Give Your Windows an Apple Polish July 15, 2008Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Apple, Microsoft.
Tags: Apple, Max, Windows
You might not be able to make Windows perform like a Mac but you can definitely make it look and feel like one with some free tools you can install in minutes. Checkout the following tips, tricks and tools and enjoy your new Mac-lite PC.
Rainlender is a skinable desktop calendar
Trillian is a universal instant messenger that resembles iChat.
iTunes is most likely already on everyone’s system but just in case, here ya go!
Change your desktop wallpaper to one that the Mac Leopard OS uses. Search google for other images if you don’t like this one.
Replace Microsoft’s Gadgets with Yahoo’s Widgets which look and feel more Mac-like.
RocketDock will probably give your PC the most Mac-like appearance and functionality because it replaces the windows taskbar and allows you to launch all of your applications from its very Leopard-style interface. Here’s a good video of how it works:
ObjectDock is similar to RocketDock. Give them both a try to see which one you like better.
Here’s another screencast:
Note: It doesn’t make sense to have RocketDock or ObjectDock and the Windows taskbar visible at the same time so it’s best to hide the taskbar. Right click a blank space in ObjectDock, go to the settings tab, select behavior then on the box with check marks select “Hide the Windows Taskbar”, and hit OK.
For Windows XP users, you can try FlyakiteOSX which is a free installation kit that does most of the dirty work for you. I’m not sure it will work with Vista so I cannot vouch for it! Let me know if you get it to work though. :)
Yes, I know it’s a lot of work, isn’t it? Why not just get a Mac if you’re willing to go to all this trouble to make your PC look like one? Well, I actually happen to love how my Vista looks and performs and merely offered this up for those that want the Mac look n’ feel but for whatever reason are stuck with a PC (being in IT, I hold many MacHeads captive to the Windows OS because of corporate policy). Maybe I’ve done this out of guilt for keeping these Apple lovers away from their beloved OS.
How to clean your dirty windows June 1, 2008Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Freeware, Microsoft, Uncategorized.
Tags: autoruns, free tools, Microsoft, vista, Windows
1 comment so far
Ever notice how much faster Microsoft Windows seems to run when it’s fresh new computer or a reinstalled system?
There are many reasons why performance degrades over time, such as defragmentation of the hard drive and a bloated registry but we will focus on a lessor known reason for sluggish windows and how to fix it.
First, let’s explain what the windows operating system is before we reveal what slows it down so much. Windows is not a single program or application but a complex system of processes that run together in a massive symphony of bits and bytes. Want to take a quick peak at this matrix of mahem and mischef? Press your Ctrl-Alt-Del keys and select your task manager, then select processes. You will see dozens of processes going on, even if you have no applications open. This is what keeps windows running.
The Dirt on Dirt
As you know, windows lives on memory so the more RAM it has the better it performs. Thus, the more programs/applications that you run at any given time, the less memory the operating system will have available for all of those necessary processes and threads it needs to run. So, the goal is naturally to only keep those things open that you need, but most of the time that doesn’t seem to make a difference. Why is that? Well, even though you “think” nothing’s running, the chances are high that there are several memory hogging programs running in the background.
The Windows Detectives
The task manager is pathetic when it comes to revealing the whole truth about what’s really going on inside windows behind the scenes. That’s why you will need a few free tools from Microsoft that are incredibly useful when it comes to spying on your system. Best of all, they are all free, small and easy to use!
The first one to get is called AutoRuns , which is the best utility there is when it comes to showing you everything that runs automatically when you start your windows (hence the name). One of the best features is the ability to hide all Microsoft processes that need to run for windows which lets you focus on all of the non-windows processes and programs that runs.
You can then disable or delete them for startup, thus freeing up a great deal of memory which will in turn make windows run much better. Download it here.
Sometimes it’s difficult to tell what a process or thread really is or what owns it.
No need to take dangerous wild guesses thanks to the following two tools.
Process explorer exposes everything you’ll ever need to know about any process that is running in windows. It will reveal which program owns the process and its path and location.
Process Monitor is like the task manager on steroids and more! It’s an advanced windows monitoring system that displays real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.
Final Curtain Call
Obviously, this is merely one simple method for cleaning your windows. There are many other things you can do to improve your performance but cleaning up your startup procedure is an excellent start.