DIY: Turn your Windows PC into a Mac

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Turn your Windows PC into a MacEver found yourself lusting over the inspirational look of the Mac operating system? Here are some applications you can download for free to give your PC an Apple-inspired makeover.

Mac envy is a common ailment that can afflict long-time Windows users. While the easiest fix is for sufferers is to go out and buy a PowerBook or iMac, work and educational environments often force people back into a Windows world. Even if you are content with the Microsoft look and feel, it's hard not to agree that Mac OS X has an elegant user interface, with elements such as the genie effect for minimising windows, the animated dock at the bottom for shortcuts, and glass-like onscreen widgets for displaying mini information panels. If you want to give PC a Mac makeover, here are some applications available for download that mimic Apple's cool effects.

To begin with, download WindowsBlinds and apply this theme to get your desktop looking more like Mac OS X Tiger. Next, replace your Start menu and taskbar with either the ObjectDock or MobyDock to get that nice rollover expansion effect for icons and shortcuts similar to the dock on the bottom of a Mac.

For Dashboard-style widgets, Konfabulator is your best bet; once installed, pressing F8 will grey out your screen and instantly display customisable mini-applications such as local traffic Web cams, to do lists and stock quotes. Thousands of mini-apps are available for download at Konfabulator's Widget Gallery. A handy Aussie built widget is IceTV, an interactive television guide with listings for free-to-air channels.

Windows users will be familiar with the RSI-inducing Alt+Tab method used to switch between running applications: Mac users, on the other hand, have access to a nifty feature called Exposé, whereby pressing a function key neatly arranges previews of all windows currently open on the screen. WinPlosion is the program you need to emulate this on a PC.

Before installing the above downloads, make sure your system has plenty of memory available. Many of them -- especially Konfabulator and WindowBlinds -- are memory hogs and will slow older PCs down to a crawl.

Do you think the look and feel of Mac OS X is years ahead of Windows? Is the Microsoft Start button nearing the end of its life? Have you recently switched over from PC to Mac? How did you find the transition? Have your say below!

This article was first published in CNET.com.au's Downloads newsletter. Become a CNET.com.au member and sign up for free newsletters here.



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Chicken posted a comment   

Oh gosh, this is the best pc into mac article ever! It's my dream come true after all the research! This is SO great! Thank you!

 

Anikin77 posted a comment   

lol
cool

 

isnotneeded posted a comment   

windows isn't just boring, it also sucks!!!!!!! just look at that stupid ms dos stuff@$@$#@!

 

mee posted a comment   

windows is boring

 

paul roadrunner posted a comment   

I have a MAC and i run windows xp in bootcamp on my mac so... i have the best of both worlds... but what you guys need is a reverse of boot camp so that you can have a mac in your pc !!
AHHH now there's an idea ... or why not just buy a mac,

 

randomguy posted a reply   

coz macs suck...

 

musiclife12 posted a comment   

ok, i have installed lots of software to make my PC look like a mac. But, i want to make my PC look like a full mac. I want to install leopard on my PC. I was wondering how to do this. I no longer want windows. I know you cant install leopard on windows legally, so i was wondering if anybody had any ideas on how to make my PC look like a full mac, like for example, when i open control panel, it opens system prefrences like on a mac. I would even pay for software for something like this

 

NiftyStopwatch posted a comment   

Yeah, but I really need some help with a logon screen, i hate that windows welcome sound >.<

There is 1 thing i hate about mac, it is the lack of the "Start" button, the bar below and the quicklunch. Anyway i can get those onto my mac?

 

Shanny K posted a comment   

Is there some way to actually use the MAC OS on my PC? I mean, can I install the OS straight on somehow?

 

convert posted a comment   

I was a long-time PC user until I started working at a company that used only Macs. I was hesitant at first, but they are much easier to use than I expected and now, there is no way I would go back. I am working at a new company now that is mostly windows, but because Mac is compatible with windows networks, echange servers, MS Office, and Bootcamp to boot, I have convinced my new boss to let me stick with Apple.


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