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Desktop Themes ?
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Dragonlance
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Oct 24, 1999, 05:01 PM
 
i was wondering if there is an application for Macintosh users similar to Microsoft Plus!, that allowsone to change icons, sounds, colors, fonts and wallpaper of the macintosh desktop.

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Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 1999
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Oct 24, 1999, 05:59 PM
 
Well, you can change the desktop picture, sound sets, and fonts in the Appearance control panel (MacOS 8.5 and later). But if you want to change whole themes, as in windows and everything, you might take a look at an application called Kaleidoscope. This allows you to select schemes, sort of like you can in Windows (but much better, in my opinion).

Patrick
     
Dragonlance
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Oct 24, 1999, 07:47 PM
 
Thanks, that was exactly what i was looking for.

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scott
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Nov 6, 1999, 03:33 AM
 
A word to the wise about Kaleidoscope...

Greg Landwebber is a quite resourceful and ingenious Mac developer. He took a queue from the Mac OS 8 screenshots that appeared in a magazine some years back and created Aaron, which emulated the Mac OS 8 UI on Mac OS 7 machines the look to the pixel. Aaron evolved into the scheme-switching Kaleidoscope utility, which has a quite strong community following.

However, for all its benefits, Kaleidoscope has a major downside: it can cause a machine to be quite unstable. It twists and bends the operating system into doing things that it was never meant to do, and can confuse otherwise well-built applications. Do not be suprised if after installing Kaliedoscope, you start to crash on regular basis.

The "safe" way to approach this is to use Mac OS 8's plugin theme architecture. This allows for drastically different and uniquie appearances. Unfortunately, Apple has decidied to not to distribute themes, much to the dismay of many people. Instead, Apple provides variations on the "Platinum" appearance, with different colors for scrollbars, desktop, and various other widgets. The rumored reasoning for this approach varies greatly, but may have something to do with keeping things simple.

There is a group of people that got together to develop a Mac OS 8 theme editor and associate theme archive. It's called the Allegro Themes Project, and used to be at http://atp.gpsmac.net/, but the site seems ot be down now.

- Scott

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Scott Stevenson
Contributing Editor,
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[This message has been edited by scott (edited 11-06-1999).]
     
Nils
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Nov 25, 1999, 03:25 PM
 
Yes it's quite a pitty that th Themes dissappeared, however, if someone still has a beta version of Mac OS 8,5 the Themes were included with it and may still run on Mac OS 9. A year or so ago I picked up a theme called Sketchboard and managed to download it in the nick of time before Apple shut the server down, really a pity that Apple didn't allow the Themes to circulate around the net. In Mac OS X things may be more customisable though because of the UNIX layer beneath it all. We'll find out in January or Febuary hopefully.
Nils Carlson
     
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Nov 25, 1999, 03:41 PM
 
The Allegro Themes project is alove and well. They just relocated to: http://atp.xnot.com/

-Michael

[This message has been edited by mpmchugh (edited 11-25-1999).]
     
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Nov 30, 1999, 05:24 PM
 
I'm assuming that since the Allegro web site doesn't mention any problems, it's just me. But when I installed OS 9, my third-party Appearance themes stopped working. Hmm.
     
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Join Date: Nov 1999
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Dec 4, 1999, 12:00 PM
 
Okay... my $.02

I have been using Kaleidoscope for the past couple of years with many OS versions and have found the product to be quite stable. It was one the first (of many) shareware products that I registered fro my MAC.

There have been times such as once I upgraded to OS 8.6 that I had to wait a bit for the Kaleidoscope update.

The newest release version 2.2.2 works very well with OS 9. I've had no Kaleidoscope related crashes.

Oh yeah... you can get it here! http://www.kaleidoscope.net



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[This message has been edited by CyberGreg (edited 12-04-1999).]
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