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Other platforms
It's clear icon creation is mostly done at the Mac, and on a pc running Windows. For as far as I've seen now, there's mostly system sets being done for other platforms, and there's a lot of Windows icons being recreated. But there's some good, original sets too. So I'll try to list anything needed to obtain and convert those icons, if possible:
..is an operating system for the pc. Within Linux and other variants of Unix, running the "X Windows" system, you need a "window manager" to work in a graphical user interface. There's lots of them. Some are Afterstep, KDE, Gnome, Enlightenment and Window Maker.

With different "window managers" icon handling can differ too (no expertise here). But the format of the majority of icons seems to be either .tif(f) or .xpm, sized 32x32 or 48x48. Both common formats within Windows. Best is, IconShop (Lion Tech) reads both and lets you easily convert them to .ico.

Nice little tool to convert .xpm to .bmp and vice versa: MakeXPM (Delphi page)!

Carl Soard directed us to explore2fs. A free tool, for 9x/2k/XP, explorer interface, that reads those *nix drives! (So, got me the whole KDE icon directory to Windows, opened in IconShop, pretty easy :)).

Most used archiving format is .tar (.tar.gz or .tar.bz2), which can be handled by most archiving tools.

Two great freeware image file viewers/converters are XnView and IrfanView. They support a lot of formats. If you encounter some strange files, give them a try.
Alternative OS for the pc. Said to be good for multimedia etc, certainly looking great. Released for free and recently sold to Palm (future uncertain). It's not completely dead though, more here. While the archives here are plain .zips and default size is 32x32, icon handling is done somewhat different. Icons get displayed while being set as part of the "attributes" of a file, and are appended to the file. So distribution could come with any format; if you're lucky it can be read within Windows. The viewers/converters above do a great job here (also when you encounter files without extension).
Two formats you might find are .raw and .tga, both graphic formats. The first is accepted by the default iconeditor/changer, the second the output when icons made on a pc/mac get converted to BeOS files with IconChomper. (Thanks ess-vid for help.)
If that doesn't work, you might consider installing latest free BeOS edition or a later developers edition (check link above), next or into Windows. There's a clean and great tool called IconToFile; hard to find and no page anymore - as license permits, file is here (87 kB). It lets you convert icons to all kinda graphic formats, and exports a 32x32 and 16x16 version. Mixed results with .tga, we recommend .png. Get these to Windows and use IrfanView to convert all to .ico. What's left to grab an icon editor and:
  • open 16x16 version, copy;
  • open 32x32 version, create 16x16 version (blank) and paste copied version in;
  • fill transparant area's in to your best knowledge and save.
An operating system, once connected to a specific computer, not anymore, and also bought by Apple, integrated within MacOS. So, it's basically dead. The way the GUI looked has had some (..) influence; the default look and feel is being recreated a lot. Default icon format here seems to be .tif(f), sized 48 x 48. Archives come in .tar (.tar.gz or .tar.bz2), again.
Operating system made by IBM. There was a PS/2 computer involved, once, since Windows' introduction it isn't "big" anymore, but it's alive. You can run Windows 3.x and DOS applications using OS/2. OS/2 icons come in .zip files, and also are .ico files. They're not the same as Windows icons, though, they won't display anything. But IconShop reads and lets you convert them easily.

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