New to the Internet? Be sure to check out my brief Survival Kit page for a few of the products you should download to help you get started. I have image viewers and converters, programs to open ZIP files, freeware email programs and much more listed there.
To really get the most out of your Windows 95 experience, be sure to download the Power Toys from Microsoft (also available at download.com). These are add-ons to Windows 95 that the original programmers made while preparing Windows 95 for release. There is a Windows 95 Service Pack available to fix minor bugs in the first release of Windows 95. Additionally you should download the Microsoft Libraries Update, which will fix a lot of small bugs.
You can get some of the functions available in the Plus! cd as separate components. Microsoft offers a font smoother that will smooth your on-screen fonts for better display. You can find free fonts at Microsoft's Free Fonts and Utilities page, and if you download my icon program or the Microangelo Icon Color Control you'll be able to view all of your desktop icons in 256 color instead of the default 16 color icons.
There is a shareware program called Desktop Themes that will let you use any Plus! Theme without having installed Microsoft Plus! It also has the advantage that it runs under Windows NT 4.0 as well, so NT users can start using themes, plus it's only about 100 KB to boot! If you download this program, the font smoother and icon program above as well as X-Setup 2.0 below you'll have all of the functionality of Plus! without having to purchase the program.
Yet more Plus! fun. There's a freeware program called X-Setup that will let you perform all of the TweakUI modifications to Windows 95 and additionally will let you use most Plus! features with the exception of Desktop Themes and turning on 256 color icon displays. You'll be able to turn on smooth scrolling, font smoothing, full-window dragging and a number of extra features that you can't do in TweakUI. Definately worth downloading.
Having problems managing your bookmarks? Powermarks is a great way to organize and use them. Rather than making folders, Powermarks lets you add keywords to each listing making it into a big, searchable database. 30-day free demo. Powermarks works with IE, Netscape and Opera.
There's a new Microsoft Media Player out that can handle many more formats than the original. With this you'll be able to view Quicktime 2.1.2 files, AVI's, MPEGs, MP3 audio, RealAudio 4.0 and more, a handy thing to download. Pick the x86 version, the Alpha version is for Alpha Workstations running NT 4.0. One warning, this will overwrite your .wav file extension so all .wav's will open by default in the Media Player. You'll have to manually restore the file association, drop by Bob's Windows 95 Tips for more details on how to change a file association in Windows 95.
There is an update to the Windows 95 Paint program, download the program and run it, there is a readme file that will tell you how to update Paint. Once done, this will allow Paint to read and write GIF and JPG files in addition to BMP files if you have Office 95 or 97 installed.
Xena Solitaire! Tired of playing with that default Windows 95 game? Check out Free Solitaire by Michael McCulloch. It's a great program by itself, but the best feature is that it will let you use any JPEG, GIF, BMP or PCX you'd like as the background art for the deck. I've prepared detailed instructions and sample images that you can download to use with the program. (xenasol.zip 29kb)
Wave Events This great utility will let you associate sounds with individual programs. For example, you could have Windows play Xena's battlecry when you start Netscape, and have Callisto hiss when you turn on your email program. Once you've registered it'll even randomize your default Windows sounds within a list of sounds you define. The shareware version is $10, there's a freeware version as well called the "Sound Event Editor 97", which isn't as full-featured, but still a good program.
Want to randomize your wallpaper? Check out Caledos, a cardware (you send a postcard to the software creator) program that will add a "Wallpaper Changer" to your Control Panel. This will let you specify which files to use as wallpaper, how often to change them and will even let you use GIF, JPEG or BMP files for wallpaper! Once you have it be sure to check out Xory's Xena Warrior Princess Page, a huge archive of great 800 x 600 high quality scans of Xena images.
Having problems downloading files? If you are downloading large files and keep stalling halfway, try the freeware program Go!Zilla. It'll let you resume downloads if you have problems, and you can even schedule it to download at a certain time. It will automatically integrate itself with IE and Netscape.
Need a good image viewer? Try ACDSee and the very useful PicaView. Both are available at www.acdsystems.com/pages/
Mario has created a free Xena calculator. Drop by his website.
