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Everything posted by NoelC

  1. Not the SAME glass as Windows 7, but after several days testing it's really starting to grow on me... I might be starting to like this even better than Windows 7's flavor... -Noel
  2. How do you propose I benchmark the performace hits? That could, of course, be judged in just a few minutes of game play. (This is directed to all who are complaining about the pop-up messages) You want to encourage Big Muscle to complete this product and make your computing life better? Let him do his good work without trying to hurry him up or tell him what to do! And most of all thank him for applying his considerable talent to undoing Microsoft's spiteful changes to the Windows desktop and making it usable again. -Noel
  3. Are you talking about the Internet Explorer 10 address bar? Seems to me it's every bit as transparent and nicely blurred by BigMuscle's program. Win 7 screen grab on top, Win 8 on bottom... -Noel
  4. I imagine BigMuscle wants to ultimately turn this into a product that people will have to send him money for at some point. Assuming he gets it polished up and solid, I know I'd pay for it. Wouldn't make much sense to release a beta version that mostly works, then try to start charging money when it's released, now would it? So for now he's previewing the technology to both get some feedback on its efficacy, and to drum up interest so there will be a latent market when he releases it. -Noel
  5. I can appreciate the motivation behind your request, but isn't it obvious that the glass effect has to couple with a good theme in order for people to enjoy its benefit? Everyone wants a complete solution to the abomination that is the Windows 8 desktop. I suggest you start embracing the idea that you'll want to provide (as much as you can) the elements of an attractive theme with this product. -Noel
  6. Don't feel bad; apparently I did too. I'll try it. -Noel
  7. I've always thought any of the theme modifiers do that. A good way to check is to ask the question: Does the system fail an SFC /VERIFYONLY check? -Noel
  8. Thank you for that! I must have downloaded it from an older link upon reading an earlier post in the thread. Works great! Really makes testing this software a breeze. Drakenabarion, of course I don't mind that you used the theme file. I'm glad to hear someone could make use of my little tweak. -Noel EDIT: Sorry about misspelling your name!
  9. Sounds like you're going down pretty much the same path I'm traveling, drakenabarion. I'm using Photoshop to make changes to the PNG file. Separating the transparency into a layer mask makes the whole thing a bit easier to work on. It's not really clear where the regions for each "effect" resource start and end though, so I've needed to do some experimentation, especially to find all the drop shadows. Fun stuff to play with. I managed, through the registry parameters mentioned, to make the inactive window titles just a bit more visible, but I wasn't specifically able to make the glow stronger. It just lights up a slightly lighter title area now, which puts the title readability just within tolerable limits for me. I'm amazed how much just these style changes plus Big Muscle's Aero Glass for Win8 prototype turn the feeling of using the desktop around. If Microsoft had released Win 8 with these capabilities out of the box I might have actually bought it. Big Muscle, every time I've tried to capture blurred area glitches, which look a bit like information from the theme PNG file getting misplaced, the screen grab looks fine. -Noel P.S., Here's my updated PNG file:
  10. Thanks for the suggestion to work on the ColorizationColorInactive and ColorizationColorBalanceInactive keys. I'd forgotten about those, as they're not currently defined in my registry at all. I'll fool with those and see what I can accomplish. One thing I'd like to note here: I am not willing to hack into Windows (i.e., break System Protection, take on the potential problems of updates, etc.) to achieve a custom theme. I don't imagine in the general case anyone would like to do that - they'd prefer Aero Glass for Win8 to grow up into a product that can returns style and usability to the desktop look and feel and allows them to keep Windows unmodified. I sense that's your goal as well, Big Muscle. The use of a custom .png file, in concert with BigMuscle's CustomThemeResource registry value is as far as I'm willing to go. As I understand it, that means DWM will still think it's using the Windows 8 supplied theme to do its work. I'll be the first to admit I don't even come close to fully understanding all the relationships between themes and what is being overridden and accomplished by Aero Glass for Win8 and I greatly appreciate the patience of those here who help educate. FYI, I've fooled with the drop shadow definitions in the PNG file and have achieved a bit of a look and feel improvement of sorts... I now have managed to put a subtle light edge on windows, and that seems to help when using dark backgrounds. Next step, getting the inactive window titles to show up more clearly. By the way, today I've seen a couple of cases where glitches have shown in the blurred areas with the Direct3D setting. Unfortunately I wasn't poised to screen grab them, but I will try to be ready next time I see them. -Noel
  11. Please forgive me for being a bit of a stickler for subtle details... While this beta nicely proves the concept that the task can be done, with a dark background there's still a pretty significant difference in usability between Windows 7 Aero Glass and the desktop as rendered by Aero Glass for Win8. Consider the following: The background glow is all the way up in the theme file, and I'm just not seeing any way to tweak Aero Glass for Win8 to make the title in the non-current window quite as readable as it is in Windows 7. -Noel
  12. By the way, It may have already been covered in posts above (I actually DID read all 42 pages of this thread, and I think there was a mention of a class of apps that use WPF being exceptional), but a reminder: Some applications (e.g., File Explorer, Wordpad) don't put the glow behind the text, even when it's been set up in the theme PNG. Most others do. -Noel
  13. Ah, I see, I didn't realize you were loading the DLLs from the folder in which the AGTweaker.exe file resides. I had put everything in my BIN folder. Thanks. -Noel
  14. ORelio, thinking ahead to what will happen when Big Muscle makes another new build available, is there a way you could offer an option not to copy the DLL, but rather find it in the path or perhaps at a particular location identified in the registry? That way when Big Muscle releases a new DLL, in the time before you release a new GUI it will be more convenient to test enabling and disabling it using your GUI. By the way, I used your [Apply] button about a zillion times today to quickly kill and restart DWM so as to load updated theme content. Thanks for making that easy. Thanks. -Noel
  15. Nice job, Big Muscle. I'm sure the whole world of Windows 8 desktop users are waiting for you to polish this up and make it available as a turnkey product. The reduction in usability of the Windows 8 desktop was a prime reason I chose not to upgrade, even though Microsoft practically gave away Windows 8 Pro upgrades. For me on a dual monitor Windows 8 Enterprise VM (VMware) your little utility works great in Direct3D mode, and I was even able to tweak the Win 8 theme a bit to provide title background glow and drop shadows as well. For me, while the glass effect is nice, adding the drop shadow really makes the desktop more usable, because for whatever reason I have trouble differentiating windows without it. I even managed to add a little style to the caption buttons, just to see if I could. It took some fooling with the various parameters, both using the Aero Glass Tweaker and the Windows Personalization\Color and Appearance dialog, but I've got this Win 8 desktop quite usable. Note that I also use some window metrics changes to reduce the borders, to make more room for work. But the glass effect is still appreciated. Dual Monitor Windows 8 Screen Grab with Aero Glass for Win8 Running I think I understand that the Windows 8 DWM is always compositing virtually transparent drop shadows (as well as other theme elements) from the theme resource set provided with Windows, and you're just replacing those resources from the PNG file upon detection of the registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM:CustomThemeResource. I think it's highly significant that you've found a way to do this without any need to hack Windows or go against System Protection. Well done! If it's of interest to anyone, here's my theme file that I used when generating the above screenshot: Theme PNG file for use with CustomThemeResource Keep up the great work, Big Muscle. I'll be watching your progress eagerly. -Noel

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