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Late to the Party!

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Pandora
Posts: 24
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:23 pm
Location: East Coast, US

Late to the Party!

Post by Pandora »

Hello folks!

I recently got on a kick to design a cool wallpaper with my current desktop icons as the focus. During this project, I came across Theme programs such as WindowsBlinds, System Monitors (DestopX, Rainmeter, etc), and a bunch of apps that fall in between.Now I am faced with making a choice for the long term. So far, Rainmeter and Winstep seem to be the logical choices. I am hoping that you folks in the Rainmeter community can comment on some of the concerns I have.

I want to be able to code to my personal specifications, but I am not a programmer: .ini files, HTML, CSS and a smattering of PHP is all I want to deal with.

I want to be able to skin. I've got up-to date 2d graphic apps (such as Photoshop), and can dabble in 3d as well. I want to be able to skin with the least amount of stress and use of time. (I just recently moved from Winamp to Xion, because it's supposedly more easy to skin)

I'm using Windows XP Service pack 2, and quite possibly it will be my last Windows OS ever. So whatever I'm using, it's got to be Windows XP compatible. So....is Rainmeter right for me? I'd love to see what folks have to say. Oh yea, and right now my desktop is in limbo land. Featureless black wallpaper, and the nine icons I'm currently depending on are looking mighty lonely. :(
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jsmorley
Developer
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Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:02 pm
Location: Fort Hunt, Virginia, USA

Re: Late to the Party!

Post by jsmorley »

Welcome. I think you will find Rainmeter a pretty good fit based on your criteria. It's all just .ini files, requires no programming at all, is extremely flexible and is only limited by your imagination really. It works just fine on XP, and while it is NOT a "skinning" app, (you can't skin your start menu or taskbar or other Widows elements for instance) nor in any way a "shell replacement", if you look at some of the things folks have done at http://rainmeter.deviantart.com/gallery/?23941137 for instance, you will see that you can really do some cool things with your desktop.

DO, DO take a look at these links to get a handle on how Rainmeter works and what it can do.

Rainmeter Main Site | Rainmeter 101 | Rainmeter Manual | Tips & Tricks | Skins on devArt
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Pandora
Posts: 24
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:23 pm
Location: East Coast, US

Re: Late to the Party!

Post by Pandora »

In fact, I've been playing with Rainmeter for a few days now. I want to use it for system monitoring and a few other things (like the Gmail alert thing, nice!), and Winstep / other apps for some shell and desktop theme stuff. I'm very aware of what Rainmeter can and cannot do, and that's fine. I'm trying to avoid too much overlap anyways.

My main goal is to have 3-5 completely unified working environments, with matching graphics, sound, and so on. From where I sit right now, Rainmeter, Winstep Nexus, and some sort of Desktop Theme app will make this happen.

At this point, I have tested a lot of themes, and am ready to start combining skins I like into one single theme. From there, I can then figure out what design and code changes I'd need to make to get things working and looking the way I want.

The process to code Rainmeter is one of the reasons I was drawn to it.

JS, if I may ask this? I'm also concerned about stability on the part of development. Is Rainmeter development progressing? Will it continue to support XP for some length of time to come? I'd hate to really commit to Rainmeter and then find out I am outa of luck in 6 months because I am still using Windows XP as an OS.

Lastly, if I do commit to Rainmeter, I will most certainly share my thoughts, creations, etc with the community.
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Chewtoy
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Joined: June 10th, 2009, 12:44 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Late to the Party!

Post by Chewtoy »

Pandora wrote:JS, if I may ask this? I'm also concerned about stability on the part of development. Is Rainmeter development progressing? Will it continue to support XP for some length of time to come? I'd hate to really commit to Rainmeter and then find out I am outa of luck in 6 months because I am still using Windows XP as an OS.
Rainmeter is still being developed. 1.4 beta should be out sometime soon, and with some neat stuff!
Probably mostly thanks to js, rainmeter have always been backwards compatible. So far there has been no one arguing about leaving XP users behind. And it would be a real stupid move if it did happen anytime soon too, as XP is still the most used OS globally.
I don't think, therefore I'm not.
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Pandora
Posts: 24
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:23 pm
Location: East Coast, US

Re: Late to the Party!

Post by Pandora »

Thanks Chewtoy. I'd hate to work my 'ittle butt off for a few months, then only to find my work was obsolete 3 months later.

Meanwhile, I'm happy to report that my first skin import task ever worked. Though I had to edit some of the .ini file to reflect newer URL syntax from weather.com :D