[Guy at PC]

Windows 3.x Schemes Featuring Makeover

Note: Due to various hardware crashes and the lack of money to do anything about it I no longer run Windows or DOS (just Linux) so this page is way out of date. Hopefully I'll get some stuff up and running so I can get back into things.

03/2005: Oops! Had the correct email address listed but forgot to change the mailto: URL.
12/2007: Wayfarer 2.2 now available from this page. Old ftp demon site/link is no good. I found this one from

After finding myself in possession of a number of old software goodies I decided to jump back into the DOS/Win3 world. Working at an outdoor marketplace (aka swap meet) I'm amazed at what people just dump as trash like tons of vinyl records and such. One day I came across a Unisys-branded box with all of the disks for MS-DOS 6.22 and Windows for Workgroups. Soon after I find a full in-the-box Novell WordPerfect 6 complete with manual. Quickly followed by Corel WordPerfect Suite for Win3 on CD (original, sealed). Followed closely by the next version for Win3/Win95.
After failing to get any Linux or BSD OS to work properly with an old Dell Inspiron 3000 laptop I decided I'll use it for DOS. BTW, Windows XP Pro actually ran surprisingly well on it considering it only has about 180MB or so of RAM.
A lot of work and experimenting with other DOSes (Datalight's ROM-DOS networking stack and Paragon's PTS-DOS 2000 among them) all was good and pretty cool until I wound up moving again. Cramped quarters at the moment is keeping me from playing with it all again.
Also time for me to move these comments away from the Makeover page.
Soon, maybe.

08/2009: Yahoo Geocities is closing so I moved this to FatCow webhosting. Now it's time to dust off that old Dell and have some more fun.
The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine will hopefully be archiving this page as well as many other Geocities pages. Though I've moved this page to another host (click on the title of the page to get to the new site) and it will be updated I'm glad that IA is doing this. If I can't
continue to pay for hosting in the future at least the information will still be accessible.
The companion site to this one, Cryptic Crab's DOS/Win3 site may also get archived (I personally submitted his site just in case).

Oh, one last thing. Just realized that I had my old hardware list on this site detailing what I was using at the time this site went up.
That was back in 1998!
32MB of RAM was more than enough for Linux. :-)
My then-current hardware list

Way back when, a company known as Playroom Software offered a utility called OSFrame. I think I first discovered it as a shareware/demo that was found in one of the online service's file archives. Compuserve (RIP 2009) comes to mind for some reason. I was hooked and immediately registered it. Sometime later the name was changed to Makeover. The package included a number of utilities but the main two were ButtonMaker and OSFrame.

ButtonMaker handled the buttons (minimize, maximize, document, and scroll bar arrows). It comes with predefined buttons ready to use for Macintosh, NeXT, Motif, and 3D Windows. Other buttons are included for importing that cover OS/2, Mac System 7, and variations on the others.

OSFrame is the main utility. This is what allows full control over borders (from none to really really fat silly borders), title bars, title bar text, background, buttons, menu bar, menu text, shadows, etc.
It comes with a number of schemes including variations on the standard Control Panel color schemes. It even suggests a minimum border thickness based on the color scheme you choose.

The status of Playroom Software is unknown. I conducted a search on the 'net but just couldn't find anything current. Found one Compuserve address but received no response when I mailed to it.

New Note: Makeover is here and available for download. Just click here and have at it. I included installation instructions in the zip file so everything should go smoothly.

Below are some thumbnails of various schemes/themes featuring various shells and utilities to try and complete a look. The full screen shots are 1024x768. Click on the JPG filename for the full size pics. I plan to add more detailed descriptions of some of the earlier screenshots and whatnot.
Note: The AOL Browser will not show the screenshots in their full glory if you have "Use Compressed Graphics" turned on. In fact I noticed I couldn't even use an external viewer such as ACDSee with that option turned on.

This page originally started out as just a way for me to show off Makeover and has now sort of turned into reviews (of sorts) of various shells and utilities. Sooner or later I'll figure out how to format this page to look better but still keep it as a "Best Viewed With Any Browser" page.

