Customizing Your PC


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  Solution: How Do I Customize My PC?

 
By customize, some people simply mean changing colors, fonts, desktop and screensavers.  All of this can be done by right-clicking on your desktop and choosing Properties.  Also explore right-clicking and choosing Properties on other things to change how things work or look.  Try right-clicking and choosing Properties on your task bar (where the Start button is).  Try right-clicking and choosing Properties on other things as well -- you might be surprised at all the different things you can alter!

For others, customize means changing more extensively The easiest and safest way to customize  Windows 95/98/ME/2000 is to use shareware utilities and commercial programs. 

The best shareware utility for basic customizing is Tweakui, a utility included with a free download from Microsoft called Powertoys.  Go to the Microsoft Home Page and go to the Downloads.  In the downloads, look for Windows 95/98/ME/2000 add-ons.  In the Add-ons, you'll find a link for the Powertoys --  or simply search for TweakUI

Note: The install for the tweakui utility is a little different, you'll unzip the tweakui package, find the tweakui.inf file, right-click on it, and select "Install".  Why they don't include a typical setup.exe is beyond me.  After it installs, you'll have a Tweak UI entry in your Control Panel.  It contains all kinds of nifty options you can change in Windows!

Finally, one of the best utilities to customize and tune-up various versions of Windows (95/98/ME/2000/XP) is Norton Utilities from Symantec.  This package runs in the $50 to $99 range; however, it's one of the best utilities on the market, and well worth the price in my opinion.  The current suite bundle is sold under the name of Norton SystemWorks.

If you're really into "customized", there are books and articles that describe how to directly edit the registry, and utilities that do various things that some people like.  Generally (but not always), I stay away from most of this, because I've ended up with an unstable system more than once because of someone's "neat" little utility or registry tweak.  If you're looking to change something specific,  go to the CNET.com download page and enter some keywords in the search field describing what you want to change.  You may just find that perfect little utility that does exactly what you want!


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Copyright 1995-2005, Keith Turbyfill.  All rights reserved.