In search of cool user-interface tweaks for XP
December 24, 2013 12:50 AM   Subscribe

Help me pimp my box!

Every time I reformat my laptop, I become obsessed with making XP look as cool and smooth as possible. So far I just use the Royale Noir theme (black), with a fun wallpaper and some interface changes for firefox. Are there any awesome UI themes or tweaks that i'm not aware of? I'm trying to avoid any bloated software such as WindowBlinds. Help me pimp my box!
posted by nurgle to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It might be worth taking a look at some of the less extreme customization apps from Stardock, like Fences and DeskScapes. Then there's Lifehacker's Top 10 Ways to Customize Your Desktop, including things like Rainmeter.

That said, as a security professional, I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend that you ditch Windows XP for Windows 7 or 8.1 (or Mac or Linux). With Microsoft ending support (including security updates) for XP early next year, it will be a sitting duck for malware. (And it's already more susceptible to malware than later versions and alternate OSes.)
posted by maxim0512 at 5:37 AM on December 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I wrote a MetaFilter post last year about computer skinning and UI modifications, though the peak period was years ago. Then again, because you're running WinXP, you could find more tools than someone running Windows 7 or 8.1.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 AM on December 24, 2013

Skinning and UI mods come in (basically) 3 forms: tweaks to the basic OS architecture/ appearance (themes including background, icons, sounds), skinnable apps (music players are the most common, but there are some skinnable calculators!), and add-ons (start bar replacements, app launchers, "embedded" desktop tools, and different shells).

Tweaks are generally pretty harmless (unless you're screwing around in the registry). Some skinnable apps can be a bit bloated, but the worst are the additional skins, like Windowblinds, are system drags, though they also allow for the most system customization, short of alternative shells, which can be a trick to get to work just right, but allow even more customization.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:52 AM on December 24, 2013

maxim0512: Agreed re: XP being susceptible to malware. Unfortunately, I have semi-old 32-bit laptop. I'll replace it as soon as I can afford to, haha.

Filthy light thief: Thanks a million! I'll check out these resources, thank you.
posted by nurgle at 12:23 PM on December 24, 2013

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