Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tweak Vista UI?

My biggest peeve with Vista so far (besides my tendency to keep deleting the Recycle Bin instead of emptying it) is with the shortcut arrows for shortcut icons.

Granted, I'm running my different Vista builds in Virtual PC 2004, but still. Even after I have tweaked my screen size and display resolution, after I have adjusted the icon size...the arrows seem to cover up about 1/4 of the original icon. Yuck!

On my XP systems, I run TweakUI and have set the shortcut icons to display as itty-bitty tinnie-weenie arrows. Much more Icon, but still a small indicator as to the source of the icon link.

Unfortunately, there isn't a VistaTweakUI tool from Microsoft out...yet (if ever).

I did find these Vista tweaking tools that look promising...even if they are still in developmental stages.

TweakVista Utility - (free/beta) allows the user to adjust the UAP settings, IE 7 Search engine, DWM (Display Window Manager), some path environment tweaks. Kinda light-weight right now, but nicely interfaced and a great taste of what may be to come. Worked fine on Vista in Virtual PC 2004.

Tweak VI - (free/beta/$$-subscription) - Interesting and polished product that allows some basic tweaks in the free version, and more advanced tweaks in the paid version. Supports paid subscription "plug-ins" as well. Doesn't work on Vista under Virtual PC mode. Darn.

VistaBootPro 2.1 Beta (free?) - Allows power-users to make changes to the boot interface and loader configuration. Not for the faint of heart, folks...

--Via APC Magazine: Vista tweak tools already piling up

More old-school -- tweak-it-yourself -- links:

TweakVista - Windows Vista Tweak articles.

Optimize Virtual PC 2004 Images (good a place as any...)

If you are running Vista, you can also hold down the control-key and use your scroll-wheel to resize the icons to a higher degree than choosing the sizes via the right-click menu from the desktop. This works in Virtual PC as well, BUT doesn't appear to work if you don't use a scroll-wheel mouse. I have a track-ball and it DOESN'T work for this icon resizing tweak. Bummer. Attempts to change the icon size via the properties, advanced desktop option menus don't seem to do a thing. They stay the same...Hmm... More exploration needed here.

Meanwhile, if any gentle readers can give me a registry-hack or lead on how to reduce the size of those shortcut arrows on my shortcut link icons, I'd be grateful.



Anonymous said...

About VistaBootPRO: you should link to EasyBCD instead..

PROnetworks is not the original author of this program.
This program is built on "borrowed" code, the original author being "Computer Guru" of NeoSmart Technologies.

The real program is EasyBCD and it really works, with more features, less bloat, and no theft of code or intellectual property.

Anywho.... how the hell is VistaBootPRO at version 3.1 when Vista hasn't even gone gold?

Just look at the changelog: it's an exact copy of EasyBCD's... They obviously just look at NeoSmart's changelog and try to copy it.

Just giving the facts.. CG deserves some credit.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff,

No slight intended! Looks like ComputerGuru has had his hands full.

I was messing with Vista and looking at 3rd-party "tweak" options out there and did a web-search to come up with the suggestions offered in the post.

The search terms I used obviously didn't locate the EasyBCD project.

I don't know the full history behind the goings on...but am getting a general feel.

Here are some links from NeoSoft's blog for curious comment readers:

GoodBye PROnetworks

Announcing EasyBCD

I'm not able to post an update directly at this moment, but will be more than happy to do an update to my post and add in the EasyBCD product to the list later on tonight.

Thanks for stopping in and giving me the information.


Anonymous said...

Ah! It's coming back to me now...helps to re-read my own post!

I didn't (exactly) do a web-search, I got the product names/links directly out from the APC Magazine: Vista tweak tools already piling up article I found while doing a side-subject search.

EasyBCD wasn't included, so I had no hint it even existed!

Jeff, depending how you feel, you might want to drop into that source post at APC and leave a comment there, or contact the article's author...

Thanks again for the additional information!