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Guide to skinning Windows in a Steampunk Fashion PDF Print
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This is a simple guide to skinning your Windows o/s in a Steampunk fashion.

I always keep away from Windows themes, they can be dodgy, sometimes you need to hack part of windows to make them 'stick'. Microsoft is not really interested in themes as they have made their own GUIs too deeply incorporated into the operating system. It is not in their interest to have people theme the o/s as the look and feel of windows is one of the main differentiators between one version of windows and another. Not much else changes beneath the hood so they add a new GUI to make it look as if things have changed significantly. NT and Windows XP are NT5, Vista and Windows 7 are simply NT6 versions - a new GUI for each and some tweaks is the norm. Fundamentally the o/s is still NT. See here for the version numbers and you'll see what you are really running: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_NT

You may be running Windows XP/Vista but I assume you are running a windows NT6 system, ie. Windows 7 or 8, correct? Personally, I have no need to run NT6 as XP is a fine o/s and as my system is fully-skinned, you'd never know it was XP in any case - Nevertheless, my suggestions should still apply to windows 7 and 8.

A good reason for avoiding windows themes is that they seem to be version specific, when you upgrade the o/s they will be made useless. That is why I don't create themes for Windows. A good reason for avoiding windows 8 is that it is really Windows Vista with a whole new GUI- because of this Microsoft won't want you to reskin it.

This is my desktop and as you can see there is very little of Windows about it, yet it is the very same interface that I run on my NT5 and NT6 systems (XP, Vista and Win 7)


current-desktop-with-monito.jpg

To skin your system accordingly I suggest you need items that are independent of Windows, a background, a menu bar, icons and widgets if you want, perhaps a screensaver. You can use one of the re-skinning programs but I find they aren't quite to my liking being a bit OTT and sometimes the skinning can be a tadge painful to look at. They can also interfere with normal operation of windows start bar/menu. The main one, Window Blinds is a commercial offering so costs money. It is available as a trial here http://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/ - I found it interfered with normal operation but more importantly I didn't like the look of the steampunk themes, they were too 'busy' for my tastes.

So, if I were you I would do what I have chosen to do myself. Choose a background of your choice, something typically steampunk. Load it using Windows normal desktop functionality.

steampunk-wallpaper-600.png
http://rocketdock.com/addon/walls/40825

If you have a taskbar (win XP & Vista) then move the Windows main taskbar to another location on your desktop. It can sit left/right/top/bottom. Find out how to do that on t'web. In XP/Vista you simply slide it out of the way. I put mine at the top and hide it.

Install Rocketdock/Objectdock launcher and place it where you want, add the programs you use most to the dock. I am a power user so I have a lot of icons on my launcher - I really do use ALL of them, all of the time.


http://rocketdock.com/download


Download some steampunk icons. Change each one to the chosen steampunk icons, skin the dock using the configuration options supplied.

Rocketdock icons can be found here
http://rocketdock.com/addon/icons/38398

If you want some pretty desktop widgets to do stuff and to enance the look and feel to a steampunk desktop to a steampunk dreamtop then they are free to download from my site, load the widget engine first, then the widgets.


http://lightquick.co.uk/steampunk-widgets.html?Itemid=264

A nice screensaver (best ones are commercial) is worth applying.


http://www.3planesoft.com/clock-screensavers/mechanical-clock-3d-screensaver/

Note you will need plenty of memory to do all this in Win 7. That o/s is a prodigious user of memory. A complex image on the desktop uses more. Rocketdock is a highly graphical program which can use high res. PNGs as icons, using more memory. Each program you add consumes memory if not cpu. My XP laptop is 3gb which is just enough for me but you will need a lot more in Windows 7, probably at least 4gb.
You need plenty of memory of you are a power user of wondows (sic) and want to use the system for more than just a pretty interface.

Later I will summarise what I do to reskin Ubuntu in a steampunk fashion.

 

It seems as if my widgets are doing very well within the steampunk community. Several 'skinners' or windows-themers are using my widgets as centrepieces for their customisation. Here you can see my weather and orrery widget being used in combination with a fractal background forming a very impressive wallpaper. The second is a mechanical contrivance that works equally well with the orrery widget. The final screenshot brings a more cyberpunk feel to the desktop but the widgets fit in here quite well too.

 my_steampunk_desktop_by_gen.png

A lovely desktop by GeneralDurandal using most of my main widgets and icons - gorgeous...
http://yahoowidgeteers.deviantart.com/art/My-Steampunk-Desktop-359713035

 my_desktop__steampunk_space.jpgr

 and another by Darcykalaw here: http://darcykalaw.deviantart.com/art/My-desktop-steampunk-space-theme-354807599

picture-mac-500.png

The above screenshot shows the steampunk clock/calendar widget running on a MAC.

