Configure Your System Wickedly

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Shell replacements take the place of the Windows Explorer. That is, they provide a substitute for the System tray, the Taskbar, the Desktop, My Computer, and/or the Start Menu. Usually the substitute is more configurable, flexible, and more attractive than the Explorer.

ANTI-MICROSOFT SHELL REPLACEMENT..........This VB application replaces the Windows shell, with a new, simpler look. Despite the fact that the application is named "AntiMicrosoft" and that the author refers to himself as "villan sorcerer", found that shell to run fine with no negative side effects in its tests on Windows 2000, except for a minor problem. (Thanks to our friends at FreeVBcode!).....(free).....GO THERE!

ASTON..........A new Desktop manager and Shell replacement for Windows 95/98/NT/2000. Aston fully replaces the standard Windows Desktop and gives you a lots of new features: nice looking, easy-to-change interface; detailed setup of any element; very simple visual configuring (no need to learn about complicated *.cfg files); toolbars of any size with plenty of levels; skins for all the elements; any size & shape icons, maybe animated; plug-ins (Litestep's also); hotkeys; and so on. Aston contains all the main Windows Desktop elements, like Desktop, TaskBar, Tray, Main Menu, DDE (without it, installers may corrupt), Drag&Drop, etc. Aston is based of fully original code and it is not a clone of any other shell......(shareware, $28 after trial).....GO THERE!

BBLEAN..........Lean version of Blackbox for Windows, a shell replacement. bbLean is based stylistically on the Blackbox Window Manager for the Linux X Window System by Brad Hughes.....(free).....GO THERE!bblean

BEOS WIN.......... BEOSWin is a BEOS style Shell for Windows 95 or 98 (maybe XP), designed to emulate the "Deskbar" application of BEOS version 5. The following features are up and running: Provides most of the functionality of the deskbar menu. Uses menus directly from Windows, but allows additional menus. Will run on Windows 95 and 98 at least. Don't know about anything else. Will co-exist with the normal explorer shell. Tiny (<80k) executable, self installing (just run it!). No support files at all, no uninstall program, it is completely harmless. If you don't run it it isn't there. Open Source. Desktop Shortcuts (if Explorer not running). Startup Menu Execution (if Explorer not running).....(free).....GO THERE!

BLIZZLE..........New Windows shell replacement information site .....(free).....GO THERE!

BLUEBERRY WINDOWS SHELL.......... Open Source GPL-licensed application made in Delphi. It's purpose is to replace the Windows Shell by a 3D-OpenGL interface in which you can walk in your desktop world. There will be many features, as showing an application window in a full-3D window that supports alpha blending, shortcuts to pop up apps or files, a 3D file explorer built as a maze, a rotating textured Earth planet to connect/disconnect/monitor an Internet connection. A real-time clock and calendar are featured too. Many other management features based on Control Panel are to be included: printers, networking, hardware, fonts, system time and date........(free).....GO THERE!

BOS.......... BoS is a replacement shell for Win Explorer. It replaces the drab gray start button and taskbar with a translucent, skinnable bar. BoS reimplements almost everything that Explorer does, including the taskbar, start menu, clock, system tray, and even desktop icons that support OLE drag and drop. UPDATE: Tin over at Desktopian has informed us this shell is currently available in source code only. According to Tin, "It's kind of fun to play with. Uses 'fake' transparency all over... nice effect.".....(free).....GO THERE!

CAIRO..........A Windows Shell Alternative. Cairo is a revolutionary desktop environment for Windows. The goal is to develop a desktop experience that increases productivity and advances current technology standards. With a focus on stability, performance, and productivity, Cairo is sure to turn a few heads. In the next week or so the Cairo Development Team will be releasing the first milestone build of Cairo, tentatively named Cairo Milestone 1. Sign up to be a tester before the release is widely available.....(free).....GO THERE!

CANDY SHELL..........CandyShell is a Windows shell selector - manager to facilitate the changing of LiteStep themes .....(free).....GO THERE!

CODEX 3000..........Windows replacement shell with its own Control Panel, tasklist, etc, and most of it is skinnable though the interface might be not fully sufficient yet. The installer won't change the registry or system.ini.....(free).....GO THERE!

