Posts tagged "customization"

It’s been a while, folks! Have been busy mostly with the development of rootwork.co, and zitrr.com websites, and overhauling my own Homepage!

A lot of things have come to a hold to get my Startup running, but my crazy desktop mods will not! :)
Today’s shot shows mostly stock Enigma with a helping of mods to get exactly what I want.

Desktop Screenshot: February 2013

If you view the full-res shot, you’ll notice the CPU/RAM/Swap/Up-Time info overlaying the Taskbar. They’re way more useful than I thought they’d be when I put them up there… I find that with the Chrome+Photoshop/Illustrator+Dreamweaver combo up, 4GB of RAM is really lacking (no surprises there!) The Mac has a decent processor, but I really need to save up and get myself some Vengeance!

Beautiful Wallpaper, don’t you think?

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About a month of using a Mac has finally convinced me of one thing: the iMac is Good. It has impressed me through and through, right from the display quality and build down to the aesthetics. And if you’re wondering if Apple has managed to convert yet another PC user, the answer is a strong no. There are just too many nuances about using OSX that I could not bear with.

Anyhow, we have another desktop, this time a minimal Win7 setup, along with my recent favorite skin for foobar2000, Metro.

Desktop Screenshot: August 2012

The setup is simple, featuring Rainmeter as usual, but also having some additional tricks.

Tools and Skins used:

Work VII
Rainmeter 2.4
Metro

To install Work VII theme:

  1. Get and run Universal Theme Patcher if you don’t have it already!
  2. Patch the system files (this step is necessary to use shell customizations, which almost all themes rely on)
  3. Copy theme files to WindowsResourcesThemes
  4. Open the .theme/.themepack file to install theme
  5. Done!

Feel free to reach me if you run across any issues while setting things up!

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I’ve been using ParanoidAndroid 1.92, a Jelly Bean ROM, as a daily driver on my I9100 for the past week, thanks to CM10 team, and D4rKn3sSyS over at XDA. There have been *almost* no issues so far. I’ve had some people asking how JB is different from ICS, and so I thought it’s time I post about my experience so far.

Android JellyBean Screenshot 1 Android JellyBean Screenshot 2 Android JellyBean Screenshot 3

Given that it is still an experimental build, there might be more improvements in the pipeline, and if that happens, I’ll take the time out to post a second review (or update this one). So anyway, let’s move on to the first impressions.

The performance has been amazing even without the Project Butter implementation! It feels a lot faster than ICS. It has some flashy screen transitions, but on the whole, keeps the ICS look and feel which, in my books, is a win.

Google Now is a whole new ball-game. Now does not even require you to ask for things… All relevant information is all displayed as a stack of cards. In fact, Now is smart enough to know that I don’t need to know about the traffic on my way to work on the weekends.

Google Search now uses Google’s Knowledge Graph implementation. Add Voice Search to that, and we have a winner. With the instantaneous responses, it leaves even Siri biting the dust. Voice Search has a better, faster way of presenting information compared to Siri, though it does lack the functionality to add and edit calendar events and such (one of the new things coming in iOS6’s Siri.)

The revamped Notification Tray is out-of-this-world! We all know it provides the ability to display larger notifications, but there is no way you can imagine the impact of this small enhancement till you see it in action. Entire texts and emails can be read, screenshots and images can be previewed, calls made and ended, directly from the notification.

Offline Dictation is simply brilliant! You could easily type out entire emails using it, but to be on the safe side, it does require proofreading.

The Homescreen has been one of the key features of Android’s UI, and it’s great to see that even such a tried and tested system has got some major usability upgrades. Icons simply move out of the way (if possible), instead of giving the “not enough space” toast, making is infinitely faster to rearrange or customize the layout.

The Camera has seen some interface change as well. Now we can simply swipe left to get into the gallery. Pinch to zoom out of the picture on the screen, and you get into a quasi-film-strip view. Swipe all the way to the right, and you get back to the camera. The camera also shows focus state, so you know what’s going on while shooting photographs.

Things are not rosy all-around though. In my first two days with JB, I charged my phone 4 times—that’s a 12 hour life on an average—and I used to get at least twice that with ICS. After letting the ROM “settle” I have noticed better standby times, but as soon as the screen is on, the charge nosedives; in short, battery life disappoints. Given the functionality and performance, and keeping in mind that it’s only an experimental preview, I must say battery shouldn’t be your top priority. What are extended cells for, anyway! 😀

On the whole, JB is just an incremental update, but I’m quite hopeful about how things are turning out. Maybe with the next Android release (the rumoured Key-Lime Pie), Google will have an answer to Passbook.

PS: It seems that PA1.95 is out! It’s going to be another long night…
If you guys have any thoughts or questions, feel free to leave it in the comments below!

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I’ve been busy with too many things at once, and hence, haven’t done a single thing; as it so often happens… So well, here’s a preview made using a set of wallpapers I’ve been working on..

The desktop previews Rainmeter 2.0 Enigma with a few self-made skins—8 Disk HDD Meter, Word of the Day, Music Preview—which are, needless to say, available on request.

Using an extremely transparent Win7 Theme, it is possible to have a completely different experience every time the wallpaper changes. Hence the effort put into making them. They will be up on deviantart soon…

Here comes the preview!

PS: There’s a set of 24 walls right now.. all in 1440p!

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It’s more of a generic desktop this time around. While Rainmeter is back for the shot, they all close when I turn on Crysis 2! With the game takin up most of my time, I don’t have much left to give to my lappy. As one can see from the post here I’ve done quite an overclock to get the game running smoothly (and no fire yet!)

