Customizing and pimping the shit out of Windows 7

Sep 2nd, 2012 | By | Category: Windows

Alright, so over the past 7 days I’ve devolved from a linux user back to a windows user after hitting a wall of my operating system not working properly and just needing things to work the way they are supposed to in order to run a successful business.  So I’m back to windows but after 4 solid years of hardcore linux use I’ve come to expect my operating system to be more of a reflection of who I am as a user rather than just using the OS as it is given to me so I spent my sunday ripping it apart and putting it back together the way I want it to be.  Now of course this is an exaggeration as I am in windows so there was no ripping it apart at all, nor any putting it back together as I would in windows, what I’ve done is added lipstick to a pig and customized as much as this restrictive OS will allow me to and this is what I used:

Throw away the standard windows widgets and say hello to Rain Meter.  This amazing desktop layer tool allows you to lay down entire layers of widgets onto your desktop, turning a blank canvas into a smorgasboard of information.  I went with the Enigma theme as it is by far the most robust.  I wouldn’t mind something a little brighter however there’s nothing that looks half as good or provides half the functionality so dark it is.  And to be fair I can do far more with rain meter than I ever could with anything like conky in linux :

Dexpot is an amazing virtual desktop program.  I here there is one better one out there but it’s not free so poo on that.  Dextop allows a ton of functionality even if it doesn’t look nearly as pretty as compiz.  There is a cube plugin that is a bit clunky but beggers can’t be choosers.  It may not look pretty but it does a lot of really fancy stuff like starting certain programs on certain desktops upon startup, different background images per desktop, etc etc.

I went through and tested all of the docks and this is what I ended up with.. I can’t claim that it is the absolute best but it is the only one that isn’t trying to suck Apple’s dick by emulating the OS X dock as closely as possible.. I mean with objectdock it is possible to make it work like the apple dock but unlike the others they actually offer other behavior settings that look unique and non apple-esque.  So right there it won me over as I need a dock but I’d rather chew on nails than have something that reminds me of any god-forsaken apple product every day.

CustoPack tools:

I am a big fan of the Gaia 10 theme for Windows and apparently you need to install it with this CustoPack tools program now and so that’s what I’ve done 🙂  It offers a cool icon replacement set, new cursors and a new login/logout screen although that doesn’t seem to want to work on my install.. Really spruces up the place.  There’s even a Gaia 10 rainmeter theme: but I prefer the enigma one myself.

That’s really it, like I said there’s only so much you can do within the restrictive windows environment in terms of customization but I’m pretty happy with what I have here and it certainly eases the pain in the beginning that goes along with having to boot into Windows every day instead of Debian.  It looks pretty badass I do have to say so I can see this OS growing on me again, although with windows 8 coming out I might have to relearn all this stuff again.. But for now I’m happy with 7 and will enjoy my pimped out setup while I can.


Here’s the end result starting with one of my Dark backgrounds and then one of my lighter ones to show how the Rainmeter theme holds up.

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And there’s the lighter one showing off the simple little dock at the top of my screen

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