UncleRob's World Wide Skinning Site!
You will find bootskins primarily here (with a few beatniks, rainlendars and WB's) but I'm hoping to soon get involved in other types of windows customization like windowblinds which have really got me interested lately, check back often for new skins!

Oct 2, 2007 9:32 PM by Discussion: WindowBlinds
I just installed windowblinds 6 - WOW doesn't even come close to summing up how much I'm impressed with it. I love all of the free wb skins that came with it - the quality is more than just fantastic!

One of them I'm extremely impressed by because of the animations - who is the author behind the wb skin titled "Molten"?

I've never seen so many well done animations in wb skin elements before.
Start button, start panel (that dragon is so impressive), taskbar buttons, quick launch buttons, windowframe, etc, etc. - WOW! I didn't even know that this advanced level detailed animation was capable in a wb skin. I'm impressed everyday when I download & use a new wb skin and see the possibilities that are available and then Molten comes along and brings it up to another level. Amazing!!!

Molten author, whoever you are, you've got a new fan in me!   
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Hopefully I've posted this in the right section.

I have a friend (seriously I do, actually a few more than that too) who has problems with her pc.
She picked up a new hp pc from best buy several months ago. It runs Windows Vista Home Premium.
The pc runs fine as far as I can tell, but she has one problem that I can't seem to help her with. Just recently past month or so, she isn't able to download any files while browsing the internet using IE7. It also interferes with her downloading files that people email her to her gmail/yahoo email accounts, etc. Plus she also mentioned that it was causing problems with msn messenger or whatever client she uses for IM. She brought it to Best Buy to have Geek Squad look at it but they said that they couldn't look at it locally and that they would ship it to another location for them to look at it and it could take several weeks to fix which obviously she doesn't want because she likes using her pc daily.

She dropped it off for me to look at before she resorts to giving in to Geek Squad's request.

Vista runs, pretty quick too (2gb ram, decent sized sata hd, fast cpu, vid card, etc.).

- I've applied any & all remaining windows updates available for her pc.
- I've installed a few different spyware apps along with using windows defender and ran scans but the pc is pretty clean.
- Turned off the Windows Firewall, I like to run with it turned on but I wanted to rule it out as a problem so it's off for now.
- She also Norton Antivirus which is a part of a norton security suite installed on this machine, I went in and disabled as many of it's functions (real time protections, firewall, etc.) as I could to see if it the cause of her problems.
- reset ie7 to it's default settings (there's a button for that in internet options) just to see if she somehow selected a setting that would prevent her from downloading files

- I've pretty much run out of ideas at this point.

I have attempting downloading files from various different locations on the net and I can't save a file that I've downloaded, I can't run a file from the download location - nothing.
I can click on a link to download a file (ex. downloading grisoft's free antispyware software), the progress bar appears, the amount being downloaded and download speed appears, it gets to 99%, after which I see a quick message about it verifying the file and then nothing. The file is not in the location where I specified for the download (ex. the windows desktop, or specific folder that I selected).

If I click on a file and select Run instead of Save, it goes through the same process, the progress bar appears, the amount being downloaded and download speed appears, it gets to 99%, after which I see a quick message about it verifying the file and then nothing.

I've never seen this with Windows XP before and searching google hasn't turned up any decent leads into what's causing this problem. The machine is clean, no spyware, no viruses and appears to function properly in every other respect.

I'm thinking that there is some hidden setting in ie7 that is turned on and is causing this problem but for the life of me I can't find it. All firewalls on this pc have been turned off so I'm sure this isn't a firewall issue. She's running as the local admin on her machine, UAC is turned on and will be left on unless I'm told otherwise.

Any suggestions/ideas as to what may be causing this problem? Has anyone seen this before?
It's definitely weird, my main experience is with Windows XP and I've never seen this behavior on that platform so I'm a little lost here.

