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Author Topic: Personalization, or how to make your PC experience truly yours  (Read 564 times)
Corrupted Unicorn
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« on: July 19, 2023 @398.44 »

This is a topic to discuss virtual customization in places like your own OS, your browser, and anything you might come up with.

I miss the customization options you had with older versions of Windows... I want my windows to look tacky and metallic and gradient-y. Windows 10 just looks... plain. Plain monochrome bars of things. Plain and bland. I've heard of Stardock WindowsBlinds, but I haven't been able to set it up right just yet. I want more customization options other than to pick a wallpaper and a colour!!  :tongue: Remember when you could even edit desktop icons?

So yeah, I'm looking for all the ways you can customize your experience on the computer.  :transport: I've recently learnt of Firefox Color and startpages, and it's been great on that part.  :4u: I know my boyfriend has a little something to customize Discord's look, I should ask him about it.

What about you? Have you found ways to customize parts of your online experience? How?
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2023 @458.84 »

I do customize Discord with BetterDiscord (might be what your boyfriend is using too), although I gotta re-install it since I think the last update broke something, it happens

All my browsers and starter pages are customized with color schemes and wallpapers, my PC has a custom cursor, etc

I really really wanted to also give the system a whole new look with WindowBlinds (i think that's what it's called), but... Apparently it conflicts with Fences (which is kinda stupid, y'know, since they're by the same company?) and would make everything crash frequently, so I left that idea </3 Do have a customized Start menu tho, a more old-school look. And the Start button  :grin:

I know that OpenShell is supposed to be an alternative to Blinds, I think, but when I went looking I couldn't make the sense of it  :notgood:

Oh, I also love using Rainmeter! A decade ago I would remodel my whole desktop to look like Skyrim UI, these days I just add a few widgets that track memory and other stats like that. And one I especially love that greets me depending on the time of day.
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robkies
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2023 @618.24 »

ngl i really want to personalize windows but i really cant find a good resource pack for it or whatever its called. if you look up on youtube for some cool ways to personalize it you're just gonna find videos called like "10 WINDOWS SKINS FOR GAMERS THAT WILL MAKE YOU SHIT YOUR PANTS.....,,," and they're all the most corniest shit i've ever seen lol
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shevek
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2023 @654.68 »

I used to do so much to my private PCs; elaborate wallpapers that really use a dual screen setup, widgets, Rainmeter, TranslucentTB, .. but over the years I've given up more and more because I got tired of some stuff, or it slowed down the computer too much, crashed, or didn't work after some update. Stuff got reverted for whatever reason. And I realized I very rarely actually look at my blank desktop, I usually look at the browser, some other software, or games. So I just forgot at some point :ok:
My most elaborate design (sadly no screenshot survived) was Assassins Creed themed.

I do actually customize my work laptop more than my private one (as much is possible with restrictive Group Policies). Sadly they recently broke custom icons, and I had to re-set up my pink Windows layout on it. I do it to rebel against the uniformity of work laptops and to make work more interesting and give me the illusion of control.

I guess there can be two approaches to personalization:
1. going all out, changing a lot, doing a lot of customization that looks really amazing, or
2. the type of reducing a lot of the shiny, in-your-face, and occasionally overwhelming standard design that can be distracting and is supposed to draw you in a bit.

I think by now I am at the second point with my main PC; I often try to personalize my devices in a way that makes them less engaging and less interesting, funnily enough. Lots of black, gray, minimalism; minimizing or hiding icons, smaller bars or font sizes. For years until recently I had a completely black wallpaper on Windows and just 3 icons,and outside of PCs, my smartwatch is in grayscale and I set up my phone in a way that pressing the sidebutton 3 times switches to grayscale mode.
Exceptions: I plan on getting into customizing the GUI in Linux (Linux ricing), and I would love to go all out there with some of my ideas :ozwomp: and I am really into making my SteamDeck have some fancy GUI with custom CSS.

