We optimize the interface of Windows XP on netbooks

Published on January 19, 2009

We optimize the interface of Windows XP on netbooks

    Optimized Windows XP Interface

    Now the fashion has gone for the so-called netbooks - laptops, small in size and with rather weak hardware stuffing, but cheap. So I succumbed to the temptation and bought a couple of months ago 1 such a machine: ASUS eee PC. One of the minuses of compactness in this machine is a small screen. Moreover, both the screen diagonal and the physical resolution are small: only 800 x 480 pixels. Because of this, many program windows simply do not fit into the screen, and in order to somehow optimize the work, I began to adjust the graphic design of the system. Firstly, why such bulky window titles are needed, and secondly, why leave so much free space in toolbars? No reason, I counted and began to look for a replacement for the standard blue design of Windows XP 2 .

    1. Preparing to replace the theme
    Just like that, Windows will not let you put “left” themes - you need to persuade the OS to stop picking it. All you need to patch is one small system library uxtheme.dll .

    For Windows XP SP3, you can download the patcher program, for example, at these links: 1 , 2 . Or use Google . For Windows XP SP2: 1 , Google . Or, for some special version you can see here .

    2. Replacement of themes
    Now you can set arbitrary themes. To install a new theme, you must copy the folder and file with the name * .msstyles from C: \ WINDOWS \ Resources \ Themes from the archive containing the desired theme . Then, in the properties of the screen in the "Design" tab, select this theme from the list.

    To improve the interface of my Windows XP, I chose the thin NiteLite XP theme , its black version. Optimization result:

    For a screen with a resolution of only 800x480 pixels, each pixel is expensive :) And here we saved 8 pixels in height for application windows and 56 pixels in width for various elements of the taskbar. Already not bad. Now compare the difference in the size of the window frame elements:

    Now, the savings amounted to10 pixels in height and 23 pixels in width .

    To reduce the size of the panels in my favorite Mozilla Firefox browser, I installed the Classic Compact theme . Optimization Result:

    Of course, there are applications whose windows will not fit into such a screen resolution during any optimization. For such cases, I installed the MoveInactiveWin program - a small utility that allows holding the Alt key, similar to Linux systems, to capture and move the window with the mouse cursor anywhere, not just by clicking on the title.


    1 . Since I started writing this note more than six months ago, the expression “a couple of months” is already outdated :)
    2 . Lovers of fun about operating systems: on my eee PC, whatever it was: various Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. Please do not advise to “change Windows XP to% Your_Favorite_OS%” to optimize the interface :) Thank you!

    Thanks for attention! Share your tips on optimizing programs and operating systems for the small screens of our favorite netbooks.