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Aston Shell Desktop manager and Shell replacement AltDesk virtual desktops aston desktop
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    Free registration keys distribution policy


        Aston is not a freeware application, but in certain cases one doesn't have to pay for it and still use a legally registered copy of the program. Gladiators Software is a profit company, but we appreciate people, who support our products and contributes the community. That's why we decided to encourage certain users by giving them free registration keys to our products.

    How can I get a free key?

    Free registration keys could be given for the following reasons:

  • Creating new Aston Themes
  • Creating Aston plug-ins
  • Supporting our products
  • The decision of giving a certain person a key is taken by the members of Gladiators Software and A.R.T. members (read more below). That means, that free keys would only be given to certain person, but not anyone willing to get a program free of charge. Here's the detailed information of our requiremens:


    From the present moment free key candidate works evaluation would be done by a jury - Aston Review Team (also known as A.R.T. or A.R.T. group).

    The jury is headed by Gladiators Software
    The advisor team consists of:
  • Daron L. Olesch-Williams (aka The PC_Mechanic)
  • Eugene Chernov (aka Frozzen)
  • Nikita Evgenov (aka Smanic)
  • Taras Brizitsky (aka SacRat)
  • Roman Osadchy
  • Rich Kulesus (aka MrBiotech)
  • (the list of participants might be changed without prior notification)

    Work examination process would be the following:
  • Competitor for a free key submits a theme to our site and checks a special field in submit form.
  • Jury members examine it, share their opinions, rate the work and create a small summary.
  • Gladiators Software members finally decide if work really deserves a free key or not.
  • Free key is sent to a person; otherwise he gets comments about what he/she should do/change in order to make his Theme get the key.
  • Those The mes, which brought their creators free registration keys for their quality are marked with a special symbol (key).
  • This way any competitor theme would get an objective evaluation and its author will get a response about quality of his works. This is especially important to beginners, as many works are left without comments.

    Which The me deserves a free key and which does not? First of all it must be interesting i.e. have certain artistic value, be an expression of its authorís original idea. And, surely, this work must be done on a high technical level. Don't hurry! Anyway, most of you will get free keys sooner or later :)

    It's possible to use 3rd party wallpapers, creating ports etc., but only from the original authors' permission! Information about original author (name/alias and contact URL/e-mail) must be placed in The me description. It's also allowed to place permission text in readme.txt.
    Using any elements from other Aston Themes is prohibited.

    Each theme MUST have:
  • Wallpaper
  • Both Toolbar skins
  • Start button and Main Menu skins
  • Quick Launch skin
  • Taskbar and System Tray (all states and elements) skins
  • Toppanel/Panel plug-in skin

  • Highly recommended:
  • Original Cursors
  • Skins for all plug-ins
  • Desktop icons

  • Recommended:
  • ANK and ANI animation
  • Support for multiple resolutions

  • What to do if you haven't got a reply? Try contacting any A.R.T. member individually (as they're often busy enough). For example, write a letter to sacrat [a]


    That's simple: create a new useful plug-in for Aston, submit it to the website and send us the key request with the link to this plug-in. If your plug-in really does something useful, doesn't crash Aston and has no serious bugs you'll get your free regisrtation key ASAP.


    We appreciate any help one could provide to our products. The most common ways of getting a free keys for support are the following:
  • Translate AltDesk to a new language or update the existing translation and get its copy free of charge.
  • Create a bugreport about StarBlaze and get the full version of the game for free.
  • Help our users in forums: share links to previously asked questions or help solving users' problems. Most probably you'll be noticed by moderators and if they consider your activity useful to the community you'll get the free registration.
  • Report about bugs in our programs: send us detailed bugreports and you'll get a chance of getting your key for free.
  • Make useful suggestions. Ordinary feature requests won't come, but if you add interface projects, detailed element descriptions and schemas about a new interesting feature to be implemented you might also be rewarded with a free key. Interface projects, skin engine suggestions and other information w might consider interesting are free to be sent to us.
  • Spellcheck: if your knowledge of English or any other language we support is strong enough and you provide us with the information about mistakes you might get a free key. Not for pointing a simple typo, for sure ;)
  • Tutorials and Docs. Find yourself a talented writer, then why not updating one of Help files or creating your own Aston/AltDesk-related tutorial? You'll have big chances to get a copy of our software free of charge.

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