5 Simple Things You Can Do On Your Desktop to Impress Your Not-So Geeky Friends

by Karthik on March 27, 2008 · 14 comments

When my friends visit my home, they’re quite impressed seeing how I do things on my desktop, and the way it looks. They’re just blown away looking at the customizations I’ve done on my Windows desktop. Here’s are a few ways to mpress your not so geeky friends and have fun for yourself:

  • Rename the Start Button


Yep, rename the Start Button using this little trick. It’s perfect for a little show-off. Most of your friends will be quite surprised that you could actually do it. ;)

  • Use a keyboard launcher


I’m a keyboard junkie and I use Launchy on Windows and Gnome Do on Ubuntu to start programs. The instant appearance of the Launchy window never fails to amuse them. They don’t really know that you could actually launch programs without using the mouse.

  • Use Linux


We learn Linux at school – but mostly we deal with theories, and nobody has experienced Linux yet at school. Boot into Linux, deal with the commands. Turn on Compiz Fusion. They’ll probably ask you if it’s Vista and say “Linux has GUI? I thought it only works with commands”. Watch their jaws drop in astonishment.

  • Docks


There was a time when I used to try a lot of interface makeovers for Windows, and tried a lot of Mac OS resembling enhancements like Docks for Windows. Everybody was quite overwhelmed by the look. You can try the FlyakiteOSX transformation pack as well.

  • Customized Firefox

Tab Effect

Well, about this one, I will have to say that the default Firefox Web Browser doesn’t impress friends much (since the default Firefox interface is not-so alien). However, with something like PicLens and TabEffect, you could really make for a good show off.

That was all I could remember. I’m sure Daily Apps readers will have something even mor funnier to say. Please share your ideas and stories in the comments!

This is a guest post by Shankar Ganesh, a 16 year old Blogger and Freelance Writer from India, who writes about computers and software at Killer Tech Tips. Please subscribe to his blog for more such interesting articles!

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave March 27, 2008 at 9:30 pm

You can find GNOME Do at http://do.davebsd.com (the link you posted is just some dude’s blog). Thanks for calling Do impressive!


Sumesh March 27, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Good post, Shankar. But the only one I didn’t know was renaming start button (not that it would be spectacular for geeks). However, I can see myself using some of these tips soon ;)


V1 March 28, 2008 at 1:05 am

Running mac osx on a dell useally drop enough jaws. And a custom skinned windows, them wanna hump my laptop :9


MaxxumSpammer March 28, 2008 at 1:27 am

Nice tips.


Lindsey Dalgleish March 28, 2008 at 3:08 am

I cant get explorer.exe to pull up when I open resource hacker???


Keshav Khera March 28, 2008 at 6:13 am

Good post shankar.. i really liked the linux point…
People really haven’t heard of GUI for linux… and wat if you show them compiz..jaws will not only drop but will drop with a set of 32 teethes :P


simpleboy March 28, 2008 at 7:24 am

This is the 6th -> Show your friend M$ Office 2007 running in Linux so nicely http://goodbutbad.blogspot.com/2008/03/install-m-office-2007-in-ubuntu.html


mrsleep March 28, 2008 at 3:25 am

Use this if you really want to mess with people


shankar March 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

@Dave Thanks for leaving the link, I had actually linked to a review of Gnome Do that I wrote on my blog.

@Sumesh: Glad I told you something you didn’t know ;)

@V1: LOL Interface skinning actually makes them go crazy.

@MrSleep: That is a cool tool. Thanks for sharing.

@Keshav Khera: ROFL Yes true :D

@Simpleboy: Hehe OpenOffice for me, but I wouldn’t mind using Wine ;)


Nikhil Dev March 30, 2008 at 11:18 am

I use mouse gestures and they are truly impressed with it


silentmagician94 April 2, 2008 at 4:59 am

See, I’m a 13 year old. To impress my peers is somewhat easy.

Regardless, I emulate, or try to emulate Leopard on a Dell running Windows eXPerience. Yep, FindeXer nightly builds, RocketDock, Flyakite OSX, iColor Folder, MacSearch…that seriously does impress them.

To impress them with your social side, try Flock. To show them how you can get free music, install Songbird or Qtrax.

I don’t know if you have heard of it, but you MUST have already, gOS, which is basically Ubuntu + Enlightenment.


Technology Hacker April 3, 2008 at 11:13 pm

nice tips :)

you can get more tips on http://techno-globe.blogspot.com/


Nicco May 4, 2008 at 9:10 pm

If you do all that stuff just to impress your friends, you should get new friends. And what’s up with the “my friends are always in AWE when they see my desktop” ? lol…


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