OK, I've ranted enough and you're all tired from reading this post. I'd appreciate any help if you know what may be causing this. Thanks in Advance!
19 Replies Reply 85 Referrals

I've included the link above,
I can see that there are 76 comments (as of 7:11pm CST today) for my skin, but I can only view comments 1 - 70 and #76, the skin page above (at least for me) won't display comments 71 - 75.

Can someone else see those comments, I can't and i've tried other browsers and another pc.

I would love to read them but they aren't being displayed when I attempt to view them.
No amount of refreshing the page, clearing my browser cache, logging off/on the site is able to fix this at my end.

If someone is able to view them, would you mind copying/pasting them here.

On a side note, has anyone else experienced this?

Thanks in advance for any help I can get on this!   

9 Replies Reply 3 Referrals

Is it possible to add text captions that appear next to the titlebar button during mouseover?

May 17, 2007 9:59 PM by Discussion: Customization Software
Just a question: Is it possible to add text captions that appear next to the titlebar button during mouseover?

I have added some generic looking action buttons to my windowframes in a windowblind skin that I'm working on and was wondering if it's possible to add a text caption that appears during a mouseover event. The buttons by themselves are not descriptive and it would be cool to have some sort of text that appears indicating what the button's function is.

Similar to holding your mouse cursor over the windows start button and it produces a text caption that says "Click here to begin". Something like that would be great.

Does windowblinds/skinstudio possess this capability?

I have a work around if this functionality doesn't exist: I was thinking that if this isn't possible, I could add an image overlay which would contain the button image and the text caption.

Any info/tips related to this would be greatly appreciated, thanks for the help!!!
1 Reply Reply 8 Referrals
I've recently created a few logons (4 in total), 3 of them even contain a "splash" (transparently/translucent area positioned on top of the bkgrnd image/wallpaper).
They look I guess but I'm wanting to skin the rest of the logon elements as well.

I rec'd alot of help and the logon template itself from Boss0190 (you can visit his site here, he has a ton of quality splash logons http://boss0190.wincustomize.com/)
and you can see the discussion here https://forums.wincustomize.com/?forumid=40&aid=140686&p=1#1098557

Those interested can find Boss0190's logon template that he offers freely is here http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/32414672/?qo=116&q=by%3Aboss019&qh=sort%3Atime+-in%3Ascraps

It really is a good base for starting a logon with a splash. You can use LogonStudio (XP version, not vista) and your graphic editing program of choice to create excellent looking logons. However, if you want to create a logon with the "splash" effect (mentioned above), you can only use LogonStudio to apply the logon, you can't edit it with LogonStudio. Basically it requires editing the contents of a folder which contain a number .bmp images, a uifile and a theme file.

The only thing that gets edited in the "theme" file is the name of the logon, logon author, author email address & any special notes you want to include in the notes section. I haven't edited anything else in this file. It lists descriptions for most of the .bmp image files used in the logon.

bmp_100.bmp is your logon bkgrnd image/wallpaper
bmp_128.bmp is your "splash" element, (a 32bit alpha blended bitmap which I believe is a 24bit image along with 8bit alpha channel for transparency)

The original post on how to create a "splash" for your logons is available here http://greatsphynx.wincustomize.com/Articles.aspx?AID=82822

I will also include the splash tutorial here as well since it's nice to reference everything all in one spot (maybe this post can grow with a bunch of tips from other users)

Creating a Bitmap_128 Tutorial created on Aug 4, 2005 8:27 PM by PhilipDJ check out his site at http://greatsphynx.wincustomize.com/
This tutorial is made to help understand how transparency and per pixel alpha blending is applied in bitmap_128 using Adobe Photoshop. To illustrate this, we will be using the bitmap_128 used in the Windows Vista Logon version 1.2 which can be downloaded here Link . Remember that in alpha channels or layers, black means transparent and white means solid. Any color between white and black would be semi-transparency of different levels.

