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Dewalt vs. Stanley? There's a New Power Tool in Town.


By Wesley Smith

Remember those days when customizing the windows interface was reserved to only those fluent in registry speak?  I do. In fact, the most prominent memory I have was my frustration with windows when it constantly put a "short cut" arrow on all of my desktop icons.  Maybe I'm too picky with the way my PC presents itself, but I believe in a neat, well dressed desktop.

Remember those days when customizing the windows interface was reserved to only those fluent in registry speak? I do. In fact, the most prominent memory I have was my frustration with windows when it constantly put a 'short cut' arrow on all of my desktop icons. Maybe I'm too picky with the way my PC presents itself, but I believe in a neat, well dressed desktop.

But then, Microsoft provided a tool package, called "Power Toys," that was the solution to all of my customization needs.  At the time, this was a "robust" package that allowed me to customize everything that I wanted to.  Life was good.

As time progressed, Windows came out with more and more add-ons and tools that put me back into my customization hell.  Power Toys was no longer capable of doing what I wanted it to do.  

I could have actually done the customization if I really wanted to dig into the Windows registry, but who has time to do that?  The everyday computer user, such as myself, only has time to use a computer as a tool, not as a customization test bed.  I guess you could seek out the local computer guru, who most of the time is happy to help, but even they can become scarce at times.

About the time I was ready to cry "Uncle," I came across a new utility for Windows customization.  This utility, called "X-Setup", was the answer to my dilemma.  Xteq Systems, the creator of X-Setup, brought the Dewalt of customization power tools to the table.  

X-Setup allows users to customize hundreds of hidden settings in windows, including some hardware, such as video cards, and PC games.  X-Setup is really easy to navigate through also.  The main interface resembles the familiar Windows Explorer GUI with hierarchical customization options and tools.  X-Setup also uses wizard based customization tools allowing you to change settings such as the skin of your web browser tool bar with a brief wizard interview.  Do you want to give your local PC guy something to scratch their head about -- change the "blue screen of death" to the "green screen of death", or the "yellow screen of death."

Since times are changing, as well as OS functions and tools, X-Setup remains on top of the game by allowing you to update the utility with plug-ins.  And for the best part, X-Setup is free.

X-Setup has proven to me that it is one of the best OS tweaking utilities on the market.  In fact, I would go so far as to call it the Dewalt of tweaking power tools.  It is available for Windows 2000, NT, 98, and 95.  I highly recommend that this utility be included in any user's computer toolbox. 

This article was originally published on Aug 4, 2000
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