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Cool Tools: Tweak UI 1.33

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Oct 18, 2000


Thomas Shinder

In those days long ago and far away, Windows 3.1 was the king of the desktop. I would spend hours and days customizing the perfect desktop environment. All the .ini file settings were tweaked and retweaked to provide the "perfect" desktop environment. Then the system would crash and I'd have to do the whole thing over again.

In those days long ago and far away, Windows 3.1 was the king of the desktop. I would spend hours and days customizing the perfect desktop environment. All the .ini file settings were tweaked and retweaked to provide the 'perfect' desktop environment. Then the system would crash and Id have to do the whole thing over again.

Things were a little easier back then, because you didn't have to fish through the registry to find and configure custom settings. Those .ini files were no-brainers compared to the monstrosity of the Windows Registry. When Windows 95 rolled along, I continued by hunt for the perfect computing environment and tweak and tinkered like I did in Windows 3.1. However, when the system crashed it seemed to take longer to get things right, so I gave up on spending much time tweaking the system by hand.

However, there was a cool tool that let you make your tweaks via a nice, GUI interface called Tweak UI. Early versions of Tweak UI caused some strangeness that varied from benign to life-threatening. However, a new version (v1.33) has been released, and it seems very stable and hasn't impugned the reliability of Windows 2000.

What Does It Do?

When you install Tweak UI, it adds a new Control Panel applet. When you open the applet, you are faced with a multi-tabbed interface like the one below:

There are a vast number of configuration changes you can make. I like changing the menu speed because the default menu fly-out delay is so slow you can watch gray hairs pop up while you're waiting. Another nice touch is on the New tab, where you can control the document types that appear when you right click and go to the New menu. By default, just about all document types that have been registered will show up here, which can make for an unsightly mess. Whack those rarely used entries in the New tab of Tweak UI.

You Can't Be Too Careful

You can't be too careful when it come to security. Even though you think you've worked out all the important security measures required for your organization, Windows has a way of circumventing them at the workstation level. Check out the Paranoia tab, as seen below:

From this tab, you can clear out all the incriminating stuff that might be lurking on your workstation. Even if you're not trying to hide something, there are settings that are useful on this tab. The Clear Last User at logon should be enabled on all workstations as a security measure. Also the Clear Network Connection history at logon and the Clear Telnet history are helpful in maintaining good network security.

How Do I Get One?

Just make out a check for $19.95 to me in care of TACteam, and...No, just kidding! You can get your own Tweak UI v1.33 from Microsoft.

And the best thing about it is that its FREE.

Happy tweaking!

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