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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 5 Tools to Make Windows XP Look Like Vista 5 Tools to Make Windows XP Look Like Vista Read More .

Animated Desktop - Video screensaver on XP and Vista Home Edition

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.

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Volumouse - Contol Volume using Mouse Wheel

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 - Windows Cursor Themes

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

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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