Windows Embedded Visual Style for XP

In case you’re looking for something fresh (and it’s signed by Microsoft, so you won’t need to hack anything to make it work)…

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Windows XP users have not really seen a lot of love theme-wise from Microsoft since the release of the operating system. A measly handful of official themes have been released by Microsoft and the trend seems to continue for Windows Vista users. There is not really a reason to not to supply customers with fresh themes for their operating systems. If you look on the Internet you find many resources that cater to the needs of users who want to change the default themes.

Official themes on the other hand have the advantage of being signed meaning that there is no need to tamper with the uxtheme.dll file that protects the operating system from unofficial themes. Vishal over at Ask VG discovered a new signed Windows XP theme that is also compatible with Windows Server 2003 that can be installed without changing system files.

He discovered the theme in the Windows Embedded Standard CTP Refresh distribution and provided download links to it. The theme is supplied as a self extracting executable that installs the theme in the right location in Windows. The theme can then be selected from the Themes tab in the Display Properties.

(via ghacks.net)

Consolas as CMD.EXE (Windows Console) Font

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First, you’ll need the Consolas font. If you’re not currently running Windows Vista, then you’ll need to get it via the PowerPoint Presentation Viewer, which will install Consolas, among other nice Vista fonts. (Or, if you have Visual Studio 2005 or 2008, you can just grab the Consolas Font Pack for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or 2008)

Once you have this font installed, open up Registry Editor (regedit.exe) and navigate to the following key, as shown below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont\

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Then, right click in the blank area and choose New > String Value.

Double click this new value and enter the following information:

Name: 00
Data: Consolas

Your window should now look like this:

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Once this is done, open a console window (cmd.exe) and choose Consolas from the Font tab:

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Thanks to Scott Hanselman’s Computer Zen for the tips on how to set this up! 🙂

Update: There seems to be an easier way to do this, as I just found from the IEBlog:

Bryn Spears on the Internet Explorer team gave me the following simple instructions to turn on Consolas in the CMD Window:

reg add “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Console\TrueTypeFont” /v 00 /d Consolas

logoff

Note: In Windows Vista, you need to run the reg command from an elevated command prompt.

When you log back in, Consolas will be an option in the “Command Prompt” Properties.  (n.b., Bryn tells me it actually shows up before you relog, but it won’t work.)