CREATING AN XP EMBEDDED SHELL..........Windows XP Embedded provides the ability to build a customized operating system image which contains the components and technologies that are appropriate for your specific device. The image may contain customized device drivers and applications, and in some cases, it would also be appropriate to boot the Windows XP Embedded device directly into a customized application, or shell. Learn how to build a Windows XP Embedded Shell Component. A custom shell component can be selected in the same manner as the standard Explorer Shell. A custom shell can be used to create a fixed function device.....(free).....GO THERE!

DARKSTEP SHELL..........DarkStep is a shell replacement for Windows 9x NT 2K which is compatible with most LiteStep themes and modules but has been written from the ground up with the original intent of LiteStep: To be fast, resource friendly and ultimately configurable. The shell itself is a mixture of public domain code that has been revised and assembled by Fahim Farook to represent his perception of the ever illusive "perfect shell" replacement :) While everyone's view of this "perfect shell" most certainly will differ, there is no denying the speed, ease of use and configurability, combined with a very flexible interface......(free beta).....GO THERE!

DESKTOP LITE.......... Desktop Lite is a light weight shell to replace Windows Explorer and the traditional desktop.....(free).....GO THERE!

DESKTOP X.......... DesktopX is a powerful object framework for Windows. It allows users to create completely customized user environments. With it, desktops can be broken into individual parts that are called DesktopX objects that can be exchanged with other DesktopX users. As a result, virtually anything that doesn't require user input can be created quickly and easily. Creating a DesktopX theme or DesktopX object does not necessarily require any programming skill. DesktopX themes are resolution independent and are created via a simple GUI. DesktopX is part of Object Desktop, it is the component that gives users and corporations the power to decide their own interface to Windows in order to suit their needs and increase their productivity......(shareware, $19.95 after trial).....GO THERE!

EMERGE DESKTOP.......... Emerge Desktop is a replacement windows shell -the desktop environment normally provided by Windows Explorer - for Windows 2000 and Windows XP (Home and Professional). In order to replace Windows Explorer as a shell, it provides a system tray (the area that collects the icons collected at the lower right corner in Explorer), called emergeTray. It will also provide access to the users programs (normally accessed with the windows "start" button) via a right-click on the desktop, via emergeCore......(free).....GO THERE!

EVWM.......... Evwm was written to be extremely small and very fast. Because of this, it is not very pretty. The goals were to create a core shell with minimal "clutter", and then extend from that in various directions, such as towards a better user interface. The end result of this is a layered design, with speed and memory consumption sacrificed for visual appeal or functionality depending on what features are loaded. Evwm, at its current incarnation, is incredibly fast and powerful, with several important features that make it significantly better than other shells. The most obvious is speed. It was written in straight ANSI C and WinAPI, and done in a modular way so that very little memory is taken. It is also extensible, allowing for special add-ons such as the Litestep Wharfapp plugin.....(free).....GO THERE!

FUTURE OF DESKTOP CUSTOMIZATION.......... Thoughts about the future of Desktop customization. Biased towards shells, of course! What should such a third generation shell be?.....(free).....GO THERE!

GAMEOS GE.......... GameOS GE is a simple and slim Windows replacement shell made for one main purpose: to play games with the best performance and stability possible. Furthermore, GameOS GE has a feature called "free game resources", which can be used before or after every game so that the next game will have all the resources it craves. GameOS GE gives you dedicated game performance the way console OSs does for maximum performance. (And we can think of a whole lot of other uses besides games where you'd want to maximize performance and stability....).....(free).....GO THERE!

GEO SHELL..........GeoShell is a replacement shell for Windows to replace the standard desktop interface. In other words, you trade your start menu, taskbar, system tray and desktop in, and you get our versions, featuring slick, skinnable geoBars which can be placed anywhere and alpha blended into your background. GeoShell has plugins that add additional functionality like rss readers, weather forecasts, mail checkers, web search bars, virtual desktops and more. In it's default installation geoShell also uses less resources than Windows Explorer, and is particularly effective when combined with third-party web browsers and file managers to completely upgrade your basic Windows interface.....(free).....GO THERE!

