Hak5 923 – Our favorite free tools to unsuckify Windows
This time on the show, Windows. You love it. You hate it. Maybe you’re stuck with it. Today, we’ll unsuckify it. Oh, and Kerby has a nifty DOS script for ya. 😉
Window Management that doesn’t suck
You don’t often hear me ranting and raving about a Windows app, but today, I’m in love. And that’s because one of my biggest complains for all GUIs has been solved: Window Management.
Maybe it’s because I’m oldschool and prefer keyboards to mice, but moving and resizing windows all day long harshes on my vibe hardcore.
Microsoft made an effort 7 to unsuckify window management with Windows 7 and, in my opinion, failed.
Holding Windows Key and pressing the Left or Right arrow keys will snap the active window to the left half or right half of the screen. This is completely useless. In this segment I explain why as well as demo the perfect window manager — GridMove.
GridMove, which is sadly only for Windows, will allow you to quickly and easily snap windows to a grid on your deaktop. These grids are user defined with a simple script file. There are multiple options for snapping windows into these predefined grids, including draging the title bar with left or middle click or my personal favorite — customized hotkeys.
What are your thoughts? Do you know of a similar utility for Linux? No, not screen.
Desktops that don’t suck
I’ve always liked programs that give me simplicity and added value to my netbook, making my daily work and play much easier. One of these such programs is a tool called Rainmeter. It’s an application that lets you place ‘skins’ on you desktop that can measure and display tons of information.
Some things you can tinker with and enjoy are: System information, launchers and docks, music players, RSS feeds and a gmail inbox, weather apps, and others.
The skins are fully customizable and are merely .ini text files that you can change or alter to meet your specs.
Rainmeter is open source and was made by geeks, for geeks. It runs on all versions of Windows including 64 bit and also has a portable version available for download.
My favorite part about Rainmeter is the ability to customize the skins. If you don’t read Lifehacker, you don’t have to keep that in the RSS feed illustro app. You can choose to edit it or delete it. I went into ‘Edit Skin’, browsed down to where the link to Lifehacker was, and changed it to the Hak5 feed at hak5.wpengine.com/feed. Now, I’ll immediately see every time we have a new episode come out. I also was able to change the clock.ini skin, so the date and time is formatted to my specifications, and I messed around with the color a little bit.
Once you get the feel of the .ini files and how to edit them, you can start creating your own.
Now, I haven’t started creating my own personal skin, I’ve just customized some available themes. Have you tried it? Interested in seeing a skin that doesn’t exist yet? Email me at [email protected] to check it out!”
If you’re into Hak5 you’ll love our new show by hosts Darren Kitchen and Shannon Morse. Check out HakTip!
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, HakTip is essential viewing for current and aspiring hackers, computer enthusiasts, and IT professionals. With a how-to approach to all things Information Technology, HakTip breaks down the core concepts, tools, and techniques of Linux, Wireless Networks, Systems Administration, and more
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