My PC is a Wanna Be

So last Wednesday, I got admin access to my laptop (at least temporarily). I remember reading an Engadget article some time ago, and figured I'd use it to ease the pain of moving from a Mac to a PC.

So here's what I installed to turn my PC into a Mac (on the surface):

- To make all the window frames look Mac-like, I installed StyleXP with the Panther theme pack (which loaded automatically). Now at least my windows have the right looking borders.

- Then moved the taskbar up to the top, I dragged it up there. Hey, it's not an exact copy of the Mac menu bar (because it shows the running apps like the taskbar), but it worked better than ObjectBar, which somehow seemed pretty flakey for me.

- And iTunes.

- Now, the fun part. ObjectDock does a great job of replacing the Dock in MacOS X, except there are a few issues with the icons not showing properly, and it's a little buggy with the layering. Otherwise, nice.

- Of course, what's a good wanna-be without trying to mimic the slickest part of Panther's Mac OS X interface, Expose? I have a trial of Entbloess 2. It's good, but it's not Expose. It doesn't shrink the windows into view as nicely as Expose does, and while it's quite a lot slower and choppier, it might still do (functionally).

- And finally, I installed a launcher that's similar to Quicksilver on the Mac (arguably my most-used and favourite productivity utility): it's called AppRocket, it's free, and it works mostly the same (though not quite as pretty). I can conjure any program, utility, control panel, bookmark with just a few keystrokes!

- Oh, and Konfabulator, of course, which some argue is what Apple ripped off for its Dashboard feature in Tiger.

Now my PC is a nice Mac wanna-be, and way more usable! (Oh, wow, look what I found.) Yay! And serendipitous benefit: nobody else can figure out how to use my PC, which means more privacy. Now how to go about fixing the cheap plastic feel, and expand the 14.1" screen out sideways ... ?


Anonymous said...

Oho! I have to see if I'll be able to use these at work -- to install anything, it has to go thru an administrator first. I hate having to work on Windoze. They won't even allow me to bring my mac to work.

- aliasa

Mike said...

Yup..I bought the entbloess 2.. I missed that so much, I just could not resist...

Ben said...

I had to find an excuse to get admin access, because this place is locked down like a fortress. But, of course, the two most important classes of people in a company to make friends with immediately are IT people and HR/admin people ... so now I have admin access (for now).

I have to say that, even if you're not a Mac user, AppRocket is an excellent utility that puts all your apps, bookmarks, and preference panes (control panel stuff) at your fingertips. This wasn't included in MacOSX, but is now an essential part of my arsenal.

It's funny, but it took all these little add-ons before my Windows became bearable. And now I'm suggesting my brother do the same with his machine! What else should I install?

Anonymous said...


Ben said...

Okay, one more.

I couldn't get Trillian (my fave Windows multi-IM client) to work at all, so I'm stuck with MSN only (ugh) on this machine. And you all know how cluttered the MSN interface is, with its ads, its extra little pull-out menus, it's additional features that you simply don't want to be looking at all the time ...

So my brother found this wonderful patch called A Patch that will let you customize the look a whole lot more than MSN will let you do. Big point: no more ads!

I actually took out almost everything, but had to put back a few items because the window looked too empty -- A Patch removes just the logos/images/fields in some cases, without shrinking the window accordingly.

But if I could only get Trillian to work properly, I'd jump right back to it.

Anonymous said...

Help! I don't know if it's my fault, but Objectdock Plus seems to not have a solution for the language bar that is usually accessible from the normal windows taskbar. Some languages require more than simply switching over to that language when typing... Is there a solution to having the language bar options displayed in Objectdock??

Ben said...

Jon, I'm not sure about ObjectDock's behaviour with language bars -- I have ObjectDock just keeping my running windows going. I moved my normal Windows Taskbar up top, which displays my SystemTray and my Language Bar for me, which ObjectDock doesn't do. Stupid thing is, I have all my "open windows" kind of data repeated in the Taskbar, which is really a waste of space. But I haven't figured out a better way yet.

Anonymous said...

Ok, thanks for the advice. I thought that it might have been possible to replace the taskbar completely with the objectdock...but oh well.