RSS Themes in Windows


rss-image

Windows Wallpaper and Themes

I think Windows 7 Themes are cool.
If you don’t have a large collection of images, then maybe you are getting tired of seeing the same old pictures all day every day. I have a possible solution- RSS Themes.
By setting up an RSS Windows Theme that gets it’s Wallpaper from the Internet you will have a virtually unlimited source of images.
They are stored in this directory: C:\\Users\\<username>\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\Windows\\Themes
Note: <username> is your name or whatever you chose as the Log-In name. Open the directory and you’ll find it.

Here is a Theme Template to get you started

Copy & Paste this into Notepad. Be sure to Save it with a .theme extension!!
—<start>—
[Theme]
DisplayName={themename}

[Slideshow]
Interval=1800000
Shuffle=1
RssFeed={rssfeedurl}

[Control Panel\\Desktop]
TileWallpaper=0
WallpaperStyle=10
Pattern=

[Control Panel\\Cursors]
AppStarting=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_working.ani
Arrow=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_arrow.cur
Crosshair=
Hand=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_link.cur
Help=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_helpsel.cur
IBeam=
No=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_unavail.cur
NWPen=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_pen.cur
SizeAll=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_move.cur
SizeNESW=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_nesw.cur
SizeNS=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_ns.cur
SizeNWSE=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_nwse.cur
SizeWE=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_ew.cur
UpArrow=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_up.cur
Wait=%SystemRoot%\\cursors\\aero_busy.ani
DefaultValue=Windows Aero
Link=

[VisualStyles]
Path=%SystemRoot%\\resources\\themes\\Aero\\Aero.msstyles
ColorStyle=NormalColor
Size=NormalSize
ColorizationColor=0X6B74B8FC
Transparency=1

[MasterThemeSelector]
MTSM=DABJDKT
—<end>—

Here’s a feed you can try for illustrative purposes:


You need to change the settings in the above template:
  1. Under the [Theme] heading change DisplayName=<whatever name you want to call your new Theme here>
  2. Under the [Slideshow] heading change RssFeed=http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=40961104@N00&lang=en-us&format=atom
  3. NOTE: The RssFeed has to be a feed with proper photo attachments.
  4. Save this (don’t forget the .theme extension), double-click the file and Windows will install it.
  5. You will be prompted whether to Download Attachments. Choose to do so.
  6. It may take a minute or so for your new wallpaper to show up. (If not, be sure your RSS feed contains photo attachments; try another feed if you’re not sure).
  7. You can right-click on a blank area of your Desktop and click Personalize to control how things work for you.
  8. Enjoy your new wallpaper!

Note: If you use your favorite search engine and look for RSS Wallpaper, you will get many other choices. Also, images are not the only choices here. You can also get news feeds and weather dynamic updates if you hunt around for them. The possibilities are endless.

Note 2: If you are only interested in seeing feed headlines like news or perhaps a stock ticker, there is a Gadget bundled with Windows that will do that for you. Right-click on an empty spot of your desktop and click Gadgets in the context menu that pops open. Open the Feed Headlines Gadget and fill in the necessary information.

If you have other ideas, or a better way to do this, please leave a comment and let us know!

Richard

About the Author

Richard Pedersen

Richard received his first computer, a C-64, in 1982 as a gift and began dabbling in BASIC. He was hooked! His love for computing has led him from the old “XT” boxes to the more modern fare and from clunky 10MB hard drives to smooth and fast modern day SSD drives. He has run BBS services, Fido mail, and even operated his own computer repair business.