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WW1 Aircraft Desktop Theme for WinXP

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This isn't a mod for First Eagles or any of the flight sim games. This is a desktop theme to change the look of Windows XP. It's inspired by guitarclass55's really cool menu and loadout screen mod for First Eagles.


I've included 2 files to download.

Part 1) WWIAircraft.zip is the desktop theme file set. To use: just unzip to the root directory of the drive in which windows is installed (usually drive C:), and all the necessary files will be copied to the correct locations.


Part 2) XPUxthemeDLLPatch.zip This is a patched file for windows XP's uxtheme.dll. This isn't necessary to install to make the theme work, but using it will allow the WoodGrain.msstyles file included to change the color scheme of the taskbar, windows frames, etc. to a sort of wood grain pattern that matches the look of the desktop theme. If the patched uxtheme.dll file isn't used to overwrite your original windows uxtheme.dll file, the WoodGrain.msstyles file won't work. The WWI Aircraft theme will still work, just not the color scheme. So, using this patched file is optional. For those who would like to use the patched uxtheme.dll file, I've included an MS Word document that gives explicit instructions on how to replace the stock windows uxtheme.dll file. The only part in the Word document you don't have to follow is where it tells where to go and download the patched file, I've included them in this download. One is for windows with service pack 1 and the other is for service pack 2.


Again, this theme is for WinXP only. I'm almost possitive it won't work with windows Vista. So you guys with Vista shouldn't try to use it. It could wind up doing some evil deviltry to you operating system.


Since I joined this forum I've gotten many great mods and addons for First Eagles, and since I'm not a modder, I just wanted to contribute something to the community. Hope you guys enjoy this.


I uploaded the files to the DOWNLOADS>STRIKE FIGHTERS............FIRST EAGLES by Thirdwire>SF/WO*/FE Hanger/Menu/Loadout section. It seemed the closest fit for this type of file.


Link to the WW1 Aircraft desktop theme:



Link to the patched uxtheme.dll for WinXP file:



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Hey Southside Bucky,

Thanks for the reply. I am curious if you installed the whole theme with the patched uxtheme.dll file or just the used the pic as desktop wallpaper only. If you installed the whole deal I'd like to know if it installed all the sounds, pointers, icons, and color scheme properly for you and the whole theme is working correctly. If you have any issues I'll be glad to help. I hope you enjoy it.

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Tempted as I was to install the whole shebang, I've gotta admit, I'm just too attached to my 'Rainy day' Windows 95 theme, which I've used on all my machines since, er,...1995


I'm sure someone'll be along soon to tell you it all works just fine though. :ok:


Thanks again, and all the best.



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Hi bezpete,


Finally got around to installing this, only desktop theme though.


Very unique, very nice. Certainly if you like WW1, most definitely if you like FE as it does fit very well with GuitarClassic55's excellent menu screens - adds another layer to the immersion :good:


Hope you don't mind, but couple of comments:


I prefer the standard mouse pointer and hourglass, the ww1 ones are not as precise in selection etc, maybe a bit slower too?


The sounds are great (ahh, love those engine sounds, have you thought about doing alternative engine sounds? you seem to have a talent for this), but it seems to repeat for some time. Can that be changed?


Thanks again.

Edited by peter01

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Hey peter01,


First, before I say anything about the desktop theme; Thanks a million for your stupendous work on the aircraft mods for the expansion pack for first eagles. It's given first eagle new life in my humble opinion. The game is much more challenging and fun than the expansion pack by itself. Thanks so much.


Now, on to the the desktop theme. About the pointers. I made custom pointers to fit with the overall aircraft/engine idea I had for the theme. If you want to change pointers and animations (you mentioned you like the hour glass animation better) it's a simple matter.

1) Place a copy of the pointer/animations you would like to use in the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors folder.

2) Using Wordpad, open the file WWIAircraft.theme found in the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\ folder. Scroll down to the section


[Control Panel\Cursors]

Arrow=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Main6.cur

Help=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI help.cur

AppStarting=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI PropAni4.ani

Wait=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Tach2.ani

NWPen=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI pen.cur

No=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI no.cur

SizeNS=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Size NS.cur

SizeWE=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Size WE.cur

Crosshair=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI cross.cur

IBeam=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI beam.cur

SizeNWSE=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Size NWSE.cur

SizeNESW=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Size NESW.cur

UpArrow=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI up.cur


SizeAll=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI move.cur


Edit the first line (this is the main cursor pointer)


Arrow=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Main6.cur


Arrow=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\(The name of the file of the cursor you want to use here)


The third and fourth lines are the animation cursors (the regular windows hour glass cursor for example):

AppStarting=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI PropAni4.ani

Wait=%WinDir%\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors\WWI Tach2.ani


Edit these lines, just like you did to the Arrow line above, to reflect the name of the file of the animated cursor you want to use. You should be able to find an animation you want in the C:\Windows\Cursors folder. Any file in that folder that has a .ani extension is an animated cursor file. Just copy your desired file to the C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\WWI\Cursors folder and edit the two lines about to reflect the names of the files you copied. Then re-save the WWIAircraft.theme file replacing the original one and you should be good to go.


Also, I included in the theme two other main cursor pointers you might prefer. They should both be in the Cursors folder. One is WWI Cockade2.cur and is a French cockade with a brown/orange arrow pointer in the upper left. The other is WWI IronCross.cur and is an iron cross with arrow pointer in the upper left. You might try one of those and see if you like it better.


A quick tip: XP is quircky about showing changes to a theme that is currently the one being displayed. To see your changes you'll need to first select a different theme from the dropdown box in the Display Properties dialog, then reselect the WWI theme. If you do this switcheroo move then hit the apply button your changes will show up.



As far as alternate engine sounds, I'm not quite sure I understand what you have in mind. Are you saying there's too much of the same engine sound in the theme? I'm open to criticism and suggestions. Other peoples opinions often help to make a project better. The sounds can be edited and changed in the same way the cursors can be changed by editing the appropriate lines in the WWIAircraft.theme file.


The sound events all start with the line:

[AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\.Default\. and then info on which sound is used follows on the next line.


By the by, the engine sound I used the most I found on the net and is supposed to be a recording of an Avro 504 going through it's paces. If I remember right the engine is supposed to be a Gnome rotary. Just thought you might find that interesting.


Thanks for taking the time to respond and put forth you suggestions. If you have any specific ideas about changes you'd like and can help provide me with the recordings, etc. I'd be glad to do a customization job for you. After all the work you put in on the mods it's the least I could do.

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Thanks for the detailed response bezpete.


With the cursor and waiting animation (hourglass thingy), I much prefer yours, but, I find the ww1 cursor makes it slightly harder to accurately make selections for example in Notepad (do a lot of that LOL) its not as precise, and the waiting animation seems to cause a longer lag then the default hourglass. Not sure why, its a small graphical animation, but it slows me down a bit. I'll try your alternate ones.


Re sounds, I like them very much - engine, music etc. But the music seems to replay continously. Even when say I go into FE, it continues to play for some time until another sound file takes over. It seems like the music file, that is initiated by some cursor actions? What I was wondering is can you disable repeat play, just have it complete one play of the song only?


And thanks again, quite novel and very nice - both as a graphical enhancement and for immersion. The rotary sound (Avro gnome eh), especially makes me want to just fly some ww1 planes! Unfortunately, it also reminds me how much the default game engine sounds (and other sounds) need improving :(.

Edited by peter01

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