Over the past few months, several people has posted some dark themes for Visual Studio, most notably Rob Conery, Scott Hanselman and Jeff Atwood. There’s even a community on Ning now for VS theme settings. There’s a lot to be said for working light on dark rather than the other way around, so why not try setting up Windows that way too?
Standard Vista and Aero themes don’t really support this inversion of colour, but the windows classic theme does. Once you’ve switched your desktop theme to Windows Classic you can switch settings for menu bars, standard text, hyperlinks and so on. Indeed, you’ve been able to do so since Windows 3.1/95.
BUT - and it’s quite a large but - no matter what settings you give your theme, the applications you run simply do not behave consistently under theming. Indeed, it’s apparent that there are some display settings that you simply cannot access from the control panel. Let’s take an example. I’ve created two custom windows themes with the same settings with one derived from the Windows Classic theme and the other from the High Contrast theme. (You can download them here to try this out yourself.)
Since the three days of pain in going quad, I've rather enjoyed using Vista x64 thus far. UAC hasn't been as much of a pain as it might and HP even had drivers for my old Deskjet. But beyond my initial impressions, there are definitely a few more 64bit switch issues that aren't going to go away.
- There's no flash player plug-in for any 64 bit browser. And no sign of Adobe writing one soon either. YouTube is now but a copy hyperlink, open IE x86, paste and watch away. Joy. At least SlickRun makes this slightly bearable.
- OneNote 2007 installs a 'send to onenote' button in IE x86, but not in IE x64.
- Microsoft File Transfer manager will not install in IE x64
- Ultramon doesn't work very well in Vista. In Vista x64, it also BSoDs from time to time after waking from sleep.
Ultramon I understand, but Microsoft and Adobe? Sheesh.
Five days in with life on Vista x64 after the hardships of going quad and I'm trying to get used to working the Vista way but a few things are jarring.
- Media Player plugins don't work on x64. My last.fm account will remain static now.
- I really dislike the vista start menu, but can't not use the search function on it. Its the only way I've found of getting to it. To wit, everything I use is now run through SlickRun. Thank heavens for that.
- I'm a developer. I don't need a Saved Games folder that I can't delete. Could I please lose it? Can I just move c:\users\dan to d:\dan and leave it at that.
- Windows Explorer for Vista will definitely annoy me. For some reason, the menu bar is stuck on no matter how many times I tell it to go away. I'd really like the shortcuts to my user folder and the public folder to go away as well, but will they? Oh no. And will Explorer remember the view I told it to remember for any folder I want to view? Nope. It's oh so tempting to look at alternate file explorers. Fancy multi-sized icons I can do without.
- How do you get programs other than those installed with Windows into the default programs control panel then?
- Anti-virus for Vista x64. Either inadequate or not written yet.
- FIrewall for Vista x64. You can switch on outbound rules and then curse as you write every single outbound rule manually and - inevitably - forget a few. Or wait for agnitum to finish outpost.
- UAC - annoying so far only in that because I didn't write anything to my external hard drive from my standard user account before installing Vista over XP, I need to elevate permissions every time I want to do something with the files on it.
The transition between Windows 98 and 2000, 2000 and XP & XP and Vista always have these quirks but the hardest thing as ever is to accept that you can't retrain the new O\S to act like the old one. I think Chris tried for a few weeks to get XP working like 2000 and I fear the attempt was in vain. The blogosphere is much larger now than it was 2001 when XP was launched so all the answers to my questions will be there somewhere if I can be arsed to find them. Can anyone recommend me a good book on power-using Vista instead?