Customizing and pimping the shit out of Windows 7Sep 2nd, 2012 | By admin | 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: http://www.custopack.com/custopack/gaia-gaia10us
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: http://www.gaia10.us/gallery/gallery-rainmeter/ 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.
And there’s the lighter one showing off the simple little dock at the top of my screen