SacRat's Windows Customization blog
sacrat's Articles
August 12, 2004 by sacrat
Aston vs. Explorer: comparative reviewIn this article I'd liked to name all the pros and cons of both shells.
What for? First of all, some users think, that alternative shells have less features, than Explorer and thus less usable. Next, I know no comparative reviews of both shells as there are not really many alt shell fans (and the existing ones don't write reviews too often).

So, what's different in Aston and Explorer?

Stability:Both shells are pretty stable nowadays;Aston is more stab...
August 8, 2004 by sacrat
The future of Desktop customization. Pt. I.Greetings. Sacrat online. This time I'd liked to share some of my (and not only my) thoughts about the future of Desktop customization. And as i mostly work with shells, this article would be biased towards them.In my personal shell classification I divide them into three large groups.
The first group contains pure minimalist shells. They were designed to free up some vital memory, eaten by Explorer (a known resource hog) and replace the same explorer ...
August 8, 2004 by sacrat
In a garbage of skins for a certain application one could often find few perls.This time I'll tell you about some interesting Aston themes.insignia -special by frozzzen/A.R.T.

Insignia Special in some reasons managed to become one of the most popular Aston themes ever created. Theme itself is highly contrast and bright and doesn't hurt one's eyes when using it constantly. The range of this theme's application is very wide: from home to office Desktops. It's equally loved by newbies and Aston...
August 7, 2004 by sacrat
Many users think, that Stardock's best application is Windows Blinds. Other praise DesktopX. My opinion on this is very different. If Stardock ever released a really good program it is called Cursor XP.Cursor XP is cursor ehnacement application, having some really nice features. If you ever tried to replace default Windows cursors you must know, that this process is very hard due to numerous limitations: strict size and color (no alpha support nearly 'till XP) limitations can drive you mad. Sure...
August 5, 2004 by sacrat
Kapsules is a Windows widget engine. It might even be called the next of kin of Mac OS konfabulator. So, let's take a closer look.Kapsules is a free software with all related advantages and disadgantages. Released by Carbon 6 it has all the defects of software, released by it. One of them is a feeling of an unfinished product. But, referring to the program's status (freeware) and age (less, than a year) this disadvantage is easy to forgive. The more, Kapsules is a really nice software.In order t...
August 5, 2004 by sacrat
It's a pity, that some developers trend to ignore groups of people, that cannot afford a legal copy of their software. No, I'm not talking about ones, spending tens of bucks a day for beer, but not willing to pay the same money for an app they like. In some contries, like Russia, where the salary of an average person is rarely more, than $100 a month (that's hardly a survival minimum) and people often buy computers for no more, than $500 (including monitor), the problem of software piracy is qui...
August 5, 2004 by sacrat
It might be not too honest for me to write about a competing application (I belong to a volunteer Aston support/design group), but all written below is my personal opinion. In other words, here I speak for myself as a user.
According to the official homepage , Talisman is a "desktop alternative and shell-replacement for Windows 9xsacrat and NT/2000/XP". Actually it can work in two modes: together with Windows Explorer and as a standalone shell.


The thing, that amaze most people, new to the...
August 4, 2004 by sacrat
Greetings, user.
This time I'd liked to tell you about some interesting skinnable apps I use myself in my daily work.The first one is called AltDesk.AltDesk is a VDM application, so its main task is managing virtual Desktops. First of all, what for do you need more, than one Desktop on your computer? The anser is simple if you ever happened to work with a large amount of windows at the same time. If you tried browsing internet while working with your favorite text processor or drawing something...
August 3, 2004 by sacrat
Aston Shell. New experience.A couple of days ago Gladiators Software has released the version 1.9.1 of their excellent application, Aston.
Aston shell is a powerful and flexible shell replacement application... Well, OK, you can read this description on their site without any help from my side, so we better stop on the program itself, not its declared features.

Aston is a Windows shell replacement. So What is a shell? Basicly shell gives you basic interface elements you're already...
August 3, 2004 by sacrat
Welcome to SacRat's blogGreeting to everyone. My name is Taras (SacRat) Brizitsky and I'd liked to introduce you my personal blog.Starting from today I plan to write few articles about customizing your Windows PC. Surely, there are Stardock articles already, but they're only the top of the iceberg. Digging a little bit deeper you could learn lots of more interesting things you never imagined before...