Monday, June 03, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
I wrote a similar article to this years ago, but ObjectDock has had several updates since then, so I created a new one to help with questions on how to change the background theme. ObjectDock has become a favorite app among Windows users over the years as it’s a great app for organizing your desktop icons, shortcuts, etc. To see more of what ObjectDock can do and how you can configure it, be sure to check out my article.
ObjectDock not only offers the great features listed above, it's also customizable. There are thousands of icons and background themes available to download from WinCustomize.com. Many of them are made to match popular WindowBlinds skins, so you can have matching components on your desktop. There are all styles and colors available, and once you download them they can be added to your ObjectDock collection very easily.
Adding a New Background Theme
If you downloaded a new background theme, we’ll start with how to add it to the existing ObjectDock collection. Most of the backgrounds will come in a ".zip" format, so the first thing to do is unzip them into a folder of their own.
Next, move that folder to the ObjectDock "Backgrounds" folder, and they are now added to the background selector.
TIP! The ObjectDock theme folder will typically be located here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Stardock\ObjectDock\Backgrounds
Changing the Background Theme
Whether you want to change to one of the included backgrounds, or one you added yourself, you can do that with the Background chooser in the ObjectDock configuration.
You can access the settings through the ObjectDock tray icon, right-clicking a dock (select settings), OR via a shortcut on the dock itself.
See the screenshot below:
Click "Style/Color" > "Change Theme". That will bring up the Background chooser and from there, simply select the background you want to use.
TIP! The process is the same for tabbed AND animated docks.
Thursday, June 06, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Press Releases (WC)
Today we released the WindowBlinds 8 beta (v7.95) featuring an all-new user interface, Windows® 8 / 7 support and performance enhancements.
Skin the Windows desktop interface with a unique look using WindowBlinds from Stardock. Customize the look and feel of your start panel, taskbar, window frames, control buttons and more.
- Apply skins to your desktop
- Add backgrounds, textures and colors to skins
- Customize title bars and buttons
- Choose your own skin fonts
- Choose from thousands of FREE skins at WinCustomize.com
- Windows 8/7 support
- And more!
To learn more or download the WindowBlinds 8 beta visit: http://tinyurl.com/mxgh92u
Object Desktop subscribers can visit their Stardock account to download the latest beta update now!
Note: WindowBlinds 8 beta supports Windows 7 and 8 only.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
ObjectDock 2.1 is now available, and it has been one of my personal favorite apps for a long time. I like to keep a more minimal and organized desktop, which can become difficult--considering the wide variety of projects I have going on at any given time.
That said, I would like to share several setups using ObjectDock that will give you some help organizing your desktop.
Use the "Tabbed Docks" feature
If I had to pick my favorite feature from ObjectDock, it would be the tabbed docks. This will help you with getting an organized desktop quickly/easily, and that’s why I’m talking about it first. I like to have tons of shortcuts on my desktop, but also want to get to them quickly. The best solution for me is to create several tabs with different app categories in one dock, then place my shortcuts into the desired tabs.
The image above shows an example of a tabbed dock I have on my desktop. I have more categories to add, but for now I am featuring the ones I use the most. The "Office" tab has the Microsoft Office shortcuts I use the most – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Publisher. I've done the same with my "Adobe" tab which holds the various Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and Lightroom. You can configure the tabbed docks in a way that works perfect for YOU. This is also a great way to keep your favorite game shortcuts handy as well.
If you really want a clean desktop, you can replace the Windows taskbar AND desktop icons with ObjectDock dock. There's an option on the configuration screen that allows you to hide the Windows taskbar, so your custom dock is the only one showing on your desktop. You can configure your dock to display the system tray and running tasks, too.
You can also add a start button to your dock.
If you are on Windows 7, the start button will bring up your normal start menu.
If you are on Windows 8, the start button will take you to the Win8 start screen. However, if you have Start8 installed, it will bring up the Start8 start menu. (If you don't have Start8, you should get it here)
Use Multiple Docks
You don’t have to limit yourself to one dock. ObjectDock allows you have multiple docks on your desktop. Use one for shortcuts to websites, and have another with flyout menus for your documents folder.
ObjectDock is easy to setup and configure for what you need. Create docks, move them around to different locations, try different setups. It’s a very useful tool for desktop productivity and organization!
Learn more about ObjectDock here.
Thursday, May 23, 2013 by Frogboy | Discussion: OS Customization
As a tablet OS, Windows 8 is pretty decent. I don’t have a problem with the Start screen in theory. But I spend 8+ hours a day in front of a PC doing real work and that means using a desktop OS.
Windows 8 includes the desktop but it relegates that to being a program you run from the Start screen. What we really want is to get the good stuff in Windows 8 (faster performance, new Modern app support, etc.) without the negatives. That’s where Object Desktop comes in!
So with Object Desktop, the beta of WindowBlinds 8 is now available which brings back “Aero glass” to Windows 8 users on the desktop. Plus with ModernMix, Start8, Fences and the other goodies you can have the best of both worlds.