Well, to get down to the elements of the desktop on display—there’s a whole new Rainmeter 2.0, running some components from Enigma, as well as a few custom scripts to control foobar2000, and a Word of The Day skin; and a beautiful Windows 7 theme, Soft7.

Tools and Skins used:

Rainmeter 2.0
Enigma
Soft7 for Windows 7

PS: Back to Crysis 2 now! I’ve been away from it too long!

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Yeah that’s right… 6300 3DMarks in 3DMark06 on standard settings…

System Config:
Dell XPS M1530
Intel® Core™2 Duo Processor T7250 (2M Cache, 2.00 GHz, 800 MHz FSB)
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 256MB GDDR3 (OC@680/990) 195.62 drivers
3.00 GB RAM / 250GB 5200 rpm HDD
Windows 7 Ultimate Build 7600

Default GDDR3 8600M GT’s Clocks are 475/702 which give a Base Score of ~4200 3DMarks… That is a monstrous 50% increase for an approximate 40% overclock! And the amazing thing is that there’s only about a 4ºC change in peak temperatures… Have a look at the babe…

This babe plays Crysis 2 at a passable 30fps with Advanced Settings@1024×768… Astounding for a 4 year old laptop!

PS: To be a little on the safe side, it would be advisable to overclock to 650/950 or so… That is considering the game crashed with 690/990 clocks in less than a minute…

(edit: 05/05 2011) After loads of gaming—almost done with Crysis 2, played quite a bit of SimCity 4, restarted Unreal Tournament, even took a jab at CS again—I must say, it is completely stable for all ranges of games at 630/940…

I’ve also got a lot of traffic querying for original clocks and best drivers. So here’s a bit of info:
The 8600M GT comes (or rather, came) in 2 variants—one with DDR2, and another with GDDR3. The bandwidth difference makes the Effective Memory Clock at 800Mhz (400×2) for DDR2 and 1404Mhz (702×2) for GDDR3. The rest of the clocks are same.. So here we go:

DDR2GDDR3
Core475475
Shader950950
Memory400702

And as for the best drivers, I have noticed that 195.62 drivers I use here tend to be unstable, and specially so for games like SimCity 4. The latest nVidia Verde drivers—267.76—did fine too. In fact, I have them on right now…

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The last post showed an ultra-cluttered desktop, albeit highly information packed. What I have today is a minimalist desktop—one I adopted a few days back—after having issues with the default Win7 theme in Foobar2k. The screenshot features the FlureVS, and Foobar2k.

So, to get something like this, you’d need the following:
FlureVS
SBD Start Orb
Monolite-plus-mod-v5

and obviously, Foobar2k and Windows 7 😀

I’ve also done some modding besides the stuff I’ve just mentioned, specially in the Foobar2k theme, and little stuff like font sizes, etc in the Win7 theme.

To get the name on the Taskbar:

  1. Create a blank folder having the name you want
  2. Create a toolbar pointing to the folder
  3. Done!

To install the mentioned theme:

  1. Get and run Universal Theme Patcher (you’ll get loads of links, so no worries about that)
  2. Patch the system files (this step is necessary to use shell customizations, which almost all themes rely on)
  3. Copy theme files to WindowsResourcesThemes
  4. Open the .theme/.themepack file to install theme
  5. Done!

To get the clean desktop, either delete/move all the stuff or Right-Click (on desktop) -> Show -> Uncheck Desktop Icons.

Enjoy the minimalist experience.

PS: If you’re reading this, seriously try Foobar2k once. You’ll forget all other MusicPlayers

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That previous desktop customization was pretty basic compared to the one I’m putting up today. I know that one looked better (less cramped,) but this one packs a hell lot more data in the screen. It’s Rainmeter backed up by a set of Gaia walls, and surprisingly, Windows Gadgets!

Some of the info on display:

  • Weather (3 Days forcast, Current Day details)
  • CPU Usage Graph
  • Swap, RAM Usage Graph
  • Network Usage Graph (Download and Upload)
  • CD Art (displayed from iTunes)
  • Sunrise, Sunset times; Moon phase
  • Disk Space (there’s even that nifty li’l Recycle Bin)
  • RSS Feeds
  • Outlook Tasks
  • Wireless Connectivity

Hope you guys like it…

Tools and Skins used:

Rainmeter 1.3 beta
Enigma
HUD Vision
Weather
Arcs
(You’ll get Enigma+Arcs in Rainmeter by default)

Wallpaper:

Gaia 08 Suite

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I’ve always wanted to put up a screen of my desktop. I’ve been modding theme files and customizing it since the WinVista days. And finally, I get myself to do it. Hope you guys like it…

Yes I know it says “variation”, but I haven’t modified Gnometer. I’ve just used it in a different way… The basic idea was to put all the feeds and internet grabbers in one place, and sysinfo in another. And Gnometer comes with a handy toolbar too! And of course, the ever handy Enigma icons for Sunrise/set info, moon phase, etc. Boy, I do LOVE my desktop.

Tools and Skins used:

Rainmeter 1.3 beta
Gnometer
Enigma
Arcs
(Don’t worry. The links are just for reference. The themes come by default in Rainmeter now…)

Wallpaper:

Leaf Cutter Ants

I’ve been using Rainmeter since 0.1x (Feb 2006). It’s been a wonderful journey. I have a series of pics to show, starting from my first desktop, to Enigma and more. And maybe someday I’ll get around to doing it. Till then. Ja ne.

PS: Know what? The day’s finally come! But I don’t have as many pics as I thought… Do check out the desktop evolution post.

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