I heard Wallpaper Engine on Steam is nice too. :smile: but I haven't used it.

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urgellx
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2023 @776.11 »

Hello, wanted to add my tidbit as a Linux standalone-WM user (since you get to do a little bit of customization)
and as someone who just likes messing with things until they work the way i want.

Ending up on Linux is really a godsend in terms of customization of visuals and
interactions. I have my own terminal theme, my own Firefox CSS (based on
Cascade but pretty modified), and overall i can do much more than what was let
on by Windows (yes i know you can customize the panel extensively on Windows
too, but it felt like adding hacks on top of hacks just to make a basic feature
function properly). You can change how you receive notification, how your
application launcher works, how your scripts work, how almost everything look
and feels (even on KDE or even even Gnome, it's so much more easy to
edit than Windows). But there's a few standouts

  • Firefox CSS
    (available on Windows too, it's just old features that you have to enable in
    about:config). Editing the CSS of Firefox is a lot of fun, you can add or
    modify lots of things, for example, i disabled the text on the tab bar (so that
    i can only see icons), or just add rounded corners, center an element, everything
    you can do with CSS. But, you have to search a lot for how to interact with
    different elements of the browser
    .

  • the Window Manager itself
    I have been hopping quite a bit since i started using standalone WMs but
    overall, whether it'd be Awesome, DWM, XMonad or Hyprland, it's always been
    thrilling to just go into the config file (or files for DWM) and start editing
    how it works, you can have a very fun experience just rebuilding and
    reconfiguring DWM (since it's very much barebone when you start without any
    patch).

  • NeoVim / Vim
I haven't gotten much into Lua since switching to NVim but changing settings in
Vim has always been a very well documented, very smooth experience. You can do
a lot of things, plugins have probably already been made for what you're looking
for, and since everything is very well documented, you can go mess with a lot of
things with making you config too complicated.


I can probably provide indications on something more specific but i just wanted to
share how pleasing modifying the software i use has been for me.
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Necrosia
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2023 @823.69 »

I guess there can be two approaches to personalization:
1. going all out, changing a lot, doing a lot of customization that looks really amazing, or
2. the type of reducing a lot of the shiny, in-your-face, and occasionally overwhelming standard design that can be distracting and is supposed to draw you in a bit.

I am of the second option approach club as well, maybe borderline lazy because I hardly even changed my desktop background. I just pin all my programs on the toolbar, disable the on-your-face bloatware windows stuff and life goes on.

I miss having a custom terminal on windows like Zsh but I just got used to all the white text now  :sad:

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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2023 @936.59 »

When I'm not using GNU/Linux or BSD, I tend to try to strip things down, disable notifications, and remove other distractions. And the first things I install are generally a package manager, UNIX tools, Mozilla Firefox, and GNU Emacs.

What others have said about configuring vim/neovim goes even harder for Emacs. It's not an editor; it's a virtual Lisp machine that fakes being an editor after vim hummed a few bars for it (especially if you install evil mode).
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2023 @328.89 »

I think the font makes a big difference in the style of the user interface. While only a limited amount of fonts is readable on small font sizes, at least the title bar seems to be a playing ground where every font can be used and scaled up, if it looks bad on a small font size.

Windows 98 was one of the last Windows versions (or the last maybe) to include this pixel pattern editor, being the hot stuff in the stoneage when monitors were black-and-white only and background wallpapers weren't as common. Speaking of which, @shevek: Sounds like you'd like one of these monochrome solid ink monitors. Modern black-and-white monitors. Maybe it would save you some configuration time.


* patterns.GIF (51.2 kB, 1024x768 - viewed 32 times.)
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shevek
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2023 @467.80 »

Speaking of which, @shevek: Sounds like you'd like one of these monochrome solid ink monitors. Modern black-and-white monitors. Maybe it would save you some configuration time.

Thank you for the recommendation, I will look into it :smile: could be interesting as an external monitor for some stuff. I like still need some color for my digital art, editing and site building, but otherwise..
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