After nearly fours years on a Macintosh, working on Micro$osft Windoze XP has become quite a chore. Fortunately, given time and administrator privileges, one can remedy the Windoze GUI doldrums by making the Micro$oft interface pretty.The process is not for the faint of heart, but it could be made easier if all the right information was in one place. Hopefully, I will achieve that here.
First things first. Microsoft prevents you from installing any themes of which it does not approve. In other words, they insist that you install the drab garbage that survives their pathetic design department. So, the first thing you need to do is remove the Windows XP restrictions on installing third party themes and visual styles. You can do this with Uxtheme Multi-patcher. It does not work with 64-bit Windows, and it is recommended that you be on Windows XP SP-2. (In other words, make sure that your operating system is up to date.) At first, it looks scary, because a lot of strange things happen to your computer when this program does its thing, but just follow the on-screen instructions, and after rebooting, you can go ahead with the next step.
Now, you can download and install the themes and visual styles that you want. I recommend going straight for the visual styles because themes present a pain that is not justified by the payoff. Download the Tiger visual style from devinatart.com, and place the Tiger theme folder inside the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\ folder as shown in the screen capture to the right.
Now, to activate the theme, right-click on your desktop, click “properties”. First, go to the “Themes” tab and make sure that themes are “enabled”. Then, go to the appearance tab, and choose the Tiger theme that you want from the drag-down menus. Lastly, be sure to hit the “effects” button and enable “Clear Type” font smoothing to get the prettiest picture you possibly can.
I assume that you know how to change the desktop background, so add the coup de grace with an Apple wallpaper, navigate to the same Tiger folder, then go inside it and go to the “wallpapers” folder, and choose the wallpaper that turns you on. Strangely enough, I chose one of the standard Windows wallpapers on my computer. I guess not everything that Microsoft provides is crap.
And, that’s it. Now, you have made your ugly Windows XP desktop into this ravishingly beautiful Macintosh OS 10.4 Tiger desktop. Isn’t the Aqua graphical user interface beautiful? Now, you are well on your way to making the final switch to Macintosh. Everybody should. It’s the only way to force Microsoft to be original.