Old 5th January 2001, 18:47   #1
Flynnz
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To replace explorer in windows, that is...

I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for. Maybe I'll go with litestep - I dunno. I've only got a 200 mhz pentium with 64 mb of ram and some crappy built-in video memory. Would love to hear what you guys think.
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Old 5th January 2001, 18:49   #2
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Litestep, without a doubt. You could give Darkstep a try, though. The reason? Much more configurable than something like windowblinds, plus, it takes very extremely little system resources. Windowblinds make my cel 500 projectile vomit. LS makes my cel 500 spin it's head 360, and speak in a demonic voice.
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Old 5th January 2001, 18:53   #3
Flynnz
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hehehe

Yeah.. I experimented with WindowBlinds and Nextstart (a kickass start menu replacement) a while back, but they slowed my computer down to a crrrraaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwlll.

Could ya give me the low-down on Litestep and Darkstep? What's the dealie-o?

Also.. could someone give more info on Litestep? (The website is confusing.. what's with all the "daily builds"? *sigh*)

(third edit: What about GeoShell?)
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Old 5th January 2001, 19:14   #4
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I haven't fiddled around too much with Darkstep (I hear that Litestep is based off it... or is it the other way 'round? ). Anyhoo, I think they're pretty much the same, so i'll only discuss Litestep.

It lets you:
- Make the system tray larger, smaller, placed in another postion, text based, icon based, or non existant
- Make the task bar " "
- Use geekamp to control winamp directly from the desktop
- Add modules to increase features infintely
- Use a 'wharf'. Kind of like a shortcut bar.
- Edit the start menu
- Turn the start menu into a pop up menu that can be accessed anywhere on the screen
- Use virtual desktops (up to 9, I think. There actually maybe no limit)
-On the fly theme switching
- Skin any LS customizable element of the desktop

Doesn't let you:
-Natively support desktop icons


Basically, it lets you change every feature of the windows environment, except the actual windows. So, you can't change titlebars, scrollbars, etc., but you can change the takbar, system tray, etc. What you decide to do with them is only limited by your artistic and technical skill. All editing is done through a text editor to create an .rc file. Once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy. It's very much like .ini editing. You set screen location, call up modules (desktop clocks, screensavers as wallpapers, etc.), add items to pop ups, etc. I'd recommend d/l'ing a prebuilt themes from litestep.net, and reading the .rc; most of them are really well documented. LS also has a reference manual outlining syntax and use of every function. It's in html, so it's easy to find any one particular feature.

You can download modules from any LS site. These let you add funtionality to Litestep, such as geekamp controls, and desktop icons. They are really easy to use, and they all come with readme's with syntax notes, and sample code on how to call them up.

The pop up menu (start menu) is really cool. You can get modules that do all kinds of sexy stuff to it, such as adding invisible portions, so it looks like windowblinds. It natively supports translucence, and alpha blending, to make it look like it's glowing. Real swank. You can add as many items to it as you want.

There's so much more to litestep; too much to list here. I recommend that you search litestep.net for a theme that you like, and use it, because the base theme that comes with litestep is designed to be a stabel editing platform, to display litestep's features, not aesthetics. You can stick with the theme if you don't like tweaking, but, if you are bored, you could just fiddle with the .rc and make something amazing.
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Old 5th January 2001, 19:17   #5
Flynnz
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cooo beens

Thanks for that, RM....



One thing though: what's the deal with "daily builds"?

One other other thing: I thought Litestep replaced explorer - meaning that your computer would run faster, but also meaning you couldn't use explorer without restarting the computer?
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Old 5th January 2001, 19:22   #6
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It's a free source project, so with hundreds of people working on it, they always get new builds. They are always trying to improve code, so it is more streamlined and hopefully, stable. Like Mozilla. Stick with the non-dailies, because they are always more stable.

That's right. There are some apps that claim to be able to that, but they are not always stable. It's possible to switch themes, not shells, on the fly.
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Old 5th January 2001, 19:28   #7
Flynnz
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uhhhh.. so Litestep DOES replace explorer? Cool.

So which distribution do I download then? Ack... Help!