Some more...

 http://customize.org/thumbnails/medium/99143.jpg

A gorgeous fractal desktop with a link to the original.

 http://customize.org/thumbnails/medium/99047.jpg

Another gorgeous desktop by the same person using a few of my widgets, with a link to the original.http://customize.org/thumbnails/medium/98199.jpg

A much more steampunk background by Resobrain - the widgets fit in beautifully. The original can be found here:
http://www.deviantart.com/art/Windows-7-Steampunk-306314508  The original wallpaper is here: 

 screenshot01.jpg

  My own desktop with most of my widgets displayed.

screenshot01.jpg

  Another steampunk affair on windows 7- linked.

screenshot01.jpg

This desktop thoroughly themed used skins for the menu bar, winamp and just one of my widgets.

desktop6-500.jpg

  A very calm and serene desktop

desktop7-500.jpg

  Windows 7 again with a 3rd party dock and widgets

screenshot-500.jpg

This is the desktop of my Linux Mint laptop, partly steampunked with the same background as my Windows systems, same icons. Fonts not yet loaded. Uses Avant Window Manager as the dock, it is the best dock for icons of variable sizes:

 steam-linux-500-01.jpg

 Another Linux Kubuntu steampunk desktop using the timekeeper orrery plasmoid as the centrepiece.

steampc00-500.jpg

 A very nice Windows 7 steampunk desktop with all the widgets and a brass feel to the task bar.

 computer_emporium-500.jpg

 A recent Windows 8 desktop by Rochdale on DeviantArt.

daniel-kubuntu-screenshot-6.jpg
This Daniel Cartron's desktop which is Linux, Kubuntu with KDE Plasmoids. These are in development now. This is largely a test shot.
We will see more of my widgets on Linux soon I hope.

mac-steampunk-screen.jpg

The steampunk widgets are running on Mac os/x this time, natively, no kludging required.

screenshot01.jpg

Someone else with a steampunk theme to their Windows system, this image is linked to a larger version.

my-current-desktop-500.jpg

My current desktop with a few modified widgets under test.

desktop-with-orrey.jpg

A beautiful one this using a heavily modified image of Budapest- a stunning Mac os/x desktop

steampunkdesktop-no2-500.png

One from the Steampunk Empire by Dr. Sebastion Ebenezer Davenport at http://www.thesteampunkempire.com/photo/steampunk-desktop-2


steampunk_desktop_by_madkit.jpg

This madkittykat's desktop from DeviantArt you can find it here: http://madkittykat84.deviantart.com/art/Steampunk-Desktop-279228254

new-steampunk-desktop-with-.jpg

  Another gorgeous one by Mike Cope which you can see here: http://thegentlemantimetraveler.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/steampunk-desktop.html

my own desktop

A desktop I created - all these items can be obtained as widgets 

butfortherain01.jpg
butfortherain02.jpg
 butfortherain02.jpg  butfortherain02.jpg
Gorgeous Galaxy Note Screenshots by
butfortherain at Brassgoggles
 More here:
 hntr-230.jpg  
I won't be linking to this chap as he refuses~
to credit me for my work, he thinks it is OK
to steal imagery without acknowledging the
owner of the image.
 

 

clockj-600.jpg

 An unknown desktop I found on google somewhere which uses my steampunk orrery as the centrepiece.

 bill-600.jpg

 This is Bill Walton's desktop.This is a Windows 8 desktop.

jellyfrog-600.jpg

Another I found on Deviantart somewhere - DA user jellyfrog

All the widgets can be downloaded here :

 linux-timekeeper-600.jpg

  Unknown KDE desktop found on a Google image search

linux-timekeeper2-600.jpg

 Unknown found on a Google image search

 linux-timekeeper3-600.jpg

  Steampunk KDE desktop by Victorhck

resobrain-600.jpg

  Dream Catcher by Resobrain - http://resobrain.deviantart.com/art/Dream-Catcher-Steampunk-346065840

 Jose-Luis-Gnojski-600.jpg

Steampunk KDE desktop by Jose Luis Gnojski

 Virgilio-Cesar-600.jpg

  Steampunk KDE desktop by Virgilio César

 zcat_image3-600.jpg

An unknown image found on a Google image search

  -oOo-

Remember, these are just screenshots of desktops that I found on the internet. I don't provide the underlying wallpapers the above customisers have used as they are not my property to distribute. If you really want one you'll need to follow the links when provided or find the original images on Google.

The following video is by Karoonchai - shows the use of my steampunk orrery widget on an iphone theme.

{youtube}ERoE2bQWKiI{/youtube}

The music is a little non-steampunk but the theme seems to mostly work.

iphone-theme-500.png
The same iphone theme as it looks on an actual iphone.

{youtube}m-YZXK60qS8?{/youtube}

A Raimeter desktop by jay42 - rather gorgeous too I think.

If you liked this, please consider buying me a beer., any contribution is appreciatedmfBeer Joomla! Plugin

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 02 January 2016 )
 
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