Top 10 Windows XP Themes And Visual Styles

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Sick of blue and green? Wanna change your XP themes and visual styles to something cooler? Well here are 10 of the COOLEST visual styles around the web. All you need is WindowBlinds and walla~ you can use any one of the highly rated themes below. Heck, you can even use all 10 themes! Have fun!

(Click on the link at the lower right of the pictures for a bigger screenshot)

  1. Vienna XP
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    High contrast wallpapers go well with this skin as it blends in well with the transparency features. It’s just so cool!

  3. Vista Perfection X4
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    One of the most beautiful Vista skins for XP. Assembled by Kayeirene.

  5. MoonFlower 3.0
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    This one looks a lot like the second one. Also put together by Kayeirene.

  7. Jadaero 1.2
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    This nice, clean theme is made possible by Flahorn.

  9. Eminence
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    This theme is dark ashed crystal styled with 4 different substyles. The brilliant work of rjsmith.

  11. Novum OS Final
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    Wow. Has its own throbber, special sidebar effects, special 2 layer support and slight but slick transparency everywhere you look. Da man behind this theme is da-flow.

  13. Glitch
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    2 words describe this theme best. Brilliantly simple. Great piece of work by OmART.

  15. Prototype
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    Prototype is a high contrast gray scale skin with orange highlights by Uladk.

  17. Thalos WB
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    The start menu is compact, the icons are so, so, so cool and it has super cool transfer file animation. All made possible by -kol.

  19. Delta
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    2 words for this. Absolutely smooth! Another devious creation by OmART.

Who Else Wants To Know More About Processes In The Task Manager?

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Truth be told, I have been a Windows user since the days of Windows 95, which is roughly about 10 years ago. I had no interest in understanding what Windows is all about until I went to university. My classmates had been the influence in making a more technology-conscious me. I cared more about how to fully utilize my PC, setup routers, use anti spywares-virus-adware, bittorrent and much more.

I know that there are many Windows XP users out there who don’t really understand the processes running on their PCs. Some of the processes may be spywares, collecting every keystroke that you make, just so that ‘they’ can steal your money from your accounts. So it is very important to understand common processes in the task manager’s list. Let’s look at mine.

Press Ctrl-Shift-Escape. Click on the ‘Processes’ tab.

tskmgr

That’s how a typical list look like. By looking at some of the process’s name, you may guess out the application. That’s good. But how about these 8 system processes?

  1. alg.exe
  2. alg.exe is a core process for Microsoft Windows Internet Connection sharing and Internet connection firewall. Obviously it’s important to maintain the internet connection and should not be ended manually. Try it only if you want to see problems pertaining to the internet connection.

  3. csrss.exe
  4. csrss.exe is the main executable for the Microsoft Client/Server Runtime Server Subsystem that manages most graphical commands in Windows. Note that csrss.exe is very dangerous as attackers use it to access local computers from remote locations, stealing personal information such as passwords, internet banking login details and other vital personal data. One way to differentiate between legitimate and fake is to check the directory that csrss.exe is running from. You are safe if it runs from :

    C:\WINDOWS\system32\csrss.exe

  5. lsass.exe
  6. lsass.exe is a system process of the Microsoft Windows security mechanisms that specifically deals with local security and login policies. It manages the IP security policy and starts the IP security driver. Sensitive data like private keys are protected by lsass.exe to prevent unauthorized services, processes or users. All security information of local user accounts are protected by lsass.exe.

  7. services.exe
  8. services.exe manager the operation of starting and stopping all services on the machine. It is responsible for automatic starting of services during start-up and stopping of services during shut-down. This service enables the machine to recognize and adapt itself to hardware changes with little user input. This service is important in maintaining the stability of the system.

  9. smss.exe
  10. smss stands for Session Manager Sub System. It’s main job is to create environment variables, start up the kernel and user modes of the Win32 subsystem, create virtual memory paging files and winlogon.exe.

  11. spoolsv.exe
  12. The spooler service is responsible for managing spooled print/fax jobs. spoolsv.exe is not critical to the running of the system but should be terminated if you see high CPU usage even when you are not printing anything. Sometimes, jobs are stuck waiting in Microsoft Image Viewer.

  13. svchost.exe
  14. This process is Microsoft’s Service Host Process. What it does is handle processes executed from DLLs. This process is important to maintain the stability and security of running the PC. It should never be ended or removed prematurely. Essential applications count on it.

  15. System Idle Process
  16. 100 – (total CPU usage) = System Idle process

    This process measures the amount of unused CPU capacity. It runs silently in the background and monitors Windows’s processing bandwidth, occupied memory and the Windows virtual paging file. This process CANNOT be terminated.

scanner

The best is to scan your PC to identify ALL processes that should and should not be running in your PC. ProcessLibrary has done a good job in coming out with their lightweight, easy-to-use, free process scanner. After scanning my system, it listed out clearly the task functions of each process in my PC. Good stuff.

Download ProcessScanner
Search and identify your system processes