Tag Archives: Windows 8

Windows 8: RSS-based Desktop Theme Fix

One of the things introduced with Windows Vista Ultimate was the notion of having RSS-based themes that would continuously update your background with new images from the Intertubes. They worked on Windows 7 but I noticed an issue when I tried to grab “Aqua Dynamic” from the Themes website: the theme was downloaded fine but the images were always blank. After looking around some sites, I noticed that the images are stored in a AppData directory which I had locally and it had images… but the folder in Windows 8 is hidden and system, which prevents themes from getting images!

Open a command prompt.

If you’ve installed the theme already, you need to get rid of the feed: delete the .feed-ms file that has your theme name in it at C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Feeds

Find the .theme file you want and double click it, which causes a dialog to pop up. Don’t press anything.

Now run: attrib -s -h “C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files”

Now select “Download Attachments” from the Apply Theme popup.

Enjoy the RSS-based goodness.

Windows 8 Tip: Initial List of Tips

It’s a little early for people to have Windows 8 at this point, but it’s been released to MSDN, so it’s fair game… and I’m in my third week of using the bits so I’ve got some tips.

One thing I’ve noticed that I like about Windows 8 is the new Start Menu Screen: it makes sense. Sure it’s different, but to me, it works. Another thing that I’ve only recently realized is that when they hit the Start button in Windows 7 (or Vista or XP) and the Start Menu opens, no matter how small or large the menu is, all of my focus is on that menu and the rest of the screen is wasted. Additionally, it’s a pretty solid customizable tool bar in it’s own right… think of this top level part of the Start Menu as the “most used” applications page… the bottom line is that I like it.

Onto the other tips…

Update: Serena has a similar list and calls out Start8 (which I also use but I have it launch the full Start menu) because it’s useful for remote sessions.
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