The Mac OSX look on Windows XP Made Easy


FlyakiteOSX in action on my desktop
Click image to view full size

When Windows 98 was still the predominant OS, I dabbled on two pointless skinning projects. Namely, Windows XP and the Mac desktop. Figured out skinning for the XP interface is not worth it, and any effort to make my desktop look Aqua’d is honest-to-goodness lame.

From then on, I’ve settled for anything that won’t hog my system. WindowsBlinds? Despite the “It is the only program of its kind used and certified by Microsoft” tag, I’ll pass. Konfabulator? Objectdock? My machine will crawl if I have the latest Photoshop running along with those.

Enter FlyakiteOSX, a free, downloadable installer that will transform your PC to either the Panther or Tiger OSX interface, with just a few clicks. You may not stop grinning with the first minutes of use.

Essentially a modified theme that can also take over your boot and logon/logoff screens, it overwrites system files, tweaks the registry, but it does have an effective uninstaller -for the entire theme, or for selected components- that will roll back your system to a restore point it asked you to make during the installation (but do keep in mind, its always best to have a restorable backup). The setup also offers options to install compatible MSN Messenger skins, and third-party OSX-like docks.

After the initial reboot, you’ll still have an insecure PC susceptible to spyware, viruses, and trojans, but at least you’ll have all the pretty icons, sans the slowness skinning programs

The drawbacks? There was a slight incompatibility with my graphics card drivers, which did give me error windows when running the screensaver. Disabling the screensaver easily fixes it.

If you frequently go through major system modifications, you may want to opt out from using the boot screen, and adding the logon screen, just to be sure. When I was partitioning my hard drive with Norton Partition Magic, I didn’t get the usual details of the partitioning process, since the Mac Apple boot screen was just there. Good thing I was my patient self and waited for the system to reboot as expected.

To sum up, FlyakiteOSX isn’t for the brave, techies-only realm of PC users. Remember, if you’re forced to use a PC for any purpose, you can gain comfort in the Aqua look again. Someone even prefers ‘FlyakiteOSX’s Aqua to Apple OSX’s Aqua’. Beat that. I’ll trade the spinning candywheel for the tired Windows hourglass anytime.