Index(?) of Themes and Shells

Macintosh and Silver Wolf Desktop
Motif and New Menu For Windows
icewm and ProgramBar
twm and Command Post
NeXT and RipBar
OS/2 and WorkPlace Shell
Windows 95 and Calmira II (3.0)
KDE and Calmira 2.1.3.DB
Motif and Plug-In

[Mac Classic (135K)]

Macintosh Classic This shot shows off a Classic Macintosh look. Everything is rather flat and at its default color settings some dialogs look terrible. Home page is at Silver Wolf Desktop. Zip file via WinSite or silverwolf.com. I'm sure there's another Mac-style menu setup out there but I haven't looked too hard.

[Mac 3D (157K)]

Macintosh with 3-D Buttons
Classic Mac-style but with 3-D buttons and the Mac 3D Burgundy color scheme. Silver Wolf Desktop is the shell again showing the Makeover program group. OSFrame is running here along with PaperCalc.

[Mac System 7 (115K)]

Macintosh System 7
Macintosh with System 7 look. Silver Wolf Desktop again.
The screen shot on-screen is of the Arachne DOS GUI web browser.

[Motif (163K)]

OSF Motif look. The Motif look is best known on UNIX systems running the X Window System and usually mwm (Motif Window Manager). Users of Geoworks' PC/Geos (Ensemble) environment also know this style.
The shell used here is New Menus for Windows v1.46. Provides an uncluttered environment, virtual desktops, and even the X SloppyFocus (moving mouse cursor over open windows give that window focus so you don't have to bring a window to the top to work on it).
The featured application here is the Opera web browser.
Note: NMfW is now freeware and the registration number to use it is available from the program's download page.

[Icewm (167K)]

Icewm and Program Bar
With this look I was trying to emulate icewm (another X window manager) and one of its themes called bluePlastic. This meant trying to create buttons that looked like little plastic bubbles. Active windows would have a lighter blue title bar which isn't seen here.
Icewm includes a taskbar so I went looking for one that worked well. A year or so ago most of them weren't too great including an older version of this one. Shown here is ProgramBar 2.30 (HTTP or FTP). It has a good number of options regarding how it functions and some are changeable on the fly such as hiding or always shown. When the taskbar is down maximized apps will adjust themselves accordingly so their title bars aren't obscured. However some apps will open up underneath the bar which isn't a problem. Just left click on the taskbar and choose Hide and it will do so, allowing you to pull the app down. The options to Always Hide or Show Flyby Hints can be toggled easily with a single click on the bar. No need to bring up the Configure window.
Speaking of... the Configuration Help file is very good as it uses graphic representations of the Configure options with pop-up hints throughout. An example is shown here.
One nice feature of ProgramBar is the ability to have the taskbar pop-up either at the top or the bottom by setting trigger points (also left and right of the desktop). So when taskbar is hidden and you place the mouse cursor at the top of the screen the taskbar will show up there or when placed at the bottom it'll pop-up there. Nice feature as it reduces the amount of mouse travel. Of course a maximized app will adjust itself accordingly.
Another feature is virtual desktops. The desktops can be switched by clicking on the squares shown near the clock display (three shown but many more can be defined) or via hotkeys. ProgramBar also has a Live Desktop feature similar to the Window 95 desktop (and of course Calmira) where links or shortcuts can be placed on the desktop. A pop-up menu is provided for desktop options. This feature, however, has a drawback. When Live Desktop is enabled the desktop belongs to ProgramBar so pop-up shells such as Plug-In and New Menu For Windows will not work. Disabling Live Desktop will restore use of those programs but you also lose the ability to use shortcuts/links on the desktop. This may not affect a program like Hajime (another pop-up/drop-down menu program) as it always keeps a floating icon on the desktop to access its menus.
The application on screen is Comic Collector (now discontinued) by AbleSoft. It was available for DOS (v1.0 and 2.0), Windows 3.x (v2.0), and Windows 95 (v3.0). It's no longer availabe and neither are the price updates. What's a comic collector to do? :-/
In the 4DOS window is a directory display of icewm's themes directories on my Linux partition. "Huh?" you ask, "...how's that possible?" There's a utility set out there called EXT2 TOOLS or similar that allows for navigating Linux partitions from DOS as well as copying files from Linux to DOS (but not the other way around). A very useful set of programs.

