Friday, January 8, 2010
Top 10 Tech #7: How To Customize A Windows Pc With A Star Trek Theme
by Dennis Faas
Infopackets.com Senior Editor
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Microsoft Windows comes standard with its own set of unique sounds,
depending on the event triggering the sound. For example: when Windows
begins to load, the "Windows Theme" sound is played; when an error
occurs, the "Asterisk" sound is played. While these sounds are helpful
in identifying an event, they can also become very monotonous after a
A couple of years back, a friend handed me his collection of Star Trek
Next Generation sound samples on a floppy disk. He told me how much
fun it was to replace those old and boring Windows sounds with Star
Trek sound samples -- and I agree!
Now, every time a friend comes to visit and I show them my computer,
they are simply delighted to hear the Star Trek sound events
coordinated within Windows.
Customizing Windows sounds can be a very rewarding experience, and is
relatively simple to do. This report will show you how to customize a
Windows PC with a Star Trek theme using sound samples and pictures.
1. Download the star trek sounds from infopackets.com by clicking on
Note the location of "trek_samples.zip" as it is being downloaded
because you'll need to use another program (7-Zip) to open this file
2. Go to the 7-Zip website and download 7-Zip. 7-Zip is freeware and
will uncompress / extract the files contained within the
"trek_samples.zip" archive file. Grab the 32-bit .EXE version of 7-
3. Once the 7-Zip file is downloaded, run it and install the program.
After 7-Zip is installed, go to the folder where you saved
4. Right-click the "trek_samples.zip" file; a dialog menu will appear.
Click 7-Zip -> "Extract to trek_samples" from the menu. This will
uncompress all the files contained within the "trek_samples.zip" file
and place them into a folder called "trek_samples".
Note: if you are not familiar with uncompressing an archived file and
would like to learn more, please refer to these 7-Zip tutorials:
5. After the files are decompressed, go to the Windows Control Panel
and double-click the Sounds icon.
Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 users:
Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel, then double-click on the
Windows XP users:
Click Start -> Control Panel, then double-click the Sounds icon.
Windows Vista Users:
Click Start -> Control Panel, then double-click the Sounds icon. Go to
the Sounds tab.
6. Select a Sound Event you wish to modify, and click the Browse
button under the heading Sound Name.
7. With the Browse window open, navigate to the trek_samples folder
(where the trek_samples.zip file was extracted). Double-click any
sample to make it your default sound for the selected event.
For simplicity, I have named all the files with an appropriate title
so that it would be simple to choose which file goes with which event.
If you right-click over top of any of the sound files while browsing
the directory, Windows will allow you the option of playing the sample
before you choose it as your default sound for the selected event.
Please note that some events are triggered quite often within Windows,
and you shouldn't use a long sound sample for frequently recurring
For example: the longest sample is "Computer -- Transport", which
lasts approximately 8 seconds. It would not be a good idea to use this
as your "Default sound".
B O N U S
Included in the Zip file "trek_samples.zip" are 6 new and exciting
Backgrounds you can use for your Windows Desktop. The files are in BMP
(bitmap) format. All you need to do is copy them to your Windows
System directory to use them.
1. Extract the file "trek_samples.zip" if you haven't already.
2. Double click on the trek_samples folder. Locate the files, starting
with the prefix "background -- xxx.bmp".
3. This step is optional: it allows you to access the backgrounds from
the Display Copy all the background files to the Windows\System
folder. To do this, you can use the "drag and drop" technique. Here
are the steps:
a) Go to My Computer and double click the hard disk drive with Windows
(usually the "C:" drive). For Windows 95, 98, NT and 2000 Windows
users, the My Computer icon is located on the Desktop. For Windows XP,
the My Computer icon is listed in the Start Menu. For Vista, My
Computer is known as "Computer" and is a heading (not an icon) listed
in the Start Menu.
b) Open the folder called "Windows" on the C drive. Minimize or set
this window on your desktop. We will be moving files to this window
c) Navigate to the folder containing the Star Trek background files.
d) Highlight (select) all background files using your mouse. To do
this: press and hold the CTRL key on your keyboard; at the same time,
left-click each of the "background -- xxx" files. This will highlight
(select) each file.
e) Release the CTRL key on your keyboard when all background files are
selected. Right click over top one of the selected files and choose
"Cut" from the dialog menu.
f) Navigate to and open the Windows folder you minimized / set aside
earlier. Place your mouse pointer over an empty area of the window,
right click the mouse to bring up the dialog menu, and choose Paste.
This should move your background files into the C:\Windows\System
folder. If you did not see the option Paste, you either didn't select
your files properly or you didn't right-clicked over an empty space.
4. Access your Display preferences via Control Panel.
In Windows 95, 98, NT, and ME: click Start -> Control Panel ->
In Windows XP, click Start -> Control Panel -> Appearance and Themes
In Windows Vista, click Start -> Control Panel -> Appearance and
Personalization -> Desktop Background.
5. Scroll through the list of background images -- the new Star Trek
backgrounds should be listed. For Vista, you may have to click the
Browse button and navigate to C:\Windows\System to get the backgrounds
to show up in your list of available backgrounds.
6. Use the Streth, Center and Tiles options to place the Backgrounds
however you want on your Desktop.
That's it -- enjoy!
Star trek is a registered trade mark of Paramount Pictures
Corporation. All material found in this report (images, and sound
files) are for promotional purposes only.
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