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Modding the GUI

The Shell

Many other applications support skinning but, in order to get as close to OS X as possible, we are going to have to customise the Windows "shell" - the backbone of the user interface. Hitting the shell is the only way we are going to be able to bespoke the icons, menus, windows and widgets of Windows XP.

What we need is an application that allows us to modify any element of the Windows GUI. What we need is Object Desktop!

Object Desktop is a toolkit for the GUI builder/modder. A suite of powerful applications, OD consists of the following:

  • WindowBlinds: Integrating completely with Windows XP, WindowBlinds gives you total control of the windows, title bars, scrollbars, push buttons, the Start bar, icon text, radio buttons, borders, dialog backgrounds and much more.
  • IconPackager: Customise your icons and cursors/mouse pointers either selectively or all at once.
  • ObjectBar: A program that allows you to create your own custom Start bars, finders, pop-up menus, program launchers, wharfs, docks, etc. It is completely customizable.
  • DesktopX: A revolutionary new program that makes it possible for users to build their own desktops. Use it to create more productive, more useful, more secure or just plain cooler looking desktops. Rather than replacing the Windows shell (Explorer), it extends Windows giving it new object-oriented abilities. Users can easily create their own DesktopX objects or download from the thousands available on the Internet. DesktopX allows users to secure their desktop and access COM objects installed on their system as if they were natively part of the desktop. It brings next generation object technology to your desktop today.
  • WindowFX: Add drop-shadows, transparency, morphing and more to Windows.

There's much more to Object Desktop, but those are the highlights. Better still, compared with the costs involved in hardware modding, Object Desktop is incredibly cheap at just $50 (includes one-year's worth of updates).

So with Object Desktop in place, we're now able to take huge steps towards the perfect OS X clone...

My Computer

Exploring "My Computer" is transformed when the Object Desktop is running...

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer benefits hugely from a makeover...


Which idiot decided that the menu serves us best when it's at the bottom of the screen?

Roll Up

Where the heck's my window gone?

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