Monday, March 26, 2007

Windows XP screen yumminess

Only about half a decade too late, Windows XP finally has some tools to make it look more... like a Mac. With new, near-functional, Yahoo! Widgets and brilliant RocketDock from PunkSoftware, my laptop PC never looked better (except for when running Compiz/XGL on Ubuntu which for other reasons just won't fly on my HP quite yet). Both of the apps mentioned deliver lots in terms of both slick looks and long-sought-for functionality. Widgets are similar to the Apple Dashboard widgets, the Vista Sidebar gadgets et al. and are very lightweight and fast. Only problem is they still suffer from some annoying technical issues, which from all I can tell rather stem from poor testing than complicated algorithms, and as such hopefully will be addressed shortly. Awaiting bugfixes to the Yahoo! Widgets engine and various plugins (the latter provided by a seemingly sprawling user community), I can still enjoy the tremendous RocketDock which far outdoes all competition on the vast 3rd party dock market. It has almost everything a secret OSX fan could ask for in a dock; the super-smooth zoom, the alpha-blended PNG icons, the animated minimize-to-thumbnail, the jumping, even the tiny running app indicators. Time to hide that task bar once and for all?