Chapter 2. The User Interface

Hacks 8-20

The Windows XP makeover was the biggest change Microsoft made to the Windows interface since it moved from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. Rounded-edge windows, large, cartoonlike icons, and a completely redesigned Control Panel are just a few of the most obvious changes. It’s not merely the way XP looks that has been changed, but how it works as well. It is based on a more stable kernel and finally gets rid of its DOS-based heritage.

But let’s face it: XP’s interface isn’t perfect. As shipped, its cartoonish user-friendliness might help newbies, but it can frustrate power users. XP’s graphical user interface (GUI) need not be one-size-fits-all, though. Under the hood, you can make countless changes to the way it looks and functions. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to hack your way to a better GUI—one that reflects your own preferences, not the market-driven designs of Microsoft engineers. You’ll even learn how to make your PC work like a Mac and run Linux, without actually having to install either operating system.

Customize the GUI with Tweak UI

Want to bend XP’s interface to your will without getting your hands into the Registry or having to excavate through menus three levels deep? Then get this supremely useful freebie from Microsoft and create your own customized version of XP.

There are countless ways to customize XP’s interface, including Registry hacks and menus and options hidden four layers deep. But if you’re the kind of person ...

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