Cordelia's Corner for the Complete Newbie: Part 8
Wednesday, January 12, 2005 by Cordelia | Discussion: OS Customization
When I was a child my two brothers and my sister and I would fight over toys. And over the television. And over the last potato chip. And over who was looking at whom and with what level of animosity. In short, we fought over everything. We fought over who was sitting in whose area of the car seat or the couch to such an extent that it would turn physical, and we would press our butts together so hard that if I had had a piece of coal in my back pocket a shining diamond would later have fallen out.
My parents thought they could combat this excessive brawling by giving us everything "the same". It's not a bad theory; if we all have the same things how can we fight?
Fast forward a couple of decades and here I am not just customizing my desktop, but writing articles about it. Well, it's cheaper than therapy anyway.
There are so many things to customize on your desktop I don't know where it will all end. You can customize your cursors! Generally a cursor is defined as the flashing line or block on your computer screen. In customization, we can add that a cursor is also the arrow that shows up when you move your mouse around. Tired of that boring old thing? Follow these simple steps to spice up your cursors, and you, too, can get some cheap therapy.
First, you'll need CursorXP. Download it here. Install it and run the program. It looks like this:
There is a small check box in the bottom left corner that says disable all. If it is checked, then uncheck it so you can use the program.
CursorXP comes with lots of cool cursors for you to try out, and there are plenty more online. I'm going to pick something just a little crazy - not unlike myself. I'm choosing "Gear".
If you are downloading a theme from the WinCustomize Cursor Gallery then you should click on the drop down arrow and choose "Browse" (if you've already downloaded it) or "Download More Themes" to search for more themes on WinCustomize.
The easy thing to do at this point would be to click "Apply" and now you have your great new cursors applied. Yay! But there is much more than that.
You can add special effects, sounds and trails by clicking on the tabs at the top. Again, there is a "Disable All" check box at the bottom of each of these screens so if you want any of these special things then be sure to uncheck that box.
Here is something: There is a "Configure" button in CursorXP near the top. If you click it, then a button at the bottom toggles between "Configure" and "Options". It seems a little confusing at first, but...ok well it is confusing for me. I'm a newb. I can see what it does but figuring out how to explain it is a little harder. I'll give it a whirl:
When you click the top "Configure" button and the bottom button says "Configure" also, as shown here:
Then you are able to change between the "normal" and "clicked" states of the new cursor and set some options for those, like being able to import your own graphics for it, or configuring the animations. That's cool. Way too advanced for me, but just think how I can brag to my siblings about how I added animations or graphics to my cursors. They'll think I'm some sort of computer genius! Unless they read this article and realize that the program will do it for you. Grr.
When you Click on the "Configure" button at the top and the bottom button says "Options" (as you see below) then you have the options of changing the following: Shadow, Transparency, Color, Brightness/Contrast, Size and Preferences.
Each of these is fairly self-explanatory, which makes me happy as I rarely have any idea what I'm doing. For example if you go in an play around with color you can change the color of your new cursor to your liking. There is a little box in the upper left hand corner of each of these sections which says "enable". Uncheck it to disable these options, check it to enable them. Couldn't be simpler. Well...I guess it could be simpler if someone else were actually clicking the mouse for me. It is so hard to find good help these days. Sheesh.
Daily Hint for the Newb: To revert to the standard cursor, check the "Disable All" box on the main screen and click "Apply" and you revert right back to the old cursor!
Tomorrow's Article: BootSkin
Find the grammatical errors in this article and win a free trip to the Moon!!! (Courtesy of my foot)
(Offer not valid for chordates)