Customizing Your Aero
One of the most talked about features in Windows Vista is the new Aero Glass interface. Aero Glass requires at least a DirectX 9 enabled video card with WDDM drivers and either AGP 8x or PCI-E. Now, don’t be turned off by those big terms. All you need to do is download DirectX 9.0 and you can do so for free right on this Web site.
First of all, the Windows Vista Display Driver Model (WDDM) allows for the visual effects seen on a user’s desktop to scale relative to the available graphics hardware. Now, not all graphics cards have the capability to run Aero Glass, but for those that do, the effects are fantastic. In addition to the transparent Window borders, running Aero Glass also enables the Flip 3D function Erin talked about last week and some very nice animation effects.
Aero Glass also comes with a new panel for adjusting the visual appearance. To customize your Aero Glass appearance, just right click on a blank area of your desktop and from the pop up menu, select Personalize. You may also access this by going to Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization, Personalization.
That will open the “Personalize appearance and sound effects” panel from which you can customize many aspects of your Vista appearance. Next, click on the Visual Appearance link to open the “Change your color scheme” panel. From that panel, there are a number of predefined color schemes you can choose from to apply. There is also a checkbox to Enable/Disable the transparent glass. Along with that, there is an option to open the Color Mixer, which will allow you to highly customize the displayed color of your Vista computer. With the Color Mixer, you can adjust the color, saturation and brightness of your window borders. At the very bottom of this panel, there is also a link to open the Classic appearance properties if you’d like to do that.
Note: In the latest builds of Windows Vista, some users who have Aero enabled have not been able to use the transparent glass. If that happens to you, it is sometimes possible to get it by lowering your screen resolution.
Vista’s Aero Glass ushers in a new and updated look for Microsoft Windows, as well as, some very nice visual effects. It should also be noted that the Aero Glass interface may still undergo some changes in the next releases of Vista, but either way, it’s still a joy to use, so check it out today!
~ Ramachandran Kumaraswami