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Found 2 gems to make XP look better than Vista

By tipstir ยท 51 replies
Aug 12, 2008
  1. Well as you all know by now about Black Royal Noir for XP, but I found two other gems found today well I knew about Rocket Dock but the others two are very neat!.

    ClockX - set the clock to Nxxx.png

    Click to Maximize

    RocketDock -

    One cool looking background can be found here and use Firefox 3.01 to set it as your background.

    Click to Maximize


    Let know how low system resources are with these above: Even on 10 year old Laptop running Windows XP Pro SP2 on Toshiba Tecra 8000, Intel PII 266MHz with L2 Cache 512KB and 256MB SDRAM, 256-bit Video with 2.5MB of RAM with 40GB HDD. I've taken the laptop a part and made it into something I can use it's now 10 years old made in 1998, but still goes strong. Runs Firefox 3.01, Sunbird, ThunderBird and OpenOffice 2.4.

    I'll be posting youtube video to show of what the final looks like...
  2. tw0rld

    tw0rld TS Maniac Posts: 572   +6

  3. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    Looks good I know about that site, but there graphics use too much system resources, can bog down the system. Still thanks for posting..

    Make XP Now Looks Like This..
    Click to Maximize

    1. Download the background using Firefox right click image then- Save Link as...
    2. Download/Install/Run ClocX
    3. Download/Install/Run RocketDock

    Rocket dock is easy to configure as all your icons on your desktop can be drag to the Rocket dock you see above. I also had dragged them to Quicklinks next to the Start button. I only kept what I needed to use daily in the Rocket Dock above. When you scroll through them you'll see your icon get big and displays the text of the item. This can be mounted to the bottom and left to right. Make sure you use the Rocket Dock control Panel to turn on the extra features like when you min window it will not go to the task bar it will go to Rocket Dock instead. This is an option though.

    Again what you see doesn't hose, hog or waste system resources, as I can run it on old laptop with Intel PII 266MHz with only 256MB RAM. Looks the same as you see it above as I also run i on AMD x64 also can be done on Windows Server 2003, I just use a different background.


    Windows Server 2003 - New Look for 2008
    Click to Maximize

    Windows XP Pro with MAC OS X Leopard 3D
    Click to Maximize

    This doesn't have the ClocX program as Rocket Dock has it's own Clock shown above in the MAC OS X Leopard 3D Skin for Rocket Dock.Does look cool with the icons in 3D. Image captured in 16x9 Widescreen.. Note: If you prefer there is a Vista Black one that uses Transparent over the background that really looks very good.

    Enjoy ...

    PS For the backgrounds you can go here: www.fantom-xp.com (word of warning on that site don't click on the random images on the upper right hand corner) just stick with the ones in the middle of the screen) Now with the ones in the middle just double click then click on the one you want, then right click and use Firefox to download the image with the save image as or Set As Desktop Background... Your done enjoy!

    To make XP Pro, Server 2003 and Media Center 2005 look like the above you'll need to get Royal Noir found here:

    This will give you the back look in the task bar and menus. I use Firefox Add-on called Black NASA to really make things look cool in black. Microsoft Office 2007 with Outlook 2007 also has Black Skin Style feature.
  4. fullmetalvegan

    fullmetalvegan TS Enthusiast Posts: 123

    I still think Vista looks better. =P

    I hate that Mac shortcut stuff too, it's so tacky looking. I also prefer having the least icons I can on my desktop area, having that many is so unneccesary for me. Everything I need automatically starts up with Windows, wlm, etc... Games are all located in the games browser... and I only need Firefox/Thunderbird in my taskbar really. Anything else is something I don't use very often and so don't need a shortcut to it, clicking twice to get it really doesn't bother me.

    I'm not that worried over saving five seconds of my life.
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    Vista okay if you have the system to run it though a lot of system can only load XP, you can make XP look likeVista but some drawbacks doing so. But Rocket Dock can be adjusted to anything you want size an etc, just go and get it from them.ClocX is cool also to use. I am not a MAC guy so I more Windows OS guy, but the idea of having that animated icon station looks great! Everyone going to say yeah an nah to new things. I use Rocket Dock with Quick Launch can't fit everything on the both though. Really don't like see all those icons on the desktop like some user have the entire desktop screen full with icons uses a lot of system resource and makes the OS take longer to load up those icons. Worst if you have a folder or large zip on the desktop make is really slow.

