Space the final frontier …….
OK, I had to say that – it’s a Star
Trek review. Growing up in the seventies and eighties I fondly
remember watching Star Trek. It was action, adventure and cool
futuristic tech. Many modern devices are analogous to the devices
used in Gene Roddenbery’s created universe. Modern cell phones can
trace their inspiration to the communicators from Star Trek. PDAs
and smart phones are Tricorder like in today’s world. Love it or
hate it Star Trek’s societal impact can be felt even forty years
after its start.
Today’s review item is from the Skins
Factory who are renowned for their ability to skin OSes – making
them look totally different and unique. Their Hyperdesk division
has been morphing Windows XP desktops for several years, now they are
bringing Windows Vista into the party and one of their first
offerings is the Star Trek: The Original Series Hyperdesk Suite.
Trekkers and Windows skinner can now make their Windows machine look
like something out of the 23rd century.
The Skins Factory Hyperdesk division is
the same group that has provided Alienware with their unique PC
interfaces, so we know the art will be first rate. It runs as a self
contained program converts the bland Windows desktop into something
unique. Previous Windows skinning programs required a dedicated
program running to perform the conversion; The Skins Factory version
uses the built in engine to change the Windows desktop appearance.
Hyperdesk runs within the memory of the OS, so any changes can be
undone with a click of a button as the system files are never
altered. It works with or without Aero depending on which flavor of
Vista the user is running and whether the PC has enough power.
Let’s take a closer look…….
Reviewed by: Tomas Ratas
Tech Specs,Features or the
Hyperdesk is an exciting new product from The Skins Factory that
allows you to transform the appearance of your regular Windows
desktop, with an endless array of exciting new desktop themes, skins,
wallpapers, widgets and other applications called “hypersuites”.
Using Microsoft’s own skinning engine, Hyperdesk uses a “native”
and stable way to theme Windows. Because the magic of Hyperdesk
occurs entirely in memory, your system files are never touched or
replaced. And just as it takes a single button to make the magic
happen, a single click will return you to your default Windows
Each Hyperdesk installation contains a custom hypersuite. These
works of art have been painstakingly, hand-crafted by the world’s
most talented commercial interface artists at The Skins Factory, with
the same attention to detail & flawless execution we’ve become
known for throughout the industry.
The Skins Factory’s theme design division has proven irresistible
to the world’s leading entertainment companies and content providers.
In the past, Microsoft contracted The Skins Factory to build their
only official Xbox desktop theme to date, while Alienware Corporation
contracted us 6 times to design custom desktop themes. To take
advantage of this unique branding experience, please contact us today
and see why we’re the company with the most desktop experience in the
Hyperdesk currently runs in Windows XP with Windows Vista
compatibility coming soon.
We distribute our Hyperdesk products digitally to the consumer.
Broadband internet connections are suggested, but not required.
every fan of STAR
TREK can own the official STAR
TREK Windows Vista desktop theme designed by The Skins Factory’s Hyperdesk
division. Completely transform Windows Vista with 3 STAR
TREK desktop themes that change your desktop into 1 of 3 Starfleet divisions – Command,
Engineering or Sciences.
Featuring a STAR
TREK widget audio remote for iTunes/Windows Media Player 11 that includes
transporter animations & original series sound FX. Includes: Over
30 custom designed STAR
TREK desktop icons that stay true to STAR
TREK canon &
newly rendered shots of the Enterprise (based on the official models
& textures provided by CBS Studios) on 3 different custom STAR
TREK wallpapers (plus 3 variant editions).
You may install
this purchased theme on as many personally owned Windows Vista
machines that you own, but you may not distribute it. No license key
A Better Look at Things
Star Trek: The Original Series
Hyperdesk Suite comes as an executable file. The program is
available in both Windows XP and Vista 32 and 64 bit versions. The
XP and Vista versions are separate so make sure you order the correct
one for your OS.
Installation involves running the
Hyperdesk – Star Trek TOS VISTA_64 installation file.
The program is divided into two
sections – the left side allows for selecting Hypertheme, Icon Set,
Wallpaper and Widget while the right pane previews the selected
option. Within the program the Hypersuite can be applied totally or
in components. Next to the Apply Hypersuite is a Restore Vista icon.
The Skins Factory Star Trek Hyperdesk
Suite provides three distinct styles within this skin suite, each
corresponding to one of three Starfleet divisions – Command,
Engineering and Sciences. Clicking on each of the three categories
will enable or disable that item. For instance if you want just the
wallpaper then keep the check on that category and disable the rest.
The last option is for a Yahoo widget that when installed provides
control of iTunes and Windows Media Player 11. This remote only
works if Yahoo Widgets is installed.
Once the Hyperdesk is activated the
Windows desktop morphs the desktop background and standard windows
icons with Starfleet related themes. Icons such as Computer, Recycle
Bin, Folders and Drives will transform into Federation images.
Here are some before and after shots of
my Vista Ultimate 64 bit desktop with the various Starfleet division
Hyperthemes. I have a dual monitor setup thus the two screens for
Overall the art is terrific. The
images of the Enterprise are great and the theme color fits with the
Federation motif. Skins Factory was kind enough to send us some
images of some tricked out desktops and other promo images. If you
are a Trekker then you will be in heaven with this Skin for Windows
Personally I thought the skinning did
not go far enough with the Star Trek motif. Applying a Federation
style font would have made the transformation much more seemless. I
was still able to see glimpses of my old Vista desktop via the
presence of unchanged program icons on my desktop.
The color scheme was too dark with
black and gray used in many borders and backgrounds for programs. The
three different “themes” are provided with the StarFleet
divisions of Command, Engineering and Sciences, which seem to only
differ slightly in color and content.
Finally the last issue I had with the
Hyperdesk was the Restore Vista would send it back to the default
Vista desktop not my selected desktop background.
Summary and Comments
Star Trek: The Original Series
Hyperdesk Suite is a unique way to skin your Windows Vista desktop
without causing any hard to undo changes to the system. Fans of the
Gene Roddenbery’s universe will enjoy the well-designed imagery
from the folks at the Skin Factory.
It does skin the Vista desktop but the
remnants of Microsoft’s world can be easily spotted. The
implementation of Starfleet fonts and interface graphics in this
Suite would make the experience more immersive. Maybe we will see
this in the next iteration of this suite.
Unless you are a hard core Star Trek
fan you may want to look at some of the other Hyperdesk offerings.
DragonSteelMods gives the Star Trek:
The Original Series Hyperdesk Suite a 3.5 out of 5 score.
+Excellent art design
+Its Star Trek – the Original Series
+Self contained program – run only in
+Easily restore default Vista desktop
-Does not change the system environment
-Where is the Green Skinned Orion Girl?
I would like to thank The
Skins Factory for the chance to review the Star Trek:
The Original Series Hyperdesk Suite and for their support of DSM.