GO..........Our favorite minimalist shell uses very little memory and few resources. According to the developer, "All the simple command lines I've found have either option after option after option or are too easy to close accidently or come in many pieces (dlls, hlp, ini, etc...) or are large files or skinned or shareware or require installation or bla bla bla. Go is one file, requires no install or uninstall, leaves nothing behind when deleted, requires no special dll files, is bonehead simple to use and can only be closed by a single route, "!quit". Go is set to idle cpu usage which means it doesn't gulp your runtimes. Go can be used as a shell, which means you can start with system resources above 90% (Millage may vary). Go supports 36 hotkey application launches via shortcuts within Go's own homefolder." (GO now has an EasterEgg, a fully animated, realtime firestorm background).....(free).....GO THERE!

GOOSH..........The unofficial google shell. This google-interface behaves similar to a unix-shell. You type commands and the results are shown on the goosh page. goosh is powered by google.....(free).....GO THERE!

GUIDED TOUR OF THE MICROSOFT COMMAND SHELL..........The emulated DOS command shell found in Windows is a shallow farce by comparison with the Linux command shell, and Microsoft has done little over the years to imbue it with greater power. Now Microsoft is prepared to augment its antiquated command line with a revolutionary new shell that will provide Windows users with a whole new level of control. The Microsoft Command Shell (MSH) features a unique object oriented syntax, extensive support for versatile .NET technology, and an adequate assortment of commands. Available for free download from Microsoft's Beta site, the second MSH beta release provides profound insights into the future of the Windows command line .....(free).....GO THERE!

HOVER DESK..........HoverDesk is a complete and powerful desktop replacement. It adds versatility to your existing Windows desktop and lets you customize your interface according to your needs and tastes. HoverDesk includes: Launch bars in unlimited number. Tiles can be any size, any shape, with support for full transparency. A powerful taskbar inspired by the NeXTSTEP® OS. An open architecture that allows the use and development of third-party plug-ins. A quick & easy configuration by drag & drop and the support for themes. HoverDesk is not a shell and doesn't mess with your system files......(shareware, $19.95 after trial).....GO THERE!

INTERFACE WORKSHOP..........A fine site dedicated to the alternative shell movement. It has a heavy emphasis on Litestep, and seems to have some modules by Japanese developers which haven't made it across the Pacific until now. The site's in both Japanese and English, so head on over and take a look. Hopefully, through Interface Workshop we can be made aware of some of the fine Japanese software which we're missing because of the language gap.....(free).....GO THERE!

JAVASCRIPT SHELL..........A command-line interface for JavaScript and DOM. You can enter statements and expressions at the same prompt. The result of each non-void statement or expression is shown. User-defined variables. User-defined functions. JavaScript error messages are shown in red. Previous statements and expressions are available through Up and Down arrow keys. Tab completion. Multiline input (Shift+Enter to insert a line break). If the shell is opened using a bookmarklet, JavaScript typed into the shell runs in the context of the original window. Works well in Firefox, mostly works in Opera 8 and in IE 6 for Windows.....(free).....GO THERE!

KANSAS..........When experimenting with alternative shells one often needs to get back to Explorer quickly and easily without having to edit the registry and reboot. Kansas is an executable which changes the shell back to Explorer and logs off without any user interface.....(free).....GO THERE!

KDE FOR WINDOWS AND MAC..........This is big. The very popular KDE Windows manager, long used by Linux lovers, is now ported to Windows and the Mac. If anything pulls Windows and Mac users to Linux, this will do it. Get the feel of Linux right inside your own OS. Alpha release .....(free).....GO THERE!

LCARS 24..........Fast, smooth, powerful, and handsome 32-bit, TrueColor Starfleet-standard GUI with many LCARS games, applications, and utilities, the real thing, programmed from scratch in C, not Visual Basic or Flash.....(free).....GO THERE!

LDE(X)..........LDE(X) is one of the most developed LiteStep-based Windows interface - shell replacements ever. It has been developed to suit the most demanding of workloads within the tightest of deadlines - every tool or application you need is always close at hand. For those needing the ultimate power, the environment is highly flexible and open to third party development in virtually every way .....(free).....GO THERE!

LITE SHELL..........A tiny, ultra-fast shell for Windows, designed for slow PCs. It uses very little CPU or RAM. Source code also available as a learning aid .....(free).....GO THERE!

LITEGNOMER'S WEB.......... A new Litestep news site. Themes, modules, and news. Also covers other Windows shell replacements.....(free).....GO THERE!