    Rocket Dock Diamond Plated
    Rocket Dock add-on called Task Tacks
    Click to Maximize

    Have fun!

    Found here

    150 skins for the ClocX
    I've gone back tot he ClocX the one is Rocket Dock is too small.. But here I found 150 skins for the Clocx:


  6. waterproof

    waterproof TS Booster Posts: 207

    I'd rather stick to Windowblinds, excellent lil program.
  7. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    Windowsblinds okay I've use it.. But all this stuff above is freeware just have to install the ClocX and Rocket Doc those are the only two that get install and they're small apps. Windowsblinds lot more too it. ClocX v1.5b2 full one has all the skins. You can resize the clock make it transparent. The Rocket Dock is easy to use and works. Just not static icons they animate.

    Click to Maximize
  8. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    could you share or link the bg picture, please?
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

  10. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    thanks for the pic. too sad its not available for widescreen
  11. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    What size do you want? I use wide screen?
  12. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    its 1024x768 there and I would like it to be 1280x800. stretched doesn't look too good
  13. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    High end graphic program might be able to work, I'll give it a shot and see if goes. I got 1440x900 and 1280x1024.
  14. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    ok great. let me know if you could change the resolution.
    uh, you got 1440x900 and 1280x1024 on your screens or did you already modify the pic?
  15. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    1440x900 is wide-screen 19" LCD
    1280x1024 is normal screen 19" LCD

    I've re-sized the image to 1280x1024 it looks like this now:

    I think you wanted 1280x800

    You should be able to download the image. If you have problems let me know?
  16. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    thanks for your work. thats what i get if I use the 1024x768 in stretched position on my 1280x800.
    I was more curious if there is a real widescreen version or if it can be converted or re-made.
    with the stretched one the smilie heads dont look good - well stretched, you know.
  17. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    One way I could do this was to remove the faces then resize the background to what you need then re-apply the faces to the new background leaving the faces as the orignal not stretched.
  18. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    yeah, maybe I will just enlarge the picture and then cut 1280x800 out of it - would be like zooming it.
  19. tw0rld

    tw0rld TS Maniac Posts: 572   +6

    My Win Xp Look.

    Click to Maximize

    Clean Is how I like it. No icons cluttering the desktop, it is just pleasing to the eyes.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,529   +2,316

    I can rework the "Smilie' file for 1440 X 900, with no stretching.
  21. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    Go right ahead... Adobe Photoshop can do this some others too, but you need remove the background layer and take out the faces which should be on a transparent background. It's easy to create a new background. I just upgraded my video card that I use on video and graphic editing on my video production system. Old video graphics card was going fast..

    Still got to icons on the main desktop, but background looks cool. The point here was to use docker and don't have any icons on the background.
  22. tw0rld

    tw0rld TS Maniac Posts: 572   +6

    • I chose to have these two icons remain as they are handy. The only two that is needed, even though at times I may decide to hide the recycle bin(when I used rocketdock, as it has an alternate icon for the recycle bin). I once used Rocketdock as my docker. As a matter of fact I used a bunch of stuff:
    • I had a vista sidebar installed
    • I use y'z shadow for menu transparency
    • transbar for taskbar transparency
    • True Transparency for transparent windows border.
    • I also had Vista inspirat.
    • More recently though I have resored to replacing the windows Uxtheme.dll file for another that is skinnable, which gives me the ability to use third party VS.
    • I've also changed my login screen(will post a picture if you are interested in seeing, but for now I am off to work).
  23. tw0rld

    tw0rld TS Maniac Posts: 572   +6

    This is what my Desktop looked like a few moths ago:

    Click to Maximize
  24. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Topic Starter Posts: 2,425   +112

    I disable the system restore, offline files, trash bin and hibernation, since these waste HDD space. Trash bin is removed. Copy is replaced by teracopy (freeware) copy program that uses 256KB of your ram as copy buffer. I use rocket dock and quicklaunch (as a backup) to what's in rocket dock. Icons on the desktop uses system restores and makes loading the desktop slower. Plus the rocket dock looks better. The ClockX is add bonus makes XP looks like Vista objects.

    What you have shown I had something like the prior, but what now available works smoother.
  25. momsgonelooney

    momsgonelooney TS Rookie Posts: 124

    question about rocket dock..i draged my icons from the desk top to rd but, they r still on the desktop also...how do i get them only in the rd?
    and how do i disable my windows clock? forget it i fixed it all myself..thanks for the toys..lol
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