Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Making Windows XP look like a Macintosh

If you are tired of the ubiquitous look of Windows boxen, you might be looking for an alternitive; so I thought I'd would put together a little tutorial for the fledgling Windows user.

Step 1: Figuring out what you want your desktop to look like

It's always a good idea to plan ahead. Take some time to think about how you want your desktop to look and how funtional you want it to be. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll completely change the look and funtionality of my Windows XP desktop. There are several program that you may want to use, the ones I find to be the best are Windows Blinds and Object dock, which can be downloaded and used free of charge. Windows blinds is a powerful piece of sofrware, which can change just about everything about the Windows gui. Object dock creates a Mac-like dock, where you can drag and drop programs, folders, links ect.

Step 2: Getting started

The first step would be to figure out what skin you like. Skins come in 'wbload' documents, and come in an almost infinite array of styles and colors. It's really up to your personal preference. I'll use a windows blinds skin called 'Tiger 2', by a website called StudioTwentyEight.
Again it's all up to personal preference, since there are dozens of Macintosh skins flotaing around on the web. Once you have figured out your skin, open Windows Blinds and click 'add skin', select the wbload document. It takes a couple of secnonds for the skin to the applied and voila!

Step 3: Configering Object Dock, and changing prefences

Download and install Object Dock. You'll notice that the dock is at the top of your screen and you may not want some of the default links. To delete a link or 'entry', simply drag and drop the link off of the dock; you'll notice the well-known mac recyle animation is included!

To add links, just drag and drop any program, link, folder you want to have at your fingertips. To move the dock down to the bottom of the screen, right click your Windows task-bar and un-tick lock the taskbar, then drag it to the top of the screen. Right click your new Dock, goto 'position on screen' and choose 'bottom', or wherever you want it to be.

To further configure your new dock, click the 'configure dock' entry, again it's all personal preference. I would suggest that you make the dock load when windows starts, to do this goto 'apperance' in the configuration screen, and check 'load object dock on start-up'. If you want, you can also clean up your Windows desktop by right clicking the desktop > 'Arrange icons by' > 'Show desktop icons'. All of your desktop icons will disappear.

Step 4:
Here is the final step to making your Windows desktop look like a Mac, getting rid of the Recycle Bin icon. This icon will go away if you hide all your icons as described above, but if you want to get rid of the bin, you need to do some registry editing.

1) Open 'regedit', type it into run on the start menu.

2)Find: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersionExplorer\Desktop\NameSpace

Find this key:{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

Delete this key, but please note that changing the regsitry is done at your own risk!

Wait a few seconds or click anywhere on the desktop and click 'f5' to refresh it. The Recycle bin is gone.


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