To use any of these themes you must be running Windows 95 and have the Plus! CD installed, or be using Windows 98 (which has the "Desktop Themes" control panel as part of the operating system). Visit Microsoft's web page, with Microsoft Plus! for more details on it. (Note: Microsoft moves this page around often for some reason. If you get a "File Not Found" error, just go to www.microsoft.com, click on "Products" then search for "Plus!")
There is a shareware program called Desktop Themes that will let you use any Plus! Theme without having installed Microsoft Plus! It also has the advantage that it runs under Windows NT 4.0 as well, so NT users can start using themes. It costs a LOT less than Plus! (only $15 USD to register) and is relatively nag-free. If you download all of the programs I have listed above, you can get all of the Plus! functionality without ever purchasing Plus! (Download Desktop Themes, the font-smoother, my icon program and X-Setup 2.0 and you'll be able to activate all of the Plus! features).
I've got one alternate tiled wallpaper for my themes. Click here to see what it looks like, you can either save the GIF version or the zipped BMP version (if you don't have a utility to convert GIF to BMP download the BMP).
Here are the themes I have at xenafan.com:
Use any of these cursors to replace your default Windows ones. You can change them in the Control Panel, under the Mouse properties.
You can download all of these icons in a standalone program that will let you change the cursors automatically. Click here to download xena_cur.zip (276 kb) .
These icons use 256 colors, so to view them properly in Windows 95, first open your control panel, click on Display and then on the Settings tab. Change the color display to either HiColor or TrueColor and you will be able to display the icons with all their colors. Click on the "Plus!" tab and check the box that says "Show icons using all possible colors."
If you don't have the Plus! CD installed, download the free Icon Color Level Program from Impact Software. It will configure your display to show all the icon colors automatically.
Xena Finale Screensaver 1.1 This is my take on the series finale. It doesn't contain photos from the finale, but rather a bittersweet look back at some of the moments from the show. Music from Radiohead. This one's a big file, so be sure to use GetRight or something similar to download it. I have a version of this without the music for Mac OS X as well, go to the Mac page to download it. Update: the 1.1 version now scales images down to fit your display.
Zip version - 18 MB
Xenafan Screensaver 2001 No real theme to this one, a little bit of everything was thrown in. The music is from the Conan the Barbarian soundtrack. Download the zip version only:
Zip version - 12 MB
Xenafan Screensaver volume 2 This screensaver contains photos from seasons 4, 5 and 6 of Xena. The music is from Last of the Mohicans. It's designed for resolutions of 1024x768 or larger, although it will work on lower resolution screens, although the photos will be cut off a bit. Download the zip version only:
Zip version - 7.19 MB
Xenafan Screensaver I've made a screensaver which plays a mp3 from Destiny and cycles through 29 different photos. This should work in Windows 95/98/NT, but not in 3.1 (sorry!). Download either the zip or self-extracting version:
Self-extracting exe - 2.83 MB | Zip version - 2.81 MB
Battle On! Screensaver With a great new mp3 and a ton of your favorite Battle On! cartoons, this is a great screensaver to download. This will work in Windows 95/98, but not in 3.1 or Windows NT (I'm working on NT support). It's a larger download than my other screensaver, mainly due to the high-quality music mp3 I included. Download either the zip or self-extracting version:
Self-extracting exe - 5.21 MB | Zip version - 5.18 MB
Callisto: Warrior Queen Screensaver Sporting "The Wrath of Callisto" as the music for this one, Callisto: Warrior Queen includes 38 of your favorite Hudson Leick photographs. This version now includes a complete installer & uninstaller. Download either the zip or self-extracting version:
Self-extracting exe for Windows 95/98/NT - 4.85 MB
Joxer the Mighty Screensaver This screen saver has 22 images of Joxer with a number of .wav files scattered throughout the program. It will also let you set any of the images used in the screen saver as your desktop wallpaper.
Zip version for Windows 95/98/NT - 1.98 MB
Cleopatra 2525 Screensaver You favorite girls from Cleopatra 2525 explode across your screen! Includes installer and uninstaller.
Da Da Da and Pac-man Screensavers I've created two more screensavers, just for the hell of it, from my old Flash movies Da Da Da and the Pac-man clip. They aren't as large as the Xena screensavers, and the music might drive you mad, but feel free to dowload them if you'd like.