1. First, create a new document with sufficient dimensions to hold all logon elements to be contained in the center panel. The commonly used dimension is 612 x 501. The background could either be white or any color or even transparent depending on your discretion.

2. Create a new layer and name it "Glass". Press U to activate the shape tool . Choose the round rectangle tool and set it to 20px radius . Set your foreground to white and then draw your shape to the size you like onto the document.

3. Ctrl+click on the thumbnail of your "Glass" layer on the layers tab to make a selection exactly like the shape you just created. Go to the channels tab and create a new channel (its default name will be Alpha 1) .

4. To create a subtle shadow effect around your glass, set your foreground color to #636363. Press ctrl+alt+d to open feather selection window, set feather to 3 and press enter.

5. On your "Alpha 1" channel, press alt+backspace to fill the selection with the foreground color. Press ctrl+d to deselect.

6. to create that semi-transparent outline of the glass, go back to the layers tab and ctrl+click on the thumbnail of your "Glass" layer to select it. Return to channels tab, set your foreground this time to #c8c8c8. Press alt+backspace to fill the selection with the foreground color.

7. With your selection still on, go the Select menu, click modify, choose contract and set it to 1. Press ok.

8. Set your foreground color to #484848 and your background color to #282828. Press G to activate your gradient tool. Set gradient filling to Reflected Gradient and apply it on the image like here. Press ctrl+d to deselect.

That basically covers the main steps in creating transparent, per-pixel blended, glass-like bitmap_128. If you want to add more objects into the image, you can do so. Just go back to the layers tab and add your stuff there. But make sure that in your alpha channel, you specify whether these will have solid colors or semi-transparencies.

- editing your UIFILE in your logon folder, I found that changing the vertical flow layout to
0,2,2,2) layoutpos=client >
centers the logon splash element quite nicely in the middle of the screen. Does anyone know what the values 0,2,2,2 correspond to. Instead of trial & error, I'd love to know that 0 means left or right or X,Y, etc. If you know what I'm talking about please reply to this post.

OK..... back to the reason why I began, this post.
Using the template from Boss0190 and a pre-made splash (bmp_128.bmp) that I created using Photoshop and the tutorial shown above, I can pretty much churn out an unlimited number of logons which look ok but they're not as functional as they could be. I have started skinning the go & hint buttons and the up/down scroll arrow buttons and the scrollbar as well. This is especially helpful if you have several users on one machine and want to scroll through the list. Currently in my existing logons, they look really good if you have only 2 users on a machine (and chances are that alot of people will probably only have that many) but there also going to be alot of machines out there that have several user accounts setup on them. Skinning the scroll arrow buttons & scrollbar allows you to view the list which is helpful. Also what's helpful is having the go & hint buttons (both states: default & mouse over) skinned as well. It's easy enough to hit enter after selecting your user account and entering your password but what if you want to click on the go button or click on the hint button to view the password hint. Those functions still exist even if you don't skin those buttons (in fact if you hold your mouse cursor over the areas where those buttons would be, those function still work) but instead of clicking on nothing, I would rather have an image to click on.

Go & Hint buttons (both states: default & mouse over)

Scroll arrow up/down & scrollbar buttons:

I can "successfully" skin these buttons, that's not the problem. My problem arises when applying the logon, these images stretch from their original size and they look a little bloated/fuzzy around the edges because they're being stretched. My question is why are they stretching (I'm assuming this will happen to the rest of the buttons that I skin) and what I can do to fix them.

I'll keep adding to this post as I get more info/find more tips on skinning logons.
Boss & any other logon experts, if you're out there and happen to read this post and have some time, please lend some more of your expertise if you can. I know you don't want to do it for us and you want us to learn (and I didn't want to bother you with a torrent of emails on this), I'll keep plugging away at it until then.

8 Replies Reply 15 Referrals
Hey everyone (how's it going? - always take care of the pleasantry's first before starting the topic)

Just this morning, the site is acting as if my wincustomize subscription has expired but it hasn't. I've logged in & out and back in again to see if that would fix the problem but it doesn't.

