New Look

So you may recall that I recently had a run-in with Linux that didn't end so well (in the end, I shed a tear for the wanna be nerd in me and quietly re-intalled Windows XP). The result wasn't so bad in that:

1) It reformatted my drive which means all those pesky troublesome bits that were causing me problems went away;
2) I get to start from a clean slate so all of the programs that I used a few months ago that I no longer have use for but have yet to un-install are gone. *poof*

As the install was completing, I had a thought that I wanted Windows to look different than the typical install that I'm used to using so I did a little research and uncovered a load of great utilities and applications and the final result is pretty spiffy.

This is what the desktop looks like when the computer loads up:

I know what you're thinking: where's the start bar? It's hidden! When you right click on the start bar, there's an option to autohide the bar. Put a check mark next to that baby and voila - the bar will auto hide whenever you move your mouse away from it. I also decided to hide the icons on the desktop to give everything a nice clean look. To do this, right click anywhere on the desktop and from the "Arrange Icons By" sub menu, remove the check mark from "Show Desktop Icons". This will hide any icons on your desktop but worry not - to bring them back just add the check mark by following the same steps.

And yes, for those that might be curious, that desktop image is my own design. I created it late last year and it's not great (mostly because my photoshop skills are limited) but I love the image (though that's not the one I *really* wanted) - will be working on another one when I have some more time.

So how do I access all of my programs? I installed a Nexus Dock which creates a Mac OS type of doc for Windows. It's highly customizable - you can change the size, location, icon set and even the animation of the icons and adding items to the dock is simply a matter of drag and drop. To make it all the better, you can also have the dock auto hide when not in use and the result is the clean appearance above. This is the desktop when the dock is active:

I tried a number of other docks but I liked the functionality of this one the best.

Hubby also helped me figure out how much memory I was eating up with everything I was running and how much I should be running for the PC to perform at its peak. Sadly, my little baby is a few years old and a tad on the slow side. After some diagnosing, I discovered that I can't have Skype running in the background at all times because it consumes too much ram. Same goes for Yahoo! Widgets which I recently discover and quickly had to uninstall due to my wimpy computer; if you have a fast toy, be sure to check out the Widgets though - they're awesome and run on XP!

And there you have it. A spiffy new install of XP which also happens to look pretty nice!


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