LITESTEP IN WIN 2K..........As Microsoft is quite aggressive about its own explorer-shell, there are a few registry settings you need to change in order to get LiteStep running to your full satisfaction. Most conveniently you setup each user his own shell. Then you might want to enable multiple window browsing for the explorer filemanager. Last but not least the autocompletion feature from Unix is also available under win32 - you just have to edit the registry a bit... .....(free).....GO THERE!

LITESTEP INFO..........New site with links to everything you need for the most populat Windows shell replacement.....(free).....GO THERE!

LSH..........LSh is a command line shell for Windows that emulates a unix-like feel. forward slashes are converted to backslashes as needed to make it a little more enjoyable .....(free).....GO THERE!

MICHELLE..........Alternate Windows Shell - Windows Explorer replacement. Michelle is currently in beta for Windows 2K, XP and Vista. We don't have much info about this one, so let us know what you think. (Click link on sidebar to download) .....(free).....GO THERE!

NOE EXPLORER..........NoE Explorer is a shell for Windows'98 that replaces the standard Explorer. The main features are as follows: it allows a maximum working space on the desktop (not everyone has a 17" monitor). It's free of bars and panels of any kind (except the system tray which hides itself). Easy menu access. Customizability. Maximum performance, that's why the developer dropped timers--modern computers are fast enough to handle some things on the fly. Everything is launched through the popup menus or shortcuts (screen or keyboard - it saves lots of time). Virtual windows--limited to the 32-bit integer (about 54 with 1152x864 resolution), scrolled sequentially. Shortcuts are unique for each desktop. Full mouse button interchangability.....(free).....GO THERE!

NOOFACE..........In search of the post-pc interface: The purpose of this site is to support the exchange of ideas about next-generation user interfaces, focusing on approaches that go beyond the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointing Device) method on which most current user interfaces are based. The goal is to promote out-of-the-box thinking on how user interfaces might evolve to accommodate new classes of users and devices outside of the traditional PC domain.....(free).....GO THERE!

RETROSTEP.......... Retrostep is an open source project which is attempting to bring you a clean and free Litestep implementation. For more information on Litestep, please visit Shellfront. Retrostep consists of two groups of components. There is retro which is the collective name for the core components of Retrostep (currently made up of the files retro.exe, lsapi.dll and lshook.dll). The other goup of components are called the Retrostep modules (remods for short) which provide user interface elements und related utilities.....(free).....GO THERE!

RH DESKTOP..........This is a Windows shell and Active Desktop -- supposed to be for kids, but I figure someone might figure out some interesting mods for it... RhDesktop hides the normal Windows desktop and taskbar and provides a desktop much more kid-friendly. RhBrowser presents a customized Internet Explorer and provides animations when a page is downloading and provides smart handling of annoying popups that even sites like Nick Jr. contain. Keeps kids from getting confused over popups, overlapping windows, and navigation pauses. Provides visual and audio cues to keep kids patient while browsing the web.....(free).....GO THERE!

ROOMS..........Windows desktop meets the 3D game. Explore your desktop in 3D. Look around and move around as in a 3D game. Instead of power-ups and players to watch out for, you have 3D icons and views to look at. Organize your stuff logically as meaningful 3D icons in a matching virtual reality world (ROOMS icons are like Windows shortcuts). Download worlds from the internet or create your own. Theme worlds on your favorite game - or virtual den, or office, or personal picture album - or create your own surreal world. When you want a change - load another world (just like wallpaper)......(free).....GO THERE!

