satisfy the never-ending quest for customization, or at
least the casual interest that all computer users display
when it comes to personalizing their desktop or laptop
PCs, lots of commercial software, shareware and freeware
has been developed to attack all of the hidden (and not-so-hidden)
settings in the complex and arcane Windows Registry file.
MagicTweak v1.92 follows hot on the heels of the latest
'release' of the TweakUI freeware, the somewhat dated WinBoost
2001, Stardock's Object Desktop, 3B Software's TWEAKI Pro
and a dozen others.
are so many customization utilities out there that each
author has to find a design which tries to ensure their
software covers a distinctive approach. WinBoost always
seemed to have a vast array of customizations to genuinely
personalize Windows 95 through ME. TweakUI, Microsoft's
own (unsupported) freeware, has always been a kind of
happy combination of personalization and system control.
TWEAKI focuses more on annoyance blocking and speed-up.
Object Desktop is all about skinning, look and feel,
and the operating environment. MagicTweak has carved
out its niche in the area of security and access, with
an additional tip of its hat to personalization.
tried MagicTweak on four systems: an older Dell Latitude
CPi laptop (Pentium II/433) running Windows 98SE, a P4
Celeron 1.7GHz running Windows XP Professional, and two
other Pentium III/550s running Windows 2000 Professional.
Installation was uneventful. XP-specific tweaks activated
properly on the XP systems.
like its brethren, is a small utility which presents
you with a pleasant, skin-able user interface that displays
categorized lists of customizations. Select a category
by clicking an icon and a corresponding list appears.
Configure the category simply by selecting or deselecting
check boxes. It's easy. MagicTweak excels at hiding and
disabling things: Control Panel Applets, folders, command
prompt, menu items, desktop items, access to programs,
anything in the right-click Context menu, Internet Explorer
settings. MagicTweak also has a section on heating up
your Internet connection settings including optimizing
the size of Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) data packets
and TCP/IP window (to compensate for the often poor default
values in the operating system). We didn't try these
because we hate monkeying around with a connection that
already works just fine, but these types of connection
settings adjustments usually work well on un-optimized