[twm (142K)]

twm - Tab Window Manager
This spartan look belongs to twm, the default window manager for the X Window System (or at least XFree86). Due to the lack of 3D anything (borders, buttons, title bars, etc.) I've noticed a speed increase when running Windows. Especially noticeable with AOL 4.0. The number of gpfs relating to WAOL and the video driver have decreased. :-) Couldn't figure out a color for the window/client areas that goes with green titles/menus.
The shell covered here is Wilson WindowWare's Command Post. This is one of the first shareware programs I ever registered. At the time I had to have it as I couldn't stand to point and click with Program Manager. Wilson WindowWare no longer makes the program since they put more energy into their File Manager enhancement program known as File Commander.
There are no icons to be found since this program is designed for the keyboard user. It has fully-customizable menus. In fact the whole underlying menu structure is since Command Post uses a powerful menu language called Command Post Menu Language (CPML). It is, for the most part, the same language that makes up their other product, the famous (once famous?) WinBatch. This means you can create any kind of menu structure with whatever keys you want. Your own user prompts, listboxes, pop-up comments, Yes/No/Cancel dialogs, etc. An example of the language is shown in the file viewer.
One example of what the language can do: Choose edit INI files from the main menu and a pop-up list of all INI files appears. Click on WIN.INI and now a list of [section names] appear. Then click on whatever section you need to modify where you'll be shown a list of keyname=value entries ready to be changed. DOS Heads who love to do things their way with custom batch files and whatnot would feel at home with either Command Post or WinBatch.
New Menus for Windows is also shown again, this time with graphics and icons turned off and the color changed to match the scheme. As with Windows in general it works faster this way.

[NeXT (175K)]

The NeXTSTEP(?) look. NeXT is know for the dock bar. Tried a few different bars but never really liked them. RipBar is used here which is pretty nice. [Note: link broken. Can't seem to find ripbar62.zip anywhere]
I'm not really sure but the home page of a RipBAR program which looks the same is here but the archive names differ from the previous link so here's a link to a RipBAR Pro v1.4 (the last version for Windows 3.1x).
New Menus for Windows is used again showing part of it torn off at the top of the screen. X-it is used for the rolled up windows. Instant File Access (a file open dialog replacement) is shown with 4DOS file descriptions in use. IFA is now freeware and the previous link provides registration number and info. IFA can be downloaded from here.
Main applications are FoxMail and ACDSee.

[OS/2 (102K)]

Here we have an OS/2 look using the OS/2 Work Place Shell for Windows. Very nice Program Manager replacement. If you want that OS/2 look and feel then WPS is a must.
Go here for additional information.
On the right side of some title bars are additional buttons provided by X-it. X-it allows for rolling up windows to get them out of the way instead of minimizing. The SuperPad text editor is rolled up here. X-it's other buttons provide an 'X' button to close apps and another button to bring up a taskmanager. A new button added in version 1.1 brings up a task list of running apps so you'll always have access to running apps when running full-screen.
Just a basic shot showing ACDSee and WPS' icon views and setup utility.

[Win95 (145K)]

Windows 95
A Windows 95 look of sorts. Featured shell here is Calmira II, Online! Release 3.0 (newer version[s] have since been released). Calmira brings Win95 look and feel to Win3 complete with taskbar, startmenu, and Explorer-like file manager (that uses 4DOS file descriptions).
Even though there is no Win95 'X' button to close windows, Calmira does have that function. Just click on the minimize/maximize buttons with the right mouse button and the application will close. Calmira is a first-rate Program Manager replacement.
This shot just shows the Explorer and OSFrame software.
The Calmira home page is at www.calmira.de.

[KDE (183K)]

KDE Desktop
This is my attempt at emulating KDE (desktop/window manager available for the X Window System). The idea of course came from David Burgess' version of Calmira SR.
Here he gave it that KDE look that I just couldn't duplicate well with Makeover. Trying to get a flat but 3D look with Windows just didn't happen. You can see the difference by comparing the Explorer windows with TextPad's. Still working on it.
Now all I need to do is fire up Linux & KDE to get the right color scheme.
David Burgess' version of Calmira SR can be found at this site.
[No longer the case. His sight will be closing down soon]

[Plug-In (204K)]

X/Motif with Plug-In
This is another X Window/Motif look. The featured shell here is Plug-In (alternate link), a must-have addition to Windows if you want to be more productive. Here you see it adds life to Program Manager by changing those dull icons to something more pleasing. If you hate having to open and close groups then this is the utility for you. Just right click on any group icon and the contents of that group pops up in a list so you can view and run programs without all that double clicking. It also supports nested groups.

