Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 07:40 UTC, submitted by Brad Wardell
Gifts, Contests, Easter Eggs The major skin sites and several tech news sites (including OSNews) have gotten together with Stardock to create the first GUI Olympics. It is the ultimate user interface design contest in which users from around the world can submit their WindowBlinds skins and represent the website of their choice. Stardock is putting up $10,000 in cash and prizes that will be distributed to 75 different award categories (which means that just submitting a skin gives you a reasonable chance of winning something). Half of the cash award goes to the website a user represents. In this way, users can support the websites they enjoy using as well as win for themselves and have a lot of fun.
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by Don Cox on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 10:35 UTC

Do people really think that user interface design consists of changing
colors and patterns with bitmap images ?

by Zsolt Marx on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 14:39 UTC

Sounds like a typical smart-ass comment, since I am sure you know that their "user interface design" means something different than what you consider as "user interface design". Call it "user interface decoration" if you like, the great thing is that these people have fun doing what they do, regardless of your definitions.

by You on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 18:57 UTC

I agree with Don Cox, it shouldn't be called a User Interface Design contest. If you start using words out of context they will loose their meaning. Next they will call it an OS Design Contest.

Window Blinds
by Raptor-32 on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 19:09 UTC

Does that mean that everyone that enters have to purchase window blinds to be able to make the "skin"? Or does entering in there just consist of sending in a neato jpeg that jimmy and his pal did?

Anyone know how window blinds works? The Windows look isnt controlled by explorer, thats just the shell. The only thing that runs before explorer is windows itself, which makes me wonder: does window blinds do abit of hex editing on the user's part? Whatever it does, it does it well, i've seen some damn nice WindowBlinds themes, but never in action.

Ressource Hacker
by Raptor-32 on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 19:13 UTC

On an additional note, something fun for windows users to play with is an app called Ressource Hacker, it lets you open up any executable, dll etc... and see whats inside. In Windows2K, Microsoft put like 10 possible images to put in the start bar (that left side bar image), including one for "Windows Embeded", and "Windows Powered", they are actually pretty nice. You can change the graphs for the CPU monitor and everything. I have no clue where you could find it though, i suggest a quick search on google.

Re: Window Blinds
by Eugenia on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 19:16 UTC

Does that mean that everyone that enters have to purchase window blinds to be able to make the "skin"?

After you register on Gui Olympics site, you will be asked which site you will want to represent. If you choose OSNews, there is an OSNews branded version of WindowBlinds and SkinStudio to download for free. The agreement for download it though is that you will have to submit one skin for the contest. ;)

UI Design
by Rob on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 20:57 UTC

For most of you people bashing WB, I doubt that you've actually used it. I'm not a huge proponent of WindowBlinds, but what they do is incredibly slick, and now with version 3.0, they do so with Microsoft's blessing. SkinStudio (formerly BuilderBlinds for those that remember it) can also create the theme files that work in Windows XP, so you can select it from your regular display properties.

You can do an amazing amount of customization, on par with or exceeding what you could do with say, Kaleidoscope, on the Mac. Your skin can make the window look like whatever you want basically, including animations, and plugins, such as buttons that let you control WinAmp, or display date/time properties. Also, the buttons can be conditional, changing function based on the state of the window (active/inactive, maximized/regular). I think it's pretty slick. Chroma used to be quite competitive, but now they've fallen by the wayside.

Combine this with something like LiteStep, GeoShell, Serenade, or similar, and you can have you Windows box looking like anything you can dream up, and much more stable (once you replace explorer.exe with a decent shell).

Just my $.02

-- Rob

by Kevin Craik on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 21:12 UTC

This competition is only open to people who use Microsoft operating systems isn't it?

Re: Kevin Craik
by Eugenia on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 21:24 UTC

>This competition is only open to people who use Microsoft operating systems isn't it?

Yes, naturally. WindowBlinds & Skinstudio only run on Windows and this competition is only intended for Windows users. There used to be a similar version for OS/2 in the past, but it is not supported anymore.

GUI Olympics 2002 Officially Begins
by A.A. Fussy on Sat 2nd Feb 2002 22:06 UTC

I'm going to design a Babya System 9 WindowBlinds skin.

Bah Humbug
by Kon on Mon 4th Feb 2002 00:11 UTC

Sorry to say, this isnt a user interface design competition. Its a user interface modification contest.

User interface design would be to start from a clean slate.

However this contest is limited to coloring in window dressings like we used to do in kindergarten, and moving existing controls to the left, or right, or wherever in the small real estate of the title bar. Modification of a desktop with vertical applications doesn't really count either.