home | tricks | tips | e-mail
Transparent background of the text of desktop icons
Windows has no or no advisable possibilities to get a transparent background at the text of desktop icons.
Windows98 has it in 'Active desktop As webpage', but it slows down your computer.
It's also possible with the program ActiveIcon, but it needs to be installed, has lots of other stuff
that you don't need and after removing it, the transparent effect is removed too.
(It has a bug: if you change the icon of a folder, some programs can't find that folder.)
The program uses a lot of sources of the computer, as "Active desktop as Webpage" does.
There's a better way:
a tiny 25kB program in your startup group, made by Jay Guerette,
a kind American who provides a free download.
Free, because it took him priceless many hours of programming.
It's called Transparent. Download Transparent here. No install required.
Here is a direct link. Or download it here, with a graphic user interface by Mango.
The program uses less than a half per cent of your processor power.
It can be disabled by a simple double click.
Once again, it needs no install, just create a shortcut to it in Start - Programs - Startup.
There are various possibilities, e.g.:
black text (create a shortcut to TransparentB.exe);
white text (shortcut to TransparentW.exe);
text in desktop colour (TransparentD.exe).
It looks like this text: black text transparently placed over 'awkward' me, drawn by Ria.
Send her your picture, she will make a drawing of it at low costs. Your personal wallpaper...
Luxe, but stylish!
Fly the F/A-18 of Graphic Simulations
I flew many planes in flightsims, from Microsofts Flightsimulator to very simple dos ones,
but they are nothing compared to F/A-18 of Graphic Simulations. Originally designed for MacIntosh,
later on available for Windows: this plane is awesome good.
You can order it at Graphic Simulations, I don't know about its availability in foreign stores.
There used to be two downloadable demo's on many sites, the F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 Korea version,
but since there's a new "Gold" version the old ones are no longer available for downloading.
But they are on many shareware flightgame cdroms, so it won't be difficult to find them.
Download the new demo for Windows here: F/A-18 Korea Gold Demo.Or here. Or here. Or here.
It now supports more graphic acceleration cards than Voodoo cards, so 3D is no longer a problem.
For nice pictures of the plane, check this site. This one is very nice.
This one is good too, with some nice animated gifs.
Here is my desktop background.
Read this to get an impression of its features, like the many camera viewpoints:
before and during flight you can change the camera view nearly unlimited.
It is possible to move the viewpoint up and down, to the left and right (circle around the plane).
Zoom in and out, optical zoom in and out (many kilometers). Invisible cockpit to provide
an unlimited view below. Virtual cockpit: to look around yourself 180°. Various static looks:
tail, tail down, tail up, wing. In short: everything is possible.
Ever been at fifty meters ahead of a plane, flying through a city? The buildings flashing by from behind?
Some other features: radar guided missiles, heat seeking missiles, with camera like in Desert Storm.
Also a cheat enables carrying atom bombs. Neat, not the nuke, but that it takes a cheat to get it.
Further more: radar, refuelling, reloading, electro optical missiles, fly in daylight, evening, at night,
normal time, fast time, eject, fly underneath bridges, flair path at night, enemy skills adjustable,
missions, yes/no 3D, etc. etc.
The cdrom also has missions that start and end on an aircraft carrier.
To land on a real aircraft carrier must be a dreadful experience to pilots!
In this game it's something that gets on your nerves. In most cases you'll crash,
but if you succeed in getting unhurt on the aircraft carrier with your kite
you sometimes really experience it is a horrid sweat!
The cdrom game contains an full, English spoken, user guide. With videos on each subject.
An English user guide of 241 pages is included.
You may think I am a bit weird, considering the fact that on principle I refuse travelling by airplane;
I think it's inhuman for those who live near airports, and it is pure pollution.
I only use the keyboard. No joystick. The game doesn't necessarily require 3D acceleration.
The game needs few system requirements, so a simple computer will do.
I have made a brief guide to get in the air and do some flight practise. Contact me if you want it.
The official Graphic Simulations site only has a demo for Apple MacIntosh, I found a hidden link
for Windows, but it is no longer funtioning. A bit strange. Please put in back on your site, GS.
About playing the demo: if you have no graphic acceleration card, do this after installing:
start the demo - enter cockpit - click settings - click preferences - uncheck the box 'OpenGL'
- click mission - click preflight - click fly (you may first want to check the boxes to the right
of the FLY button: these are the boxes to choose the weaponry, extra fuel etc.).
About flying: numlock must be on, keypad 8 is down, keypad 5 up, keypad 4 left, keypad 6 right.
follow the friendly planes and shoot the enemy planes.
In open sea, right behind the (red) border in enemy space, two enemy gunboats
will shoot you if you fly below 2000 ft real altitude (ctrl A).
Disable them with optical rockets (O).
The red AAA light warns you when you're near them.
You may shoot them with the gun, but use that to shoot the enemy airfield offense
and the two vehicles patrolling the airfield that is a few miles further on.
After that, land on the small airstrip in Seoul, refuel and rearm (shift S and shift F) on the F spot.
and then disable all offense at the other enemy airfields. A try passing head down under the bridge there...
And now as a last photo a beautiful one from the web...
you got to admit, flying this can compete with the most thrilling you can experience on earth...
finally I can only write what we used to scream up the air when we were kids, spotting a plane: may I fly along?
Here a nice short
film of an FA18 and a Tomcat, performing a stunt with a flyby along an aircraft