When I first got into programming, one of the biggest kicks I got out of it was the sense that the computer was doing only and exactly what I told it to do. I could show people the text-based, highly graphically-unimpressive Scorched-Earth-style game I had created and they were actually mildly impressed. People could see that I knew what i was doing.
Now that I think about it, I suppose this is the same reason I’d rather boot to Linux when I’m on the bus than Windows. That way when strangers all around me take a glance at my screen, they see something wholly foreign to them and think, “Huh, that righteous dude must know what he’s doing.”
If, on the other hand, I boot my laptop to Windows without having somehow put my stamp on the boot and/or login process, I’m just like everybody else.
That’s where tools like LogonStudio from Stardock save the day. Instead of the bland, everybody-has-seen-them-before login screens of the various editions of Windows out in the wild today, I can slap pretty much whichever picture I want up on that there login screen. It’s pretty groovy.
There are separate versions of LogonStudio for XP and Vista. The Vista version doesn’t quite work perfectly on Windows 7, but I can be patient.
So there you have it. Show off your prowess with LogonStudio and never be ashamed to boot Windows on the bus again!
P.S. If you really want to disguise what OS is booting, fire up msconfig and mess around with options on the “Boot” tab. Most people have never seen Windows boot in text mode before.