Utilities and tools for changing the appearance of the desktop and adding more functionality, with new icons, program launchers and tools to improve windows usage.
RocketDock brings a Mac OS X Dock-style application launcher to Windows for free.
With RocketDock, you can min/maximize apps in one click, tweak icons,, and launch any app. Rocketdoc is fully customisable, so you can make it look however you want. For examples, see image above, and google for rocketdock and select images to see many examples.
On first installation it looks pretty basic, bust its extremely customisable and will run on XP, VIsta and Windows-7 (not tried on 8 yet..) Visit website for download
Q-Dir free Quad window file manager
How often do you get peed off with windows explorer when you have to jump folders and directories to organize your files.
Q-Dir (the Quad Explorer) is the perfect windows file explorer replacement, allowing you to have up to 4 windows that you use to browse, copy and paste with, and do a whole lot more.
You can set the windows to 'most used' directories and drag-n-drop between them. No farting about with directory trees in the left pane and losing your way at times.
This baby can handle any file types and even allows for image previews and icon management and you still have the right-click context menus for quick access to other functions.
You can set different views and icon sizes and tabs in detail views, and add file filters to display results and set layout view as 2,3, or 4 window. This is free and very good at what windows should of been doing this way from XP onwards.. Visit website for download
InfoBar - the customisable desktop status bar
InfoBar is a great tool that once installed puts a status bar on the desktop that holds a wealth of information like cpu speed and usage, ram, disk space, weather, rss and news feeds and lots more.
You can access extras such as calculator, calendar and explorer. There's an ASCII table listing and even a colour coded text editor that also recognizes code such as delphi, php or java.
There is also a host of other optional tools for developers and those who like digging into windows performance issues. Visit website for download
Free - Desktop clock
When we get a little older the eyes are less willing to focus on small things, so the little clock on the bottom bar looses its appeal. Of course there's also Mr costumier who want that's perfect desktop that stands out with its gadgets and eye candy.
In XP and VIsta you have to restart or it will freeze on first attempt to configure it. There is a paid version with more features but the free is good enough to be useful.
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