5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try

Five little desktop enhancement tools that do a really good job at making your desktop more functional and a lot better looking. It’s quite probable that you haven’t heard about any of of them before, so check them out.

Animated Desktop

Want to use your motion screensaver as a wallpaper? Using Animated Desktop you can emulate the functionality of Vista Ultimate DreamScene (video screensaver) both on Windows XP and Vista Home edition. If you’re planning on getting it, I highly recommend to use it together with the previously mentioned Rocketdock.

video desktop rocketdock   5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try

Volumouse

Another cool program you should definitely check out. Volumouse provides you with a quick way to control the volume on your system by using your mouse wheel. It lets you define a set of events when the wheel will be used for changing volume, i.e. when the Alt key is hold down, when the mouse cursor is over the taskbar, etc. It doesn’t interfere with exisitng mouse functionalities.

volumouse mouse volume   5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try

CursorFX

This little app lets you choose between incredibly cool looking Windows mouse cursor themes. You can either select one of the default themes or easily create your own cursors. It integrates into the standard Mouse interface of Windows and is easy to turn on and off as you need. Works both on XP and Windows Vista.

cursorFX cursor themes   5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try

KeyLemon (Win XP Only)

This program automatically locks/unlocks your computer by looking at your face. It is light on system resources and takes seconds to configure. It’s not something that will make your computer a lot more secure but works quite well if you want to impress women ;-)

Real Desktop (XP / Vista)

You have probably heard about Bumtop – application that transforms your desktop to a 3D play ground. It makes your icons look and act like real objects that you can touch and move as on a real desk. The only problem with it: it’s been in closed alpha for ages. However, there is another program that delivers pretty much the same interface and you can get it right now. This program is called Real Desktop and it even comes with a free version. Although a freeware version offers no styling options it is still enough to get a feel of it. Check out my sreenshot and a video demo that I found on Youtube.

real desktop   5 Desktop Enhancements you Should Definitely Try

Real Desktop video demo

Bonus: Another simple and memory-friendly 3D desktop freeware is Matodate. This one can reduce all active Windows to 3D mode. I personally didn’t like it, but looking at the article comments, seems like it has some fans too.

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22 Comments -

Shreela

I installed RocketDock recently, and it seems very easy on the system. I notice no load time differences, unlike Desktop Sidebar.

Swiss

RK Launcher is a nice free variant to RocketDock

http://home.cogeco.ca/~rklauncher/

David

I’m also using RocketDock – like it very much.

Re Animated Desktop:
I followed the above link to a forum that seemed to relate to Vista only – with it’s associated download .exe. There seems to be no reference to XP.

Can this really be achieved on XP – if so, any comments on how?

Aibek

We tested it on XP and it worked fine. It’s a standalone app, juzt unzip and run it.

Chris

CursorFX seems to work OK

Jonathan Bennett

I like my computer simple and boring. It was only recently that I decided to go ahead and start using the regular XP theme instead of “Windows Classic.”

RocketDock looks cool, but I’m happy with my little Quick Launch bar.

Vignesh

Hey,
I have a couple of questions.
I installed RealDesktop and it is not at all running. When i open it, it says “RealDesktop has to shut down. Sorry”.

And, with KeyLemon, what would i do if my face changes due to some reason ? I won’t be able to use my computer forever ?

Aibek

Are you using XP or Vista?

As about the Keylemon, well if your face changes then I guess you will have to find a way to crack it. :-)

Peter

Keylemon does not look at your face as a “picture” but at your general facial structure, the same as law enforcement facial recognition, like you see in NCIS. It calcuates the position of nose, mouth and eyes and ears in relation to each other and also uses your image but only as a reference.

David

I’m also using RocketDock – like it very much.

Re Animated Desktop:
I followed the above link to a forum that seemed to relate to Vista only – with it’s associated download .exe. There seems to be no reference to XP.

Can this really be achieved on XP – if so, any comments on how – has anyone tried it on XP?

Aibek

True, on the forum they don’t mention anything abt XP. But I asked my friend who is on XP to ty it out and it worked.

David

Sorry – last message was a mistake.

Thanks for the XP feedback.

David

RocketDock and Animated Desktop work really well together and make sitting in front of the screen a little less boring – thanks for the recommendation.

I’m sure that there are many sites out there with screensavers for XP but can anyone recommend a good one – especially if suited for the animated desktop?

Heidi

Hey, what’s your wallpaper from that pic? Where can I download it? =) It’s pretty sweet!

Aibek

Are you referring to the first one? It’s a screensaver. :-)

SeventySeven

I use RocketDock and I love it! Works well with Vista too.

john smith

real desktop is the best!

hotmale09

vistafeel.com

best

@Vignesh: did you even try KeyLemon ? You can type your login password if the software doesn’t recognizes you. This program actually types in the password for you when it recognizes your face, nothing more. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. The even more downside is that it only allows one face per login account.
Better try veriface recognition, does the same thing only it`s free

Peter

Fine buddy, but Keylemon is not only logon/logoff recognition. It also detects if you leave your computer and locks it, then unlocks it when you return.

If Veriface looks and works anything like the software Toshiba uses, it’s crap. I am trying it out but there’s a reason why Keylemon has gotten so popular. It WORKS and it ALWAYS works.

jake

i have win vista home sp1 and real desktop worked once for a few minutes and then crashed. tried relaunching numerous times and problem kept occuring when chaning angle of room with custom wallpapers applied. restarted computer and relaunched real desk. but now crashes once loaded.

KP

hi. i installed real desktop light. i can’t add any icons of the applications i use. is that possible only in the paid versions?.