There are other enhancements to progman such as more detailed new/properties dialogs and the ability to change icons without going through the extra steps in the new/properties dialog.
You also see three additions to the title bars of programs here. On the left side is the current time and on the right is an alternating display of free drive space and system memory/resources. These are not static and can be changed on the fly by clicking on them. In the far left is a small button for Plug-In's Quick Menu which is always available. This Quick Menu also pops up if you right click on the desktop as shown in the lower right. This Quick Menu also has a task list so no matter what you can easily switch to hidden or iconized programs without bringing up a taskmanager. The title bar displays can be excluded for individual programs for those that don't like it such as Lotus 1-2-3.

Another utility used here is SuperBar 2.0h which you can see by looking at Notepad. This adds toolbar icons to applications that don't have them. The icons can be of various sizes with icons, icons and text, or plain text. The icons can be placed along the top, bottom, or either side. The other feature of SuperBar is to have a program start at the last position and size it previously ran. Plug-In also has this feature but with more control. A program's location, size, or both can be "grabbed" while it's running or you can paint a size and location on the desktop.
More info is available here and the latest version (2.0o?).
The other item shown here for the fun of it is Volkov Commander a Norton Commander DOS file manager clone. This version is an alpha of the up and coming version 5 which supports 4DOS descriptions (shown here), OS/2 longnames, and Windows 95 long filenames.

[Wayfarer (142K)]

Wayfarer Program Manager
This is Wayfarer 2.2, the most customizable program manager ever made as far as I know. It's completely up to you how you want it to look. Small or large icons, fancy fonts, custom panels, etc. Everything is panel-based. Start off with a blank panel/window and go to town. There are three panel styles: General, progman-style for icons/groups, Tabs, and Browser (file manager). They can be separate or combined as shown in the example.
First we have a general (Programs) panel I use as the starting point using silly icons and embossed fonts. The Multimedia window is a good example of combined panel types. A single panel was split into two (panels can be split top/bottom and left/right), the top for launching programs, the bottom for files. The bottom panel uses tabs which in turn use browser panels for listing files. The Accessories window shows a three-way split where mini-icons called gadgets are used. Each section has its own title, also.

The Browser panels can be designed any way you want and I have two examples shown here along with a samples window showing all ten Browser examples listed. I must add though that the Browsers aren't all that useful. You can start programs from them but can't do any file management it seems (copy, rename, move, etc.).
Wayfarer is a single-click environment. There is no double clicking whatsoever which is good but takes getting used to. If you need to act on an icon such as modify, delete, etc. just right click on it. To reduce screen clutter panels will disappear once a program is run from it. So when you click on a panel and it comes up, then click on an application from it the original panel closes. Panels can be pinned to the desktop, however, by right clicking at the upper left on the titlebar. As part of the customizable nature of Wayfarer you can even turn off captions (titlebars) as shown in one of the Browser panels.

Wayfarer provides a taskbar at the bottom. It has nowhere near the functionality of other Win95-style taskbars and can be turned off if so desired. The three buttons on the far right will minimize, maximize, or tile all running apps. The far left button is the main button. Right clicking will bring up a menu to access Options..., Run..., help, and save settings. Left clicking will bring up the main/default panel with help, examples, etc. One can do whatever they want with it and customize it just like everything else.
P.S. Wayfarer has a Wikipedia entry though the links point back here.
Wayfarer 2.2 on Wikipedia

Contact Marc D. Williams at
marcdw at DigiSensei

Page created with XEdit/QEdit (DOS), Jed (DOS/Linux),
and TextPad (Windows 3.x) text editors
depending on where I am at the moment. (^_^)
Layout tested with the following browsers/HTML viewers:

Original file generated by the program

- Freeware -
Compliments from
The Thinking Man's Minefield

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