[edit]"which will hide your entire Explorer desktop (icons and taskbar) if you are running Litestep over Explorer" So you can use it as a shell replacement.. or as just a cool program? *sigh*[/edit]
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Old 5th January 2001, 19:32   #8
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http://lsdev.litestep.net/releases/ls-024_5.zip

The theme I started out with is called Northern Sea 2:
http://litestep.org/download.php3?filename=NorthernSea.2.zip

For info on the theme:
http://litestep.org/themes.php3?perform=zoom&tid=790
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Old 5th January 2001, 21:05   #9
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Actually, I have found the daily builds to be quite stable. I guess it really depends. Personally to start out with litestep I'd just recommend going to http://www.litestep.net and just downloading a theme - they generally come with a good LS build and a pre-made step.rc.

?
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Old 5th January 2001, 22:31   #10
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Geoshell is also well worth checking out - light and stable, and quicker to set up than Litestep. News on development of the new version (5) is here:

http://www.geoshell.com

and development on the existing 4.x series takes place here:

http://news.geoshell.com

Oh, and it can be run either within explorer or as a separate shell.

Regarding shell switchers, ShellOn appears to be fairly good and does simplify running multiple shells, allowing you to associate different shells with different users:

http://shellon.cjb.net

Jack.

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Old 5th January 2001, 23:44   #11
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Late as usual. Anyway, Litestep would be my choice as best shell replacement. Whoever it was (Flynnz?) that said Windowblinds and NextStart ate up your resources, were you still using Explorer as your shell?
If so, try running NextStart with LiteStep as your shell instead. It will make it easier on your CPU.
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Old 6th January 2001, 01:15   #12
piesupreme
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i quite like seashells..

use the search, that's what it's there for.
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Old 6th January 2001, 01:48   #13
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i installed Lightstep a month ago... thought it was a cool idea.... but i didnt like the feel of it... I'ma wait till its more devoloped and user friendly... plus... when switching back to Explorer , I fucked my computer up royaly! it took me over a month to fix! thank god i got it workingt again!

Peace
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Old 6th January 2001, 02:53   #14
Flynnz
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Thanks ReD and JackW, but I've already found all that. ShellOn is pretty dern cool. (Think I'm gonna wait a little longer for Geoshell though.)

I got the most downloaded LS theme - the one about the turtle... So far, haven't been able to get it to work. Even downloaded all the modules that the readme says the theme uses. Ugh. Need to spend more time on it.

No randman - at the time, (early 2000) I didn't even know what exactly a shell was, or that you could replace the windows default. So Nextstart was running on top of explorer.

Since my earlier posts, my understanding of the difference between the program and shell aspects of explorer.exe has also increased. That was causing me much confyoooshun.
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Old 6th January 2001, 03:48   #15
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acccckk!

Okay okay... so I've figured more out. But not enough.

What threw me off: I installed a build of Litestep.. and then unzipped the Turtle Soup II theme on top of it. After starting over, I've learned that you can set all of the directories in the step.rc file (like the mod, image directories, etc) which is cool. I've also learned that I didn't need to download all those modules.. they were already there - in the themes/Turtle Soup II directory. *sigh*

Basically, now I'm in even more trouble. Cuz I understand more what's going on, but still don't know what the problem is. Here is a 10.9 k screenshot.

Please.. help.

Seriously though. I'm dyin' here.
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Old 6th January 2001, 03:52   #16
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I find LiteStep too difficult, so I use Serenade. If you's like to find info on Shell rplacements, go to
http://shellcity.net/
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Old 6th January 2001, 04:45   #17
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ughhh...

I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to figure out what the problem is. Anyone? Anyone? Hellllllllp!

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Old 6th January 2001, 13:26   #18
ReDVsion
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Flynnz: You are missing a thing called WALLPAPER! Kinda important for this and a lot of other themes...

?
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Old 6th January 2001, 16:33   #19
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explorer

is my favorite shell

and WindowBlinds is not a shell
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Old 6th January 2001, 17:08   #20
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many shells here >>> http://www.tweakfiles.com/appearance

tried many shells but i keep coming back to explorer.
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Old 6th January 2001, 17:48   #21
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Explorer, huh? Which one? 95/98/ME/NT/2k

Generally I'll stick with the 95 shell, but every so often I feel like I need something more interesting and go back to litestep. My problem is that I have so many damn themes I don't know which one to use...

?
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Old 6th January 2001, 20:21   #22
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my favourite shell ? my turtle's one
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Old 6th January 2001, 20:40   #23
Flynnz
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No one said WindowBlinds is a shell...
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Old 6th January 2001, 22:56   #24
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I tried doin shells and stuff on my last computer and i screwed it up soo bad i had to re-install everything. Thats why i just accept windows as it is.
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