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Theme usage on Windows XP

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  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    I was just curious, who uses the Windows classic theme on Windows XP or is the default blue more popular or if people actually use StyleXP.  How do you theme your desktop?

  • User profile image
    Kaelan

    I used to use a theme called Watercolor with a patched uxtheme.dll, but I haven't been able to get any of the uxtheme patches to work, so I'm using the Media Center Royale skin right now.

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    rjdohnert wrote:
    I was just curious, who uses the Windows classic theme on Windows XP or is the default blue more popular or if people actually use StyleXP.  How do you theme your desktop?


     I always use the Windows XP Default Blue theme, with the Bliss background..

  • User profile image
    Bogusrabin

    rjdohnert wrote:
    I was just curious, who uses the Windows classic theme on Windows XP or is the default blue more popular or if people actually use StyleXP.  How do you theme your desktop?


    I think Windows XP default blue theme is just terrific! Old "Windows 2000" look is a lot better.
    Never tested StyleXP. Does it make some tweaks to some files or is it running in memory all the time?

    OK, this is little offtopic but I didn't want to start new thread.
    I want make my XP a little more comfortable.
    1) How can I move window somewhere else than window decoration?
    2) XP redraw is really slow. I installed new Radeon drivers but that didn't help. Is there some magic to get rid of slowness? (for example when moving Winamp on the IE..)
    3) Mouse is jerky under heavy I/O usage. Which process' priority should I rise?

    Thanks.

  • User profile image
    shinyplasti​cbag

    I use a theme called XP Amp (via themexp.org) which is based on the Winamp 5 Modern skin. It's pretty great (although it does have some annoyances).

    I've gotten so used to themes with short Longhorn-style taskbars that I can't use ones that have the normal height anymore.

  • User profile image
    compuwhiz7

    I use Windows XP Blue with Red Moon Desert as my background.

  • User profile image
    mochant

    Kaelan wrote:
    I used to use a theme called Watercolor with a patched uxtheme.dll, but I haven't been able to get any of the uxtheme patches to work, so I'm using the Media Center Royale skin right now.

    I'm using the Royale theme as well. I love it. It has the pop of the basic blue XP style with a lot more "finish".

  • User profile image
    dentaku

    I always change it to the Silver theme, turn on font smoothing and turn off any menu animations (I like that have my stuff just "pop" up instantly not fade in and out). It's less vibrant and works well with most software that uses a grey colour scheme.

    I've tested out different theming programs on my old machine (my test machine that I don't mind messing with) and some of the stuff looks good but it never seems to all work together as well as the stuff XP comes with. There's always someting that doesn't quite function or is just "for show" and not particularly useful. Just like a one button mouse, why would anyone want to have an OSX style dock on their XP machine?

  • User profile image
    lars

    I've never played around with skinning XP. Maybe this is a dumb question; but what do you need in order to create a "xp theme" that works without any extra software?

  • User profile image
    Manip2

    I use the classic start menu, with the classic 'theme' (or lack of one). I enjoy the speed increase this offers me and am very familiar with the organisation so can get stuff done a lot quicker.

    Quick-Launch on - Show Desktop, IE, Outlook Ex, Notepad

    Auto-Hide Sys tray icons..

    Lock the taskbar

    Various backgrounds.. depending on what mood I'm in. Including the XP ones.

  • User profile image
    Cider

    lars wrote:
    I've never played around with skinning XP. Maybe this is a dumb question; but what do you need in order to create a "xp theme" that works without any extra software?


    You need to patch the uxtheme.dll file which controls the themes.  The best way I've come across of doing this without getting StyleXP or whatever is Neowin's UXTheme Patcher (which despite its very unofficial and no-doubt-not-recommended status was recently listed on "applications which have a problem with SP2"!).  More details here:

    http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=140707

    EDIT:  You might be able to find a newer version on neowin than that one!

  • User profile image
    Tom Servo

    I use Windows Classic. The theme engine eats more CPU power, and I'm a lil' picky about that, especially since that theme engine is a piggyback solution.

  • User profile image
    lars

    Cider wrote:
    You need to patch the uxtheme.dll file which controls the themes.


    Okey. But what's the point in having theme support in the OS if you can't make your own without patching the OS? Why is this restricted?

  • User profile image
    Mike Dimmick

    I use the default blue theme - I don't really like the silver and especially not the vomit olive green theme. I haven't really researched StyleXP.

    For bogusrabin: jerky mouse shouldn't happen. If it is, it probably means that one of your I/O devices is set to Programmed I/O mode. For IDE devices, check the Advanced Settings tab on the Primary IDE Channel and Secondary IDE Channel devices in Device Manager. The Transfer Mode box should read 'Use DMA if available' for all devices. Windows sometimes sets a pessimistic value of 'PIO only' for CD/DVD drives. This means that instead of the drive borrowing bus cycles when it needs to transfer, it has to raise an interrupt and the operating system then explicitly copies from memory to a device register. This wastes CPU cycles that could be used for something else (not to mention wasting CPU cache and front-side bus bandwidth).

    If your device is set to 'Use DMA if available' but still shows 'PIO Mode' under 'Current Transfer Mode', either the device is broken or doesn't support DMA (in which case, upgrade or replace it), you don't have the right cable (OEMs are cheap and only supply one 80-way IDE cable, when there's no harm in using 80-way cable for older or slower devices) or the cable's damaged (replace the cable), or your IDE controller isn't detecting the drive correctly. You might try using the manufacturer's drivers - or, if you already are, try using Microsoft's!

    If you have a USB mouse with a USB-to-PS2 adapter, you could try using PS2 if you're using USB, or vice-versa. Note that if it didn't come with one, you can't go and buy one - all the logic for driving either PS2 or USB signals is in the mouse, the adapter simply routes the pins accordingly and allows the mouse to detect it's plugged into the adapter.

  • User profile image
    GooberDLX

    I defintely use the Royal theme as well.. gorgeous..

  • User profile image
    Cider

    lars wrote:
    Cider wrote: You need to patch the uxtheme.dll file which controls the themes.


    Okey. But what's the point in having theme support in the OS if you can't make your own without patching the OS? Why is this restricted?


    Christ knows.  I assume its one of 3 reasons:

    1.  Microsoft didn't really want people using their own Visual Styles.

    2.  Maybe it could be used at some sort of buffer overflow attack.

    3.  Maybe it worked with the likes of TGT (StyleXP's creators) so as not to destroy their market, and so "licensed" this access to them.

    I'd figure part of all 3.

    I personally use one called Longhorn Inspiriat.  Oddly, it looks nothing like any of the Longhorn betas/screenshots so far.  Its just nice and clean.  But I like to change my theme every so often just for "time for a change" reasons.

  • User profile image
    Lwatson

    At work...

    I being the Boss there usually try to get folks to NOT use what I call Cartoony mode of windows XP. I do however respect the others desire to exert some control and wish to find their own path in these matters so I let them do what they want.

    Personally I revert back to classic mode myself and for my profile on the testbeds and what not.

    Frankly most of our clients run windows 2k as the highest level of windows in their setups and In demo mode I believe that our clients have a slightly elevated comfort level when we are demoing applications and other bits in to them if the theme is in classic mode. That is likely to change slowly though from here onward...

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    I use the classic view myself more,  I have used others but I go back to the old Win2k look.  I even made an Aero theme for StyleXP but never publicly released it because I didnt know if that would constitute a copyright violation.  I also use the Classic start menu because I like the personalized menus and unfortunately they arent present in the new start menu.

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