By Brett Larson
You won't have to wait for the release of Mac OS X to get translucent menus and other special effects, thanks to Power Windows. Power Windows is an inexpensive shareware control panel that affects every application on your Mac, as long as you're running OS 8.6 or later. And unlike the effects you can get with Appearance Manager, Power Windows will also work in Classic OS 9 running under the OS X beta.
Installation is easy -- drag the control panel into your system folder and click on OK when the computer tells you it needs to be placed in the control panels folder. After you restart, turn Power Windows on and adjust the settings.
In addition to giving your menus transparency, Power Windows allows you to drag, in real time, the contents of both Finder windows and application windows, such as an open Web page or a document in Word, so you can read your document as you drag it. You can also adjust the transparency of your windows to see what's behind them.
But the fun doesn't stop there. Unlike the Appearance Manager, which affects only how menus and windows look, Power Windows changes their behavior. It can make your menus fade in and out, much like they do in OS X, or have your Finder windows fade open and closed. And Power Windows accomplishes these feats without a lag in performance.
Power Windows is a worthwhile enhancement to the current OS -- it gives the Mac cool, useful effects. As for the other features of OS X, we'll have to wait for Apple to give us those.