Due to the frustration of not having shared or even written any code for a while, I went home last night and coded this little application. It’s trivial, but kind of fun.
Update: And tonight, 5th June 2013, I added the Photoshopped monitor images to the GUI, based on my two Samsung 20B300B monitors in front of me at home. Yes, the screen shot below now overlaps the bar on the right, but I like it like that. I had a look at the contents of the driver disk that came with each monitor, and ironically my monitor image looks better than the one in their installation software (except that I took the liberty of giving the monitor a 4:3 aspect ratio so that the logon background images would fit perfectly – actual aspect ratio is 16:9). Anyway, drawing stuff with Photoshop is very easy, and my PSD file is in the images directory of the source archive. It could be used to make an icon or something… Just change the logo text – Mine says “Romy”, which is a nickname for “Jerome”.
Using the application
Note that this application needs to be run as administrator, or run from an account with administrative permissions, because it is modifying a global system setting. The logon background image is common to all Windows users.
Once the application is extracted and the Custom Background checkbox is checked, all you need to do is select one of the images and click the Apply button.
The application has an images directory. Add any jpg files smaller than 256kB there, and you can use those images as well. (The 256kB size limit is imposed by Windows. This application checks the size of the files in its images directory, and ignores any image files that are over the limit. It doesn’t prompt you if any files are too large, because that prompt would then be displayed every time the application is run. This paragraph is the only place this behaviour is documented.) The default images are just modified copies of the original logon background image.
What it does
If you’re comfortable making changes to the registry, you don’t need an application to do this. The setting is enabled in Windows by adding the registry DWORD value and setting it to 1: SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\Background\OEMBackground
Then the image needs to be copied to: Windows\System32\oobe\info\backgrounds\backgrounddefault.jpg
Here’s a better view of what my modified images look like. As stated, all three were created by modifying the default logon background image. The crimson and yellow image below was done with Photoshop, while the other two were done by applying image filters in my RomyView application (which references the AForge.Net Image manipulation library).