When Teams lacks a feature, Groupy steps up to deliver
Tuesday, January 25, 2022 by BradSams | Discussion: Stardock Blog
Microsoft’s Teams application is one of - if not the most - widely used chat applications by corporations both big and small. With hundreds of millions of daily users, Teams has cemented itself as a cornerstone of corporate communication, but it’s far from perfect.
Aside from missing features like being able to import third-party calendars or the ability to change the default download location, if you have to use multiple tenants, it can be a serious challenge to work in both environments. The reason for this is that, on the desktop, Microsoft’s app does not support fast account switching; if you want to access a different tenant, you must log out and re-authenticate to switch tenants.
I jump frequently between two tenants which was the reason for writing this post. Seeing as Microsoft makes this task a challenge, there are a number of workarounds that make the process a bit more palatable.
One such way is to have multiple web versions of Teams open in an incognito window of your preferred browser and assign each window as a tenant. But the problem with this is that you need a new instance of the browser for each tenant, which isn’t that big of a problem with two tenants - but add three or four and the process becomes messy.
There is a solution that makes the process of tenant-jumping much easier: Groupy. Using Groupy, you can create a tabbed layout of all your tenants, making it significantly easier to jump between instances of the chat application. In the picture above, you can see my two tenants sitting happily side-by-side, making it easy for me to hop between the two.
Groupy makes it possible for you to add tabs to any application in Windows. One of the most popular ways to use the application is with File Explorer, but I have found grouping similar apps - like communication and productivity apps - works well for my workflow.
I fully expect Microsoft to eventually enable an optimized desktop experience to jump between tenants for Teams. But considering that the app was released in 2017 and five years later we still don’t have many basic features, you could be waiting a long time for a feature like this to arrive.
Monday, December 27, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News
I've been a member of WinCustomize since about 2003. I mostly lurked the forums and downloaded skins for a while, and then started to participate in a community which I viewed as awesome (and still is). I really enjoyed downloading all the various skins and watching how the community worked. It was all just fun and that got me inspired to start creating some things, which just furthered my enjoyment of the site and community.
After a few years I was asked to be a mod and eventually that led to a job offer from Brad which I have happily been at for over 15 years. I've been a part of so many great projects on both the software and games side, I probably couldn't remember them all. I do know they all involved a bunch of great people of whom I've made long-time friends with. The same can be said for the WinCustomize community. I've made a ton of friendships with so many in the community and have even met some in-person. I can go on and on, but the short version is WinCustomize has a fantastic community made up of great people, and I'm happy that I have been a part of that for so long.
So why am I leaving? Well, a dream that I've had since high school was to be in law enforcement. I won't age myself too much, but I'm at the point where I'm still young enough to pursue something and it was time for a change. So, I took a chance and applied, and after nearly a year of recruiting I have accepted a position with a Sheriff's Office here in Florida. I'm sad to be leaving Stardock, but excited for what the next adventure will bring. I will still be part of the community, and you'll definitely see me around the forums.
Thanks for being an awesome community!
Saturday, December 18, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News
It's been quite a while since we've mentioned promotions here in the forums, though a few people have been quietly promoted over the years. As some of you may know (more on this in another post soon), this will be my last month at WinCustomize so I wanted to get a few members promoted to Journeyman. These members deserve recognition for their time to create and upload skins and themes here, and for their contributions to the forums and community.
Let's say a big congrats to the following members:
We appreciate your contributions to the site!
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News
Christmas is approaching fast, and I hope you are looking forward to a fun and festive holiday season! Animated wallpapers for DeskScapes is a fantastic way to add some holiday decoration to your desktop. Whether it's Christmas trees, Holiday lights, or a beautiful winter scene, we have a variety of wallpapers for you to check out.
Here are some of our favorite holiday animated wallpapers!
Thursday, December 9, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News
Stardock Releases Fences 4 with Peek,
Support for Windows 10 and 11
Get it Now
Stardock released Fences 4, an app that allows users to automatically organize shortcuts and icons on their PC desktops into custom-sized spaces called fences. Building upon previous versions of Fences that are used by millions of users of Microsoft Windows®, Fences 4 introduces new features that will streamline workflows while keeping desktops organized.
New in Fences 4 is Peek, a feature that lets users instantly view their fences by pressing Windows key + space, making accessing content significantly faster. For example, while working in a program like Adobe’s Premiere or Photoshop, users can bring a folder portal filled with their source footage and images to the surface of their desktop by pressing the configurable hotkey. This eliminates the need to minimize the application and go searching for the required asset in File Explorer.
Also new in Fences 4 is the Desktop Display feature. The Windows key + D hotkey can be configured to be either toggle or press-and-hold to streamline your workflow for accessing content on your desktop.
"Fences 4 is designed to deliver a modern desktop experience," said Brad Sams, Vice President and General Manager of Stardock Software. "Fences is the best way to organize your desktop, and the new “Peek” feature makes it possible to access all of your Fences content at any time and within any application. Your workflow will never be the same.”
