There are various ways to tweak your desktop. Some more invasive and complicated than others. Today I will start with the quick and simple ones, then get to the more complicated ones.
The first and easiest is to automate your wallpaper. John’s Background switcher is hands down the best for this. It also is able to be installed without admin permissions.Â So if you work in a corp environment where your machine is locked down, this will work for you as well.Â Integrates with a bunch of online places as well, so you have quite a bit of flexibility.
Lifehacker has a great article on 5 different desktop customizations that you can do. From embedding files into your desktop to gui modifications. I am a fan of apps or widgets like Rainmeter. I like to know what my machine is doing. It is a great indicator if something is impacting performance.
After a view mods like that you can move to the higher impact modifications. Full gui replacement ala Stardock. (Though I am not even sure if it is worth it on Vista.) Widgets are another way to get your tweak on without worring about going deeper than you are ready to. Yahoo widgets is a nice application form. They also have quite the library of different widgets for all sorts of purposes. I am a fan of the stock one, and use a widget to monitor CPU/RAM as opposed to Rainmeter. Tweaking gets down to personal preference. A lot like the extentions one uses in an alternative browser like Firefox.
Try a few things out and get more out of your computing experience!