Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Draginol's Articles In OS Customization » Page 7
May 2, 2008 by Draginol
When it comes to skinning the OS, I'm a fanatic. I've been into changing the look and feel of the OS for nearly 15 years now.  From Object Desktop on OS/2 to working on the very first GUI skinning program on Windows, skinning is a passion of mine.

Over the years, I've seen a lot of programs, companies, and ideas come and go.  On the software side, there's been great programs like eFX and Chroma (to name two) along with the ubiquitous WindowBlinds.  On the content side, there'...
April 22, 2008 by Draginol

 

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Take Windows to the next level

A look at how to completely transform your Windows experience.

April 22, 2008 by Draginol

MyColors (Stacked)  

After a full year of effort, Stardock has officially launched MyColors to the general public.

February 20, 2008 by Draginol

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MyColors Theme Manager in action.

February 11, 2008 by Draginol
Skinning first started getting popular around 1999. Back then, it was mostly about skinning Winamp and WindowBlinds.  Today, people expect to be able to customize virtually every aspect of their PC experience. From the moment someone boots to the time they shut down, everything a user sees they now anticipate the ability to personalize somehow if they choose to.

In the beginning, the content came from the community. The software itself was developed within the community as well. A given ...
February 5, 2008 by Draginol
       
January 30, 2008 by Draginol
Aura was a WindowBlinds skin originally created for WindowBlinds 5 on Windows XP awhile back. It was actually one of the first skins that Stardock itself actually was involved in the design.

Until recently, Stardock focused strictly on the software. It made WindowBlinds and left it to skin authors to make skins.  The the feature set of WindowBlinds became more rich, it became increasingly difficult for skin authors to make full use of all the new features.

Moreover, Stardock wanted t...
January 17, 2008 by Draginol


I like the look of Aero on Windows Vista but I can imagine skins that look better.  And even if my taste differs from yours, the important thing here is choice. That's what WindowBlinds delivers.
January 16, 2008 by Draginol
One of the best and most underused features of WindowBlinds 6 is the colorizing feature.

With WindowBlinds, you can color certain parts of the skin but not others in order to create multiple new styles that you can save for later.

Here are two screenshots to show what I mean:



Above is Elegance but with a more golden hue to it. Note that the close button is still red. It's not just a brute force hue shift.


Here is Aero Executive changed to be grassy.
January 7, 2008 by Draginol
Once upon a time there was a collection of programs called Object Desktop. The most popular of these programs were WindowBlinds, IconPackager and DesktopX.

Millions of people around the world tried these programs and for the most part liked them. But users also often found it difficult to get a consistent look across their desktop since the different programs worked on different parts of the computer.

In time, a number of skinners helped popularize the concept of "Suites". A suite is a col...
December 23, 2007 by Draginol
For years I've read how two big problems have kept skinning from becoming truly mainstream.

The first problem was that the myriad of programs necessary to get adequate results was too complicated, too unreliable, too bloated, and too hard to keep up to date.

The second problem was that actually getting quality themes was too difficult, that even after people managed to get the combination of WindowBlinds, IconPackager, and other such programs cobbled together that it took too much effort...
December 16, 2007 by Draginol


Click on this thumbnail and take a very close look at the title bar and borders.

See how they alpha blend into the desktop so nicely? And the snow doesn't seem like it repeats. Did I mention I love this skin?

Plus, look at the IE controls.
December 16, 2007 by Draginol
It's almost time to start talking about what's happening with Object Desktop in 2008.  2008 will be the single biggest change to the product since its release.

Here are some highlights:

Two versions In 2008 there will be two editions of Object Desktop:

Object Desktop normal which will remain $49.95 and it will include:

Object Desktop LaunchPad WindowBlinds IconPackager DeskScapes DesktopX SoundPackager Theme Manager MyColors with 3 premium themes included And there will the...
December 16, 2007 by Draginol


If you don't have the Winter Wonderland premium suite, now is the time to get it! You get it FREE with the purchase of any MyColors theme. Visit http://mycolors.stardock.com.  You can also get it by buying a premium suite as well which you can look for here at http://themes.stardock.com.
December 16, 2007 by Draginol
Remember on Windows XP when there's be arguments over who was faster? Msstyles or WindowBlinds?

In the Windows Vista era, such arguments seem almost quaint as the massive performance advantage of WindowBlinds over Aero is undeniable.

Where it really shows up is in resizing windows.


Winter Wonderland MyColors theme Try it for yourself. If you have Windows Vista, load up Aero, open up any program (the more complex, the better) and resize it with the default Aero. Then load up the mo...