I've written about the demise of Windows RT on more than one occasion over the course of the last couple of weeks, and in the comments section of both articles, there's mention of Microsoft Bob. Prior to those incidents, it had been a long time since I've seen anyone bring it up. References to Microsoft Bob usually only manifest when talking about forgettable Windows releases, like ME, Vista (pre-SP1), and RT. However, Microsoft Bob wasn't actually a Windows version, it was a patronizing GUI that foreshadowed Windows RT's demise. Never heard of it? Let's take a trip back in time.
"Gosh, I sure wish I could make Firefox look more like Google Chrome," you ask yourself. I'm not going to question your choice of browsers--however you decide to surf the Web is up to you. Nor am I going to point you in the direction of some kind of Google Chrome skin for Firefox. It's not like Chrome and Firefox are that radically different in regards to the look of their buttons and such. Differences exist, but nothing so groundbreaking as to warrant a customized skin for your Firefox browser. Plus, I think it would look lame. Case closed.
Or is it? Google Chrome does have a nice interface as a whole. I'm not talking about its colors or its icons, but its general layout. You do get a little bit more screen real estate to work with over Firefox's available space. Status bar? Gone. Giant bar of tabs? Relocated to the top of the browser. Favorites toolbar? Well, that's still there... but suppose you wanted to alter this, as well as Firefox's other GUI bars, at the touch of a button. You could jam on the F11 key to enable full-screen browsing, but then you lose the rest of your Windows interface in exchange for the extra browser room.
Now is the point in our one-sided conversation where a useful add-on called Hide GUI bars comes in to save the day. I'm not going to belabor the point too much, as I bet you can tell exactly what this extension does by the name itself. As always, I'll get into specifics after the jump!
If you're a true geek, then you love experimenting with and comparing all the different Web browsers on the market today. You might have a default browser of choice for rendering most Web pages, but you still keep a number of other browsers available for their usefulness, their speed, or their compatibility in synchronizing to devices you already own (cough the iPhone cough). It's fun to surf the net in different ways. And, depending on the Web site, you might also need to have other options on hand in case a site fails to work in one rendering engine.
So how, then, do you toggle between these browsers? Sure, you could assign each to your right-click context menu and scroll through the "open with..." choices each time you need to switch to a new app. That's kind of ugly and tedious, don't you think? A fun little application called Browser Chooser improves this process by giving you a pretty little GUI for selecting your browser of choice whenever you want to pull up a page. It's a lightweight utility that's as easy to configure as it is to use, giving you the flexibility to pull up a number of different rendering engines at the touch of a button.
The recent announcement of Skype turning quote-unquote open source has me twirling a finger with delicious glee. It's not that I dislike Skype. And it's not that I'm about to get into one of my 1,500-word debates on the differences between the definition of "free" and "open-source," I promise. This is nevertheless an important premise of Skype's entire move, as some Internet commenters are crying foul that Skype is only half-opening its popular application to the crowd. The GUI code will be yours to play with as you please. The underlying Skype protocol... nope!
To them I say: Duh.
I don't want to put words where they don't exist, but I'm willing to bet that Skype's sudden shift toward open-source waters has more to do with applying a giant, universal band-aid to staggered Linux development. It's not quite an altruistic gift to the community so much as it is a package and a bow with the phrase, "you fix it" written on the label. And that's fine. Let the community create the functional GUIs for Skype. It would be suicide for the company to release its heavily encrypted voice protocols for common use.
Do you have fond memories of Window's 3.1's retro graphics? Do you remember the wonder you felt the first time you used thetaskbar?Well we do, and that's why we're using Windows 7 Week as an excuse to take a moment for a quick, visual tour of Windows’ constantly-changing GUI. From 1.01 to Windows 7, we’ll show you how the operating system has gradually evolved from an ugly duckling to snazzy, Aero-powered swan.
Read on, and bask in the warm glow of Windows nostalgia.
The days of ugly Linux desktops are a thing of the past. Modern distros include many tools and options that enable them to look good and be more useful.
Unlike Windows, Linux has several different widget toolkits. The most well-known widget engines are GTK+, (distributed with GNOME) and QT. (pronounced “cute”) Widgets are the various elements which make up a program's GUI: scrollbars, arrows, checkboxes, etc. However, take note that QT or GTK widgets are not the same thing as desktop widgets.
Widgets and other things like window chrome (the toolbars, panels, etc. of a programs interface) and window decoration (the window's title bar, minimize/maximize/close buttons, and the window border) are the various elements that, when joined together, create a theme for QT or GTK. It is possible to modify the various themes in Linux to change how they look or even create your own. This article will address the various resources that are out there to help make your desktop look its best and help you get the most out of it.
Fragmentation forces the drive head to jump all over the place to find the bits and pieces of files whenever you access them. Defragmentation, then, is the means by which these files are realigned into contiguous chunks. Windows Vista does this automatically, only the slow speed at which it defrags makes us wonder: Is the time spent worth the supposed performance payoff? And do third-party defragmenters, free or otherwise, do a better job? Should you spend money on third-party defrag tools? Our extensive experiments put commercial utilities (and Vista's built-in solution) to the test!