Here’s the UI of WindowBlinds 8:
We include some “skins” that are timeless favorites plus a few that represent what we thought (hoped) the Windows 8 UI might have been like to choose from. Plus there are thousands of skins available at WinCustomize.com.
If you want to get our whole package, you can get Object Desktop at www.objectdesktop.com. When you buy it you also get a 1-year subscription to ObjectDesktop.net which gives you access to everything new we add for a subsequent year (Object Desktop is always improving and changing as the needs of PC users change).
Monday, May 20, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Press Releases (WC)
Today we updated your Object Desktop subscription with the WindowBlinds 7.90 beta. Featuring Windows® 8 / 7 support, an all-new user interface and performance enhancements.
Current Object Desktop subscribers
Visit your Stardock account now to download the beta and you will also have free access to the final release version in the near future.
Note: WindowBlinds 7.90 beta supports Windows 7 and 8 only.
Info about upgrades for current WindowBlinds (non-Object Desktop) customers will be available at a later date.
Friday, May 10, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
Stardock's Brad Wardell is on the latest podcast from Geeks with Wives. Wide range of topics are discussed from gaming to comics, and it’s a great podcast to listen to.
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
Start8 has shown to be very popular with Windows 8 users looking to get the Windows 8 start men and button back on their desktop.
Not only does Start8 give you back the Start menu, it also gives you the ability to boot directly to the desktop, and other features like disabling desktop hot corners. Another cool feature that sometimes isn’t mentioned is the ability to customize Start8 to look and feel how you want it to.
One of the easiest ways is to customize the start button to one of several that are included, or download more content from WinCustomize.com. There are many user-created buttons that can be added to Start8 in a variety of colors and styles.
Some examples of downloadable start buttons:
Changing the start button is easy. Just open the Start8 configuration, select the ‘Style’ section and either select one of the two default images, or pick the custom image button to select additional button.
Now you can have a bit of a personal touch on your Windows 8 desktop, and all the benefits of a functional start menu.
Getting started with Stardock’s ModernMix
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
ModernMixTM from Stardock is the latest app to help you take control of Windows 8 and have it work the way you want and are familiar with. Windows 8 has a new start screen, once called Metro, that’s home to Modern apps for Windows 8 such as Mail, Calendar, etc. There are thousands more of these Modern applications that can be downloaded from the Windows Store, and many of them are very useful and great to have.
The problem is these apps run full screen, and for many apps that’s just a bit of overkill. With it being more common that people use dual monitors, or very large monitors, having one app run full screen wastes a lot of space. Do you need the weather app to run full screen? Windows 8 limits you with this, but ModernMix lets you run these applications in windows just like the apps you are typically familiar with.
ModernMix is easy to use and setup. Download the fully-functional free trial or the full version for only $4.99.
Once installed you can get started with ModernMix right away. Your once full screen Modern apps are now in windows on your desktop. You can use F10 as a hotkey to switch between modes. It’s really as simple as that, but if you want to configure it a bit further you can certainly do that in the configuration screen.
In the configuration screen, you can dig into the settings and specify how Windows 8 Modern apps open when launched from the Windows 8 Start Menu or from the Windows desktop. ModernMix also places a control overlay in the top right corner to switch modes, and that can also be enabled/disabled here.
ModernMix remembers the last state of your application, but you can also change this per app in the setting, along with other more advanced settings.
ModernMix is quite easy to setup and use, and once you start using it you’ll see all the advantages of having these Modern apps right on your desktop.
Improve your Windows 8 experience more by returning the start menu with Start8™.
Get the ModernMix and Start8 bundle now for only $7.99.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
Yes, the start menu and start button is gone in Windows 8. No worries though, as there is a quick and inexpensive way to get that functionality back plus many other additional features. Start8 brings back the Windows 8 start menu, and gives you several ways to customize it so you can make Windows 8 look and feel the way you want it to.
Features and advantages of using Start8:
- Customizable Start Menu for Windows 8
- Start button which can be skinned with other button images
- Boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
- Pin Modern (Metro) and desktop apps
- Jump List support
- One click access to shutdown, documents, music, etc.
Pick a Windows 7 or Windows 8 Style start menu.
Choose what kind of Start menu button you want. You can also easily make your own, or download many available at WinCustomize.
Configure and Control the way Start8 works. Set the start button to open the start menu, or set it to open the Windows 8 modern start screen. You can make it function how you want it to work.
Now you can have Windows 8 setup for the way you work, and have a great looking and functional desktop for your home or work environment.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News
Each year we send out a customer survey which many of you probably participated in, which asks our customers a variety of questions and gives us a look at our customer base and gives you a chance to give feedback that we can work with. We take this data and look at it very carefully, and put together the results and share it with our community.
Stardock’s President and CEO Brad Wardell presents the Customer Report and talks about where Stardock started, what we’ve been doing, and where we are going in the future.
The full report can be read and downloaded here: http://www.stardock.com/press/CustomerReports/Stardock2012.pdf