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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Request Time! Sexing up Windows XP...

This one's for Barry...

First up, the simple step. Jealous of Mac users and their saucy little docks? Well fret no more! Rocketdock is here to help. A nifty little piece of freeware for XP or Vista that gives you this:

It's pretty customisable, and can be anchored to any edge of the screen with options for style, autohide, opacity and so on.

Then it's time to replace your Windows theme. To use themes other than those created by Microsoft, you'll need to replace your uxtheme.dll file. Good instructions on how to this can be found here.

Then you can search about for themes. You can try here, here or (probably best of all) here, among many others. To be honest, just slap "Windows XP themes" into Google and you're away. Once you've got the files downloaded and unzipped into your C:\Windows\Resources\Themes directory you can just select them in your desktop properties. I'm currently using "Lunar Element Black" which is all a bit Vista.

As I've set the taskbar (moved to the left side of the screen) to autohide, I've also installed Clock to keep an eye on the time. Okay, so I should probably just use a more attractive, intuitive interface from the get-go, but dammit, I'm just used to XP! I've got an Ubuntu partition set up with all the Cold Fusion bells and whistles, but I've got XP set up just how I like, so the impetus to change just isn't there. Anyway, the look of it now is something like this:

The default look with taskbar and dock set to autohide...

...and as each pops out when hovered over.


  1. heh heh or you could use:
    me x

  2. Bah! I'll never give in! Never!

    (I can't afford to!)

  3. Barry8:04 pm

    Gawd, I'm slow these days.

    Cheers for this Andy and Ill see if I can spruce up my XP just in time to re-install the bugger again gggrrrhhh!!

  4. Wow, you can really spend so much time just fiddling with themes. Rocket Dock works a treat (more hours twiddling.

    New Themes do not show up in display properties, followed instructions to the letter on replacing the UXtheme.dll file. Also installed and ran UXTheme Multi Installer.

    All seems fine but I think my XP just replaces the old UXTheme.dll within seconds, a real annoying habit of XP which also prevents the complete removal of ATi drivers as XP just writes half the files back in place after about 20 seconds.

    Techie Whiz like yourself probably knows how to stop this behaviour. either way I'm able to use the styles and my desktop & styles look yummy.