Do you hate the looks Windows 10/11 - WindowBlinds might be the solution, look like Mac or anything

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https://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/

If selecting from selecting from a list, or not even in the further downloadable list of readymade skins - there is SkinStudio included as well to dive into any details you want.

I was pretty much done in seconds on Windows 11 so I can not only stand it but really like it. Had no real issues Windows 10, but 11 ikes!!!

You can change many things in Start menu, taskbar and whatnot too.

Probably the best €24 I spent. There is a trial too if so.
License include for 5 machines. No brainer really.

Tip! I missed first time, do apply the selected skin in menu top right and then it all happends. Real fun too experiment over time...

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The only problem is it only fixes it cosmetically. Underneath it’s still Windows, which means randomly shitting itself when you open a new folder, not actually writing files to an external drive despite pretending that it did, the Windows registry…
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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I'm running Classic Shell on WIN 8.1 at the moment. I used WindowsBlinds on my last laptop, running XP, just to make it look better. I liked the docks too. I wonder if my Stardock account is still active ... :?

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jamcat wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 12:31 am The only problem is it only fixes it cosmetically. Underneath it’s still Windows, which means randomly shitting itself when you open a new folder, not actually writing files to an external drive despite pretending that it did, the Windows registry…
You must be living in some parallel universe :roll:
Fernando (FMR)

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or alternatively https://github.com/namazso/SecureUxTheme


Note I have tried it myself, yet, but seen it been praised from time to time....

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Thanks.
It says "SecureUxTheme is a software that removes signature verification of styles from Windows."

Seems not to have any skin editor nor ready made skins to download as I saw with a brief look.

But here is a site with more to pick, some ask €5 or so
https://www.wincustomize.com/

To make a total skin, or master skin as I think they call it, is a hiddeous amount of work.
When I tried Reaper I donated to a guy that did Reaper skins, but it was not fully and all through the program. All these tiny bitmaps for every little part.

I picked the Win8 that was free with WindowBlinds and only am to alter text in caption that has some effect on it with some glow shadows or something. Looks really nice IMO apart from caption text that annoys a bit.

A slider to make entire skin a bit lighter or darker etc. Really smooth, but have to find which properties that affect that text.

In my own software I used VisualStyler for .NET stuff, you only added an object to main form and all the rest of application was nicely skinned, all dialogs, menues and the lot. And they had a skin editor too, but not quite as detailed as I found with WindowBlinds. But that was 10 years ago, I'm retired now.

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fmr wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 1:26 am
jamcat wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 12:31 am The only problem is it only fixes it cosmetically. Underneath it’s still Windows, which means randomly shitting itself when you open a new folder, not actually writing files to an external drive despite pretending that it did, the Windows registry…
You must be living in some parallel universe :roll:
You're seriously telling us you've never tried to open a folder only to have Windows hang and spin, and spin, and spin... until Windows Explorer finally restarts itself? That's a common occurrence. On Windows.

And you've never copied a bunch of files to an external drive, then unplug it without waiting some indeterminate amount of time, only to find the files aren't on the drive when you plug it back in?
This is another common occurrence on Windows.

And please, tell me, in which universe does the Windows registry not exist?
Because I would like to go there!
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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My very minimalistic approach:
No icons cluttering the desktop, the only ones I keep are PC and Recycle bin
A cool wallpaper
A matching color scheme
I keep only the most used apps pinned in the taskbar
TaskbarX installed to make the taskbar fully transparent and keep the icons centered
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Last edited by Dogbert on Wed Feb 08, 2023 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jamcat wrote:
This is another common occurrence on Windows.
Not on my machine for as long as I can remember.

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dellboy wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 2:38 pm
jamcat wrote:
This is another common occurrence on Windows.
Not on my machine for as long as I can remember.
Consider yourself lucky, then.

You are referring to the problem of files not being on an external drive after copying them, correct?

This is related to disk write caching on Windows. Disk write caching is meant to improve system performance by holding data in cache memory before it's written to disk, thus reducing disk I/O.

The default for removable storage is "Quick removal" which is supposed to disable disk write caching. The problem, though, is Quick removal seems to be broken in Windows 10, as it appears disk write caching is still being employed even when Quick removal is the default.

It may not be noticeable when copying a small number of small files, but it definitely becomes an issue when writing large amounts of data at once.

The solution is to use the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" button (despite Microsoft claiming it is not necessary in "Quick removal" mode), but Microsoft has hidden this feature and buried it in the System Tray, and it's no longer available when right-clicking a removable drive.