Along with its new features, Fences 4 has been optimized so that it loads before the desktop when a PC is booted up, making it not only more functional, but also more performant.
The Chinese Rover is set to investigate
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 by Tatiora | Discussion: Life, the Universe and Everything
A cube-shaped object has been spotted by scientists working on China's Chang'e 4 mission on the far side of the Moon. Pictured below, you can see the object standing out against the blackness of space, practically begging in the Yutu 2 rover to come over and examine it.
While the object is probably something like a displaced boulder, scientists want to complete their due diligence and fully intend to send the Yutu 2 over to investigate. Our Space, a Chinese language science outreach channel affiliated with the China National Space Administration (CNSA), described the object as a "mysterious hut." The object was spotted in Von Karman crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin. The Yutu 2 has been working in this area since the mission landed there on January 3, 2019.
The true shape of the object is hard to discern from current images, and it is sort of oddly geometric - a phenomenon that could be explained simply as the results of pixelation from the images. This isn't the first strange thing spotted by the scientists of the Chang'e mission, either; back in September of 2019, Yutu 2 encountered a green and glistening gel-like substance that turned out to be impact melt breccia (aka, rock fragments cemented together as a result of extreme heat).
Despite previous false alarms, it's wise to investigate this new object. It could result in a new discovery, or some cool space science...or, it could just be a rock, but we won't know until we explore, right? It will take Yutu 2 approximately 3 months to reach it, so in the meantime all we can do is speculate.
What do you think it is? Share with me!
Monday, December 6, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: WinCustomize News
It's crazy to think that we're already at the end of 2021! At least we have the Christmas and Winter holidays to celebrate while we wait for the new year to approach. As always, a new month means we have a new desktop screenshot thread in the forums so our awesome community members can show off their desktops.
Let us know what skins and themes you are using, especially if you have a holiday themed desktop!
Post your desktops to the monthly thread here: https://forums.wincustomize.com/508626/
(This is a news thread and will be locked. Screenshot taken by don5318)
Saturday, December 4, 2021 by Island Dog | Discussion: Personal Computing
We know the Christmas and Winter holiday season is one of most popular times of year for themes and skinning. WinCustomize has a huge amount of holiday skins available and finding them all can get a bit tricky. So, we wanted to ask what's your favorite holiday skins and themes to use?
Whether you created them yourself or just a fan of the theme, post the link in the comments so we can get some of them featured for others to see!
Thursday, December 2, 2021 by Tatiora | Discussion: Stardock Blog
I love open exploration.
This fact is actually relatively newfound information for me. I have always enjoyed RPGs and the “exploration” they offer - by that, I always meant whatever new world tidbit or experience I had as I progressed through a linear storyline.
But as open world exploration started to permeate several different game genres, I found myself finally at a place where open-world sandbox and RPG intersected: Skyrim.
As far as my immediate recollection goes, Skyrim was the first for me. My love for the thrill of a wide open world with endless possibilities that I could experience at my leisure was only further cemented when I played Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While at times I missed having a tight and linear story to follow, the allure of being able to go wherever and do whatever I wanted during a game was becoming stronger.
Open-world exploration is far from a new concept, but as I said above, I was far less aware of it until it strongly intersected with my preferred game genre. The primary downside for someone like me who is a very story-driven gamer is that the story often needs to take a bit of a backseat in an open world game. The emphasis is all on exploration and the freedom of choice. There are, of course, exceptions to this - Mass Effect, for example, balances plot and exploration fairly well - but in general the focus has to be put more on one or the other rather than both.
If we’re looking at open-world exploration in genres outside of RPGs, then 4X is absolutely one of the biggest proponents of this idea. Games like Stellaris or the Galactic Civilizations series put emphasis on exploration - heck, it’s literally one of the very foundations of what makes up 4X as a genre (which stands for eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate, in case you were unaware!).
I have often said that I find the more administrative side of 4X games to be daunting for me personally. While that still is largely true, I’ve found that I’ve become more comfortable with it as I’ve spent more time playing.
I realized recently that what really excites and compels me about these games is finding out what’s out there. I frequently forgo the important stuff - like managing my governments, oops - because I am so wrapped up in sending my vessels out into the galaxy to find out what’s lurking beyond the fog of war.
In a game like GalCiv, there’s just so much out there to encounter, from new worlds to colonize, to drastic events that might alter the course of my entire civilization (I’m sure it’s completely fine to accept those genetic enhancements and implant them in my people!), to encounters with pirates or other enemy civilizations who are tired of my nonsense. It’s always a good feeling when I’m able to decimate a pirate fleet - we’ll call that revenge for the numerous times they used to beat me up before I finally figured out what the heck I was doing.
The thing about exploration in 4X games is that it is also unfettered. I can go out and do as much as I want and explore as far as I’d like - though, certainly, there are some consequences for not being careful! I find it really interesting how the exploration in GalCiv actually becomes a part of the story you tell, along with the kinds of interactions you have with other civilizations, the ideological choices you make, and so on.
Is exploration a favorite aspect of gameplay for you? Do you love open world games? Share your thoughts with me!