Da Da Da - Self-extracting exe - 591 KB
Chris Jeffery (email@example.com) has finished and produced a wonderful new screensaver. It has two modules in the same screensaver, a Xena and a Gabrielle section. These are full of sound bites, animation and other goodies, a must-have for the discriminating Windows 95 Xenite. You can also visit the Cool Pixels Screen Saver Gallery to see more of Chris' work.
Simon Taplin (firstname.lastname@example.org) has created a Gabrielle & ROC (Reneé O'Connor) Screensaver for Windows 95. It is available at his website, and I have a mirror copy of the setup program here at xenafan.com if you experience problems downloading.
Scott Brady (email@example.com) created a GREAT Callisto: Warrior Queen screensaver. Check out screenshot one and screenshot two. You can download the screensaver (approx 3 MB) from his website or download a mirror copy here at xenafan.com if you have problems downloading from GeoCities.
James Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) has created the Callisto of Cirra screensaver. You can download it from his website at members.xoom.com/Chaoswolf/ (just click to enter then go to the files area) or you can download a mirror copy here at TXP.
At Buumzer's Xena: Warrior Princess Vault, Buumzer has made a Xena Screensaver that has a chakram fly around your screen while playing random .wav files. Also, he has an alternate chakram mouse cursor you can download.
There's a program called ICQ Plus (available at www.icqplus.ru) that allows you to use custom "skins" in ICQ. I made a quick one of Lucy from the Maxim Magazine photos that you can use with it, feel free to make your own. You can find a number of other ICQ Plus skins at www.customize.org or www.skinz.org.
Lucy Lawless ICQ Plus skin (58 kb)
Stupid Windows 95 trick: When you go to the Control Panel and choose "System", it comes up with a screen describing your system. Well, there's a way to Xenatize that as well! (See example). To do this you just need to create a .BMP file called "oemlogo.bmp" and place it in your Windows\System folder, and create a file called "oeminfo.ini" and place it there as well. Here's an example you can try, just extract the two files to your Windows\System directory, you can then open oeminfo.ini in Notepad and change it to whatever you'd like. (This tip comes from Frank Condron's World of Windows).
Startup screens: Sick of having to see the stupid Microsoft Clouds while loading Windows 95, and the "Shutting down computer" screens? Well now you can Xenatize them! I've included three here as an example and I'll tell you how to do it yourself with any JPEG off my page. You can then add an animation to them with the XrX Animated Logo Utility.
Basically once you install the Plus! CD it makes three files called Logo.sys, Logow.sys, and Logos.sys. Logo.sys is located in your c:\ directory and Logow.sys and Logos.sys are in the c:\Windows directory. These are 256 color (can't have any more than that) .bmp images. They must be 320 pixels wide by 400 pixels high. Windows just stretches these out when it loads up. Also the filenames are cASe SenSitIVe, so you must call them Logo.sys, etc. To make your own startup screen you'd first need LView or some other image editor. I'll give instructions as per LView, as it's what I use.
First you find that Xena pic you just can't live without. You download the JPEG and load it in LView. First you want to resize the image. Go to Edit, select Resize, and be sure to uncheck the box "Preserve Aspect Ratio". The next step is to change the values listed in the picture (it might say 640 and 480 for example to begin with). Click on the width box and erase the old value. You will then type 320. Then change the height value to 400 and select ok. The image will now be tall and scrunchy.
Now we need to reduce the color depth. My JPEGs have 16.7 million colors and the screens at startup and shutdown can only handle 256. Again, instructions for LView. Go to the Retouch menu and select Color Depth. It will bring up a screen with 256 colors probably already selected. If not, you will want to select Palette Image on the top and the 256 colors option then click on OK. Voila! The image now has 256 colors.
The final step is to save the file. Go to file and select Save As. In the filename box type *.sys and hit enter. Next, browse in the window to the c:\ directory and scroll over to see the file Logo.sys. You click on it to select it as the filename you'll save to, and now we need to specify the file type to save the image as. On the Save As Type box below where you enter the filename click on the arrow there and scroll down to select Windows (*.bmp). You can now hit the Save button and you've replaced the Microsoft Windows startup screen with a much more lovely Xena Screen.
Troubleshooting: If after this you restart windows and don't see the image, one of three things could be wrong:
And you're set! I've included 3 images in a zip here to let you get an idea of what they should look like:
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