Granted, on a Mac you always have to eject media. But that is known, and Apple makes it easy to do, and complains when you don't. You're supposed to not have to do it on Windows, and it used to work that way correctly.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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jamcat wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 12:31 amThe only problem is it only fixes it cosmetically. Underneath it’s still Windows, which means randomly shitting itself when you open a new folder, not actually writing files to an external drive despite pretending that it did, the Windows registry…
Maybe in 2003 but it's 2023 and that shit just doesn't happen. In fact, neither of those specific things have ever happenned to me and I can guarantee I spend a more time in front of a computer than you do, as well as using them for far more demanding tasks.
jamcat wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 1:36 pmYou're seriously telling us you've never tried to open a folder only to have Windows hang and spin, and spin, and spin... until Windows Explorer finally restarts itself? That's a common occurrence. On Windows.
No, it is not. As I said, it has never, ever happened to me. On Windows. macOS is a different story - it does that kind of shit quite regularly on any big network. Macs don't seem to like networks much at all.
And you've never copied a bunch of files to an external drive, then unplug it without waiting some indeterminate amount of time, only to find the files aren't on the drive when you plug it back in?
Again, never. Not even once. Agan, however, I have had macOS refuse to release an external drive for ages while it completed its delayed writes. With Windows, I don't allow delayed writes, so I can unplug an external drive as soon as it finishes copying. Safe eject hasn't really been a thing for a very long time.
And please, tell me, in which universe does the Windows registry not exist?
I assume it still exists but it would be a decade or more since I've thought about it, let alone actually looked for it.
jamcat wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 3:09 pmThis is related to disk write caching on Windows. Disk write caching is meant to improve system performance by holding data in cache memory before it's written to disk, thus reducing disk I/O.
Just like macOS does, only macOS throws a tanty if you dare to remove external media without properly ejecting it. Windows just lets you do it if that's what you want.
The problem, though, is Quick removal seems to be broken in Windows 10, as it appears disk write caching is still being employed even when Quick removal is the default.
Definitely not. It's worked perfectly on the last 8 or 9 PCs I've run with Win10 or Win 11.
It may not be noticeable when copying a small number of small files, but it definitely becomes an issue when writing large amounts of data at once.
Again, definitely not. The only time I have had an issue is with dodgy, unbranded microSD cards and that, definitely, was a problem exclusive to those stupidly cheap cards. I learned my lesson with those things years ago.
The solution is to use the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" button (despite Microsoft claiming it is not necessary in "Quick removal" mode), but Microsoft has hidden this feature and buried it in the System Tray, and it's no longer available when right-clicking a removable drive.
Untrue. For a start, it has always been in the Tray but it is also still in the abbreviated right-click menus in Win11, just like it always was. Here it is -
Screenshot 2023-02-09 102843.png

Anyway, I had Windows Blinds on Win98 last Century, it's been around for a long time. Today I use Start11, also from Stardock, to fix Win11's next to useless start. It gives me a lot of options but returning it to the way Win10 works is optimum for me.
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NOVAkILL : Asus RoG Flow Z13, Core i9, 16GB RAM, Win11 | EVO 16 | Studio One | bx_oberhausen, GR-8, JP6K, Union, Hexeract, Olga, TRK-01, SEM, BA-1, Thorn, Prestige, Spire, Legend-HZ, ANA-2, VG Iron 2 | Uno Pro, Rocket.

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BONES wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 3:30 pm
The solution is to use the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" button (despite Microsoft claiming it is not necessary in "Quick removal" mode), but Microsoft has hidden this feature and buried it in the System Tray, and it's no longer available when right-clicking a removable drive.
Untrue. For a start, it has always been in the Tray but it is also still in the abbreviated right-click menus in Win11, just like it always was. Here it is -
Image

That shows up for USB thumb drives only. The Eject option is not present for portable USB hard drives (at least in default Windows 10 settings.) Maybe it never was...?

This is where I run into the problem frequently on Windows 10.


BONES wrote: Wed Feb 08, 2023 3:30 pm Anyway, I had Windows Blinds on Win98 last Century, it's been around for a long time. Today I use Start11, also from Stardock, to fix Win11's next to useless start. It gives me a lot of options but returning it to the way Win10 works is optimum for me.
So you still have complaints about Windows. They're just different complaints! :lol:
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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I always get the "Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media" button visible in the system tray, it's not buried or hidden at all.
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Last edited by Dogbert on Wed Feb 08, 2023 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Yes, it's there. I moved it out of the pop-up tray so I remember to use it.
The point, though, is you used to be able to just unplug a portable HD on Windows without worrying about losing your files. And Microsoft pretends that you still can.

Also, I forgot to mention this one earlier: Windows frequently stops detecting my SATA hot-swap drives when I pop one in after awhile, until I reboot. More of that Microsoft "magic." Windows frequently forgets how to do stuff until you reboot. That's kind of its thing.

Anyways, the biggest problem of all regarding Windows is it is a schizophrenic mess that has no unity in its design, whatsoever. Microsoft keeps inventing new menus to stack on top of old menus.

There's the Start menu when you left click the Start button. But you get the older, more useful menu if you right-click it. But most of the original features found there were displaced to the Settings menu. Then there's the System tray, where all the other stuff you're looking for that you can't find has been stuffed. And then, finally, of course, there is the Taskbar, which they keep moving around.

So the big question really is, does WindowBlinds fix all that?
I may be interested, if it does.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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