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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking into using a separate windows shell instead of Explorer. There are shells out there that use half as much memory and are just as (if not more) stable...

So, my question is. If I'm not using Explorer, does that have an effect on anything? Will I be limited by not being able to use certain software? I don't want to give up functionality, I just want to customize and economize...

Thanks for any help you guys can give, I know this isn't a common subject.

Cookies for any good help.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OH, I also have another question. Can I skin it to look basically like explorer? cause I want to be able to get to my start menu and have my running programs and little taskbar icons and stuff....
 

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Did you have a particular one in mind?

Because from my experience, the answer to most questions is "it depends."

Most alternate shells have their own concepts of the start bar, quick launch and systray. Generally able to customize more. But I have seen really crappy ones that don't. Some just mod parts of shell or sit as a theme/skin on top.
Some a quick and stable, some are horrible.

Was their a specific goal in mind? Like, you normally have a few monitoring apps open at all times and just want them built in to your desktop? And the ability to customize more? OR just a different look? Or gain in performance? (Depends on each - those laden with every feature including the kitchen sink can be worse...)

Personally, I can use shell replacements for about a day before I revert back because it really doesn't make anything any easier and I use a ton of computers every day and every time I come home to some weird shell, I have a hard time getting around quickly
 

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its a give and take world when using alternate shells... some would say youre giving up functionality while others would say youre gaining even more... it all depends on what you want... it will probably take some time to get used to a new shell but it could be a good thing for you in the end... youll be able to use all the software you would in explorer, theres nothing that would change that really

I know datax uses litestep, so the only person I know here that uses another shell, other than myself, is datax...


you have plenty of options so create a new user account and play around with all the shells you can find... litestep will be the # 1 alternative you find, and if its not, it should be but theres plenty of others out there... for beginners as well as those who are willing to lose a comp...
 

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Lightstep is a GREAT shell.

The main reason I didn't use it was simply because more than one person used my computer. Now that I have my own dedicated rig there isn't much that limits me other than the fact that I am lazy. However, I know its a nice shell that is much less bloated than explorer.

Also, there are tons of skin options and much of the fun of lightstep is making it your own with various skinning and coding options (and you can use !bang features, which simulate a command shell).

Id say the main reason I would want a shell is to be faster and less memory intensive than explorer, but skinning is also really nice seeing as you can make great minimalist skins. I think one problem I had with lightstep, now that I am thinking about it, is just that some skins had a problem with not disappearing in fullscreen games (which is definitely an issue for most people here). Just try things out....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I tried LiteStep. It made objectDock disappear under the desktop unless I left-clicked where it should be...and it seemed a bit bland.

Basically what I was looking for was performance, but with all the sexyness of my explorer desktop. I guess I'm just gonna stick with Explorer for now, cause this Vista theme is really sweet, and ObjectDock is really helpful.
 
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