07-31

I cannot praise enough the "Human style for windows" available at deviantart, and which is suggested in the reference suggested by "OSguy". For those who dislike orange, note that this one comes with Blue, Green, Graphite and Purple color schemes. Neat.

As to the "locked down" part of the original request, I take it to mean absence of admin rights. All third party themes not signed by Microsoft need a patched system DLL (uxtheme.dll). One way to sneak this onto your system would be to boot from a recent linux live cd (slitaz is small and has all you need), mount your hard disk using ntfs-3g (for safe writing), then overwrite all copies of uxtheme.dll under %WinDir% (typ c:\windows). Changing the copy under system32 is not enough as on next reboot, windows would detect you've tampered with a system file and restore the original. You'll also want to unzip the theme archive under %windir%\resources\themes. I wouldn't advise one to try this if unfamiliar with the linux CLI. IIRC, the uxtheme replacement even when successfull might log a system event on reboot, which your MIS dept may notice, so whether this is all worth attempting at work I leave entirely up to your appreciation.


ref: http://fioressj.deviantart.com/art/Human-for-Windows-37743373

Reply Score: 1

Crayola
by memson on Thu 30th Jul 2009 08:43 UTC
memson
Member since:
2006-01-01

The first thing I do on a new XP machine is remove the Crayola theme. YUCK! It is a performance bottleneck I don't need and screws with window metrics.

Edited 2009-07-30 08:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Xp Ubuntu look
by stipex on Thu 30th Jul 2009 13:07 UTC
stipex
Member since:
2009-07-30

From my point of view, I don't see any sense customizing Win XP into something as ugly as Ubuntu.I just don't like UI in brown-orange colors.UI design, colors should be neutral IMO, so it doesnt distract you from content of your work (web page, text editor ...) and makes your eyes hapier.

Reply Score: 0

Be careful with xpize
by bonedance on Thu 30th Jul 2009 19:18 UTC
bonedance
Member since:
2009-07-30

Just thought I would chime in for people still on the fence about this. It also installs TaskSwitchXP, themes, boot screens, login screens, cursors, fonts, and a few random registry edits (hiding the dog, getting rid of some WMP prompts... totally unnecessary) unless you tell it not to.

The icons of course are beautiful. The themes are pretty nice but I couldn't figure out how to install them without it changing my login screen, so I won't be using them.

There is no spyware or adware, though, which is common in programs like these. With everything installed, however, you might experience some nasty hiccups and slowdowns... especially in the beginning, if your computer is average.

I couldn't find any documentation about this program and a lot of check boxes in the install have no descriptions. Likewise, the website does not inform you of what else it installs besides icons and a vague description of "themes". That pisses me off.

Reply Score: 1

What about Windows 2000 users?
by Quietleaf on Fri 31st Jul 2009 02:18 UTC
Quietleaf
Member since:
2005-11-11

Is there an estimate of how many Win2k users there are out there? For instance, there's a project called Vistpack that changes the icons, etc. of Win2k, and there's a project called SmoothText that adds something like ClearType to it and is starting to support skinning.

Reply Score: 1

A New lease on Life
by jstars on Fri 31st Jul 2009 16:06 UTC
jstars
Member since:
2008-02-08

The xpize application was great. I had no idea about it and tried it on one of my desktops and then ended up installing it on my eee PC 100he as well!.

The improvement to the XP taskbar alone is enough to install it. I did uninstall SwitchUI (or whatever it's called) because I don't need it.

Face it, aesthetics to consumers are important and I'm sure that Microsoft won't appreciate the fact that this application has made XP even more attractive (otherwise they would have done it themselves). They wanted you to buy Vista, but they'll settle for Windows 7.

Reply Score: 1