RUN..........A simple but effective Run dialog replacement. We think it could also be used as your Windows shell.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHARP E..........SharpE is a user-friendly desktop replacement for Windows XP - 2k. SharpDesk's powerful shell replacement makes crafting a luxurious desktop a delight. Every pixel of visible space can be personalized, and the export feature makes it easy to share your masterpieces. A single theme can be customized in dozens of ways with realtime wallpaper effects, icon sets, color schemes, and custom menu content. The SharpBar is a package of goodies all by itself, with its array of tools and toys. Included are system monitors, a clock, a task module, a tray and a command line, amongst others. .....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL LIST..........One of the most complete lists of Windows replacement shells currently available, with links.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL MAILING LISTS.......... Several listservs for discussion of various aspects of shell development have been created at Shell-Shocked. Includes coding and general discussion lists currently.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL SHOCKED ISSUE 4..........It's been a while in coming, but Issue #4 of Shell-Shocked is finally out! Included in this issue is the first of a three part series on getting the best performance out of your PC. The piece is centered around shells, talks about memory management and mentions some great free, efficient software. Another piece tells you how to solve your email transport problems. As well, there are the usual reviews, interviews, themes and jokes. Grab a drink or two, and have a good read!.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL SHOCKED ISSUE 5..........Available as of Monday, the online shell tweaker's journal. This issue contains an Interview with La Haine, a tutorial, "Deconstructing the Shell," an introduction to the Serenade shell, a review of the new Carbon 6 shell, and an article about how shell virgins can learn those first few steps. plus lots more. The best issue yet.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL SHOCKED ISSUE 7.......... The latest issue of the shell user's and programmer's journal -- interview with Ilmcuts, Litestep core developer, debate: functionality vs. eye-candy, tutorial: hacking the look of your machine, lots more.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL SHOCKED ISSUE 8..........At last, the long awaited new issue of Shell Shocked, the online journal of the shellerati.... Themes, GUI's, shell replacements, reviews, interviews, tutorials.... everything you want. Our special favorite is a series of articles on coding shell applets. So here's the site, and our main link goes to the issue.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL SHOCKED ISSUE 9..........At last, the new issue of Shell Shocked, the online journal of the shellerati....Articles on Blackbox, SharpE, Geoshell, the Litestep Control Panel, the System Tray, theming Windows, Windows Symbolic and Hard Links , and more. And besides the other fabulous articles, this issue introduces the latest release of Litestep Desktop Environment(X), the alternate Windows shell replacement, not just for your home, not just for your toaster, but for your SOHO too.......(free).....GO THERE!

SHELL SHOCKED..........The Chronicle of Shell Replacement, tutorials, more... Check it out, friends.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELLFRONT.......... Rootrider, formerly of FPN, has opened up his own shell shop, and it's looking pretty good. News, replacement shells (with the focus on Litestep), and quite a bit more. Put him on your daily rotation, he's going to be on ours.....(free).....GO THERE!

SHELLSCAPE..........One of our favorite sites for a long time. Shell and software news and downloads. We know you'll like it.....(free).....GO THERE!

SPHERE XP..........The SphereXP is a new Windows replacement shell in 3D. Taking the known concept of three-dimensional desktops to its own level. It offers a new way to organize objects on the desktop such a icons and applications. The SPHERE (SphereXP) is a 3-dimensional workspace for Windows. It replaces and extends the regular desktop. It offers a different way to organize elements of the operating system like programms, icons ... Although the app is experimental, the concept can serve as a theory for the future .....(free).....GO THERE!

SUNDEW..........According to the developer, "Works alongside BBlean (blackbox) for Win using the 2.0 framework. Basically, I didn't really like the BBicons extension - so I started to write an app that would render a wallpaper. It later became a desktop replacement that fills in where BBlean left off for me".....(free).....GO THERE!

SUS' DARKSTEP SITE..........Site devoted to the Windows replacement shell, Darkstep. Modules, docs, etc.....(free).....GO THERE!

WEZ EVIL SHELL..........Shell replacement for WindowsXP and Windows Server 2003. Replaces the taskbar, start menu and system tray.....(free).....GO THERE!

WINDOWS POWER SHELL.......... Windows PowerShell is a new task-based command line shell and intuitive scripting language for system administration that provides comprehensive control and automation for Windows administrators. Windows PowerShell makes administrators more productive by improving the manageability of the Windows operating system and applications that run on Windows. From Microsoft .....(free).....GO THERE!

XOBLITE.......... Advanced Windows shell replacement, a branch of Blackbox with integrated SystemBar and Slit + a whole lot more.....(free).....GO THERE!

XP SHELL FEATURES.......... The Windows XP shell introduces many new features that both users and developers are sure to welcome. The interface supports a number of styles that will be new to users, and it also supports customization of those styles through a new concept called themes. There are more shell registry settings available to the user and developer, a facility for customizing infotips, and infotip shell extensions. In addition, folder views can be customized. This article covers these shell changes and includes a discussion of a number of other Windows XP additions. These include fast user switching, which lets users log on and off quickly, and AutoPlay support for a variety of devices and file types not previously supported.....(free).....GO THERE!

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