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pitkon

What Is Blackbox And Why You Should Get It

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music_by_pitkon-d4xf9sx.thumb.png.3ec6c4

 

What is Blackbox?
Good question. Welcome to an impressive computing experience.

Well, Blackbox is a shell for Windows or a window manager for Linux, the styles (themes) being interchangeable between the two platforms, something unique in computing. In this introduction I will only talk about the Windows flavor, since it's much more flexible than its Linux counterpart.
What is a shell? Well, it's the dressing over a cake, the clothing over a body, the greenery covering a bush. Every operating system has a shell. The Windows' native shell is Explorer, which is not only a file browser, like most of you may think. Delete Explorer and Windows crash. It's a fine shell, especially in the case of Windows 7, but it's heavy, slow, with very few options.
Over the years a lot of alternative shells have been developed to make for Explorer's (and, thus, Windows') shortcomings. Litestep, Blackbox, Serenade, Talisman, Aston, WinStep, DesktopX, are just a few. Some of them, like Blackbox and Litestep, are free, while some others, like Aston and DesktopX, are commercial programs.
Blackbox is unique among them, in that it offers very specialized and rare options. And, since almost every other shell has died a premature death, Blackbox is the only active shell that can transform your Windows and make your computing a dazzling and, yes, fast experience. Here are just a few of the many things this shell can do:
 
1) Colors and textures change on the fly with each style (theme) switch. No need to look around for third party apps that "look well" with or match each specific theme.
 
2) Windows decorations are embedded in Blackbox' modus operandum  and also offer colors and textures that change with each theme switch – again, no need to look around for third party (and often expensive) apps.
 
3) Blackbox comes with a plethora of plugins (think of them as widgets, although they are much more than that) that are also part of the change theme/change everything philosophy. Some are so powerful that let you create docks, wharfs, audio players, wallpaper viewers, system meters and a lot more within a few minutes. No programming experience required!
 
4) Blackbox' desktop is alive. You just drop things on it and they become wallpaper or whatever.
 
5) Blackbox is the lightest shell there is. This means more speed, more power.
 
6) Themeing is relatively easy and anyone can create their own styles using a simple text editor like Notepad (although Blackbox does have its own editor, BBNote) and a color picker. Again, no programming or Photoshopping required – although you CAN use graphic files in your elements, if you so wish.
 
7) Blackbox creates its own backgrounds, if it senses you haven't picked any. Or, you can create wallpapers of any texture and color using its build-in mechanisms. Piece of cake.
 
8) Blackbox themes can include 3dcc configurations in the style file, which means all window colors change with each theme switch to match the rest of the elements, without the need to call up individual 3dcc files.
 
9) Blackbox offers multiple desktops - as many as you like - so no more clutter with too many open applications on one workspace. Till now, using Windows you had to buy third party apps for more desktops, but Blackox includes this option for free.
 
10) If you are a Linux user with a *box Window Manager (Blackbox, Fluxbox, Hacked Box and early builds of Openbox) and are obliged to work with Windows (obliged seems to be the proper word) you can migrate your styles and your Linux GUI to Windows using Blackbox for Windows. Most nix styles work flawlessly on the Windows' version of your beloved WM.

 

11) Blackbox works like a charm on any Windows build, from XP to 10 (yes, it's been tried under 10). In fact, makes even slower machines run faster.

 

12) Blackbox is an active open source program. Which means developers are currently working on it and offer new builds from time to time, so your shell won't be out of date and will feature more and more goodies.
 
So, what are you waiting for? Just remember, once you try Blackbox there is no going back :)

You can download any Blackbox builds and plugins, for 32- or 64-bit systems, from http://www.blackbox4windows.com 

Installations are harmless and fail-safe and there are people there to guide you if you need any help or instructions.

Graphic styles were kind enough to add a Blackbox section in both Downloads and Forums, so me and other BB guys plan on posting some Blackbox themes here too. Keep checking :)

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Looking foreward to it pitkon. B|

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Looking foreward to it pitkon. B|

Thank you! :)

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Looking very interesting pitkon. :)

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I honestly have never heard about it before till a few days ago. I was on pitkon's site on and off yesterday reading up on it. 

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Me too. :)

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I noticed you registered. :) 

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Yup, checking it out.

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Looking very interesting pitkon. :)

It is indeed. Please feel free to ask if you need any help or instructions :)

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I honestly have never heard about it before till a few days ago. I was on pitkon's site on and off yesterday reading up on it. 

Did you have any experience with alternative shells before?

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It is indeed. Please feel free to ask if you need any help or instructions :)

Sure will, just have to find the time. :)

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The only real experience I have was with the old TGTsoft's StyleBuilder for StyleXP. I would actually give Blackbox a go but I no longer have a PC and have been using an iMac for a few years now. I have an old PC that I have thought about resurrecting and using. It needs two things such as a HD and new power supply. 

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The only real experience I have was with the old TGTsoft's StyleBuilder for StyleXP. I would actually give Blackbox a go but I no longer have a PC and have been using an iMac for a few years now. I have an old PC that I have thought about resurrecting and use. It need two things such as a HD and new power supply. 

Well, StyleBuilder is not a shell :) You will simply love Blackbox, I know. No need to upgrade Windows on your old PC, too. Blackbox works flawlessly under any OS, from XP to 10 (yes, it has been tested on 10, too). I will gladly help you set it up when the time comes (not that it needs any special setups, the good ole installation procedure that comes with the package will do).

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Pitkon, do you know how BlackBox would work together with Stardock's Windowblinds? I could never get rid of Windowblinds as I design for it and it provides me with a source of income is why I ask. Thanks!

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Pitkon, do you know how BlackBox would work together with Stardock's Windowblinds? I could never get rid of Windowblinds as I design for it and it provides me with a source of income is why I ask. Thanks!

Blackbox has its own skinning engine, but you can turn it off and use Windowblinds any time. Downside is, your windows won't change colors and textures automatically with every style (theme) switch, as it happens with BB's engine, but of course you can use any skinning app on them.

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