Two Computer Updates

So I spent my entire weekend doing my annual new year’s cleaning — which basically entails organizing my file folders and cleaning up my computer files, etc.  It’s not fun, but it certainly feels good to think that certain aspects of my life are under control.  This year, I didn’t have to do much file arranging on my computer because I’ve been better about performing regular maintenance at least once per month.

So instead, I added two under-the-hood adjustments I’ve loved so much, I figured I would share them with you.  The first is a simple stylistic change.  If, like me, you are still using Windows XP, and won’t upgrade to Windows 7 until you buy a new computer (which for me Windows could be on their next operating system by that time), you could add the Seven Remix XP.

Basically, it’s a file that gives XP users a Windows 7 dress up.  Because everybody knows that XP is like that chunky old Volvo with 300,000 miles.  It’s not pretty to look at, but it’s reliable.  With the Seven Remix XP, you get all the fancy style and some of the programs for Windows 7, without actually buying the new operating system.

The second thing I would encourage any Windows XP user to add to their computer is Fences.  I’ve been using Windows based computers for so long that I have a hard time falling in love with Macs.  I don’t want this to be a debate about Apple vs. Microsoft, but one of the things I absolutely love about the Apple OS is the desktop icon docking station, which disappears from sight when not in use.  There’s nothing more satisfying than looking at a clean desktop.  Windows doesn’t have that option (at least in XP), but luckily Fences achieves a very similar goal.

You can organize your desktop icons into various categories (I’ve got ones for downloaded files, site maintenance programs, media players [iTunes, VLC, Picassa, etc.] web related stuff [browsers, bit torrent clients, Tweet deck, etc.] and productivity [Final Draft, Open Office, CreaWriter, Gimp, Aptana, etc.]) making them easier to find.  When you double click your desktop the icons disappear, double click again and they reappear.

Honestly, two of the best programs I’ve downloaded in quite some time.  I can’t speak highly enough about either one.

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