If I attempt to download something, I'm brought to a download screen with the requisite non-member advertising blitz and the message "*** Get rid of ads! Unlimited downloads! Subscribe today! ***", I'm told that I've download something like 200+mb to date and I have 0mb left available that I can download. The site still allows me to download skins regardless of the afore-mentioned 0mb download left message but the ad's are getting a little annoying and going to the 2nd download screen I can do without. I purchased my 1 year subscription in August so I'm still good for quite some time.

Any ideas on this? I've tried this on 2 different browsers on the same pc and I've also checked this out on another pc and receive the same results.

The only thing I can think of that I've done today that is wincustomize related is ran stardock central and downloaded desktopx & rightclick and downloaded a few desktopx themes from within the stardock central app itself.

Can I live with this problem? Yes
Is this a pain in the derriere? Yes
Have I done something wrong on my end? .... You decide

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

26 Replies Reply 5 Referrals
Just wondering if the site went down temporarily within the last little while.
I noticed that the bootskin & wb sections were experiencing some incredible download activity, it had been a while since I had seen downloads#'s by skin for the day that high (the weekends are usually busier) and all of a sudden all of the download counts have been reset to zero and starting over again. Were the download#'s that had accumulated today lost because of this "reset" (don't know what other term to use). Usually the download#'s reset at midnight from what I've seen in the past and today it looks like it happened @4pm - 4:30pm CST. This isn't a huge problem but I was curious. Has anyone else noticed this?

- if I don't hear from you before monday, have a nice weekend!   
3 Replies Reply 4 Referrals
I used to be able to check my total downloads for the day by pulling up my page with all my skins.
I can still get an overall total which is nice but it would also be nice to still have the ability to get a total for the day. The column still shows downloads by skin for the current day & overall but the column sum at the bottom of the list shows 0

Not a priority because I can just copy & paste the numbers into an excel spreadsheet to get total downloads for the day but it would be nice to still have that functionality - it was on the old site and it looks like it can work on this site since the sum at the bottom of the column shows 0 - maybe the formula to sum up those values can be fixed when someone has some time to look into it.

Overall the new site layout is nice, still getting used to looking for specific things that were easier to find before but that will get easier as I get used to the new layout (ex. total downloads by author for all galleries or just by a specific gallery for a specific period of time was a nice feature and it was a link on the main page on the previous site)


The above link will bring me to my own skins page for the bootskin library (32) and show me downloads by skin for the day. However at the bottom of the screen, the formula for adding up the downloads that happened today has been zero'd out.

Thanks for your help on this....

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I created the above windowblinds project on 12/15, edited & submitted it again on 12/17,
I've noticed some new windowblinds projects have been submitted & released on this site dated 12/21. I've read some other posts from other users mentioning similar problems with their skins being temporarily "lost". It looks like it was downloaded once (possibly by a site moderator who was testing it)

If a site moderator could possibly take a look at the above skin using the link included above and let me know if it's possible to get it released it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any help I can get on this.
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Basically the title says it all,
I submit a windowsblind skin with preview image and my skin's wba file and it shows up under "Awaiting Moderation", I check a little while later and it's gone from there. It hasn't been approved, it's just removed.

What's going on? This is the 2nd windowblinds skin I've submitted that appears to be deleted and I haven't rec'd an email telling me that it was rejected. I regularly submit bootskins and have never had this problem before. Even with the bootskins that get rejected, I get an email saying it's been rejected.

Anyone have any ideas? I don't think my windowblinds skin is illegal, I haven't just taken someone else's skin and passed it off as my own, it just a basic windows vista skin, I've spent some time working on it and making it look half-decent. I would hope it's not being deleted because someone feels there are too many vista windowblinds skins.

Your truly...
"lost somewhere between submitting & awaiting moderation"   
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