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Fun With Your Desktop

  1. Jul 23, 2009 #1
    I am only slightly computer literate and have been looking for easy to use apps for altering one's desktop. The most minor feature I am looking for is one a friend of mine had that would change his desktop picture every time he restarted his computer. More complex alterations I am looking for are additions and changes (even radical ones) to desktop icons, menus, and something that is apparently called a 'dock'. Pretty much something with as much control as possible over the OSs appearance.

    I am running windows vista. I know from playing around that I did back when that '98 allowed for easy alterations to icons and a few other things. I have looked a little bit and so far have not found ways of doing this with vista.

    If anyone knows how to do some of these things without an app that would be welcome too, so long as it doesn't involve alot of writing and changing code at least.

    Multiple smaller apps that only do one or two of these things each would do aswell.

    And preferably apps that are free. I'm not so intent on altering my desktop that I want to blow money on it.

    Mentors: I figured that this would be the best place for this even though it is not a very serious or technical question. Feel free to move it to GD if you think that is appropriate.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2009 #2


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    Hi TheStatutoryApe! :smile:

    If only you had a Mac, you could set up a random screen-saver :wink:
  4. Jul 23, 2009 #3


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    Check out the links from this blog
  5. Jul 23, 2009 #4
    On linux you can make some crazy desktop effects with freely available plug-ins like beryl and compiz
  6. Jul 24, 2009 #5
    You can do it with just a three line batch file that is set to run on startup. I know it works on xp, but I have not tried in on anything else. Before you can use it, you have to have this directory set up for your wallpaper images: c:\wp. The image files must be in bmp format and start with 1 and go up as follows: wp1.bmp, wp2.bmp, wp3.bmp etc... The batch file will randomly select one of the files at startup and copy it to the windows directory with the name wp.bmp. If you have your wallpaper set to that filename you will get a randomly selected image on each boot.

    Code (Text):
    set/a rnd=%random%%%3+1
    set wp=c:\wp\wp%rnd%.bmp
    copy %wp% c:\windows\wp.bmp
    Change the number 3 on the first line to match the number of files you have in the c:\wp directory. This code will not change the wallpaper immediately because it only copies the file. It will take effect the next time you boot.

    You said you were only slightly computer literate so I'm not sure if this will help you. But it is free and you do not have to download or install anything.
  7. Jul 29, 2009 #6


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  8. Jul 31, 2009 #7
    Thank you everyone. Through the link Robphy supplied I found a company called stardock. They have what I think is a free client so I can use their themes and the ones others have made though I can't really make my own. Maybe if I use a free trial for some of their programs I can whip something up during the trial phase.

    The Stardock programs seem fairly user friendly though the free one I have is fairly limited.

    If anyone knows of any other particularly good freeware programs let us know.
  9. Jul 31, 2009 #8
    Are you only going for aesthetics or are you looking for functional ideas? You add all sorts of cool menu options for right clicking on files.
  10. Aug 1, 2009 #9
    A bit of both. I like sleek and simple. Even with only about a dozen icons on my desktop it feels cluttered to me. I was sort of wondering about ways of hiding most of it yet keeping it quick and easy to access. I had never heard of "docks" before and they have peaked my interest.
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