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Date: November 24th, 2003
Article by: Roger (Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: StarDock
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PRODUCT FEATURES & WALKTHROUGH (cont'd)


From the windowblinds.net website:


"WindowBlinds supports a feature called "Hyperpaint". This is different from "Smart Paint". Hyperpaint uses the extra video RAM on your video card to "buffer" your windows which makes moving them on screen possible without any repainting."


WindowBlinds is a fantastic little application with a lot of power. For those us who detest the stock look of Windows, this is a gift from the nerd-gods. It can transform your desktop in an instant, and improve your system's performance as well (if you are already using visual styles).



Next up, let's talk about Icon Packager. This little application actually packs quite the wallop. It works very well with WB, in that you can save all of your icons within a file to be used or distributed with a specific theme. Unlike apps like Plus! 98, Icon Packager has the ability to change every icon on your system. There are no restrictions.


Creating an icon package is as simple as selecting "Save As…" from within the application.



The ControlCenter can be a very useful application. It allows you to create virtual desktops, monitor resources, launch programs as well as do many other things. Virtual desktops are a fantastic way of switching between workloads, especially in an office environment (although home users will be able to appreciate the flexibility of separating internet and office applications, as an example).


ControlCenter can dock on the edge of your screen, and pop out whenever you mouseover it. Think of it like a taskbar.


Personally, I found it to be an intrusion, and did not like the way the virtual desktops had to be arranged. I can see the potential, however feel the component still needs work.


 


Let's move on to WindowFX2 2. Upon starting this component, you are presented with this screen. From here, you have quite a few options for customizing your Windows environment.


We'll start off with the first choice, which happens to be "Desktop Icons".



From here, you can set the text background transparent (especially useful in Windows 98/ME/2000), or enable various advanced options. Among these options, you can make the icons semi-transparent, add shadows, hide the text (I love this option), as well as use 48 X 48 pixel icons (although this feature only works in XP).



Here you can see the result of my previous choices. The only downside is the lack of text for folders which you have on your desktop. You'll want to make certain to choose an appropriate icon for each, or you'll be spending your time hovering over each to see what they are.

 

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