Creating Themes in MOSS 2007

Spent hours yesterday trying to resolve why I could get a new theme to apply to a site within MOSS 2007 Beta 2.
I followed the steps that seemt o be the recommended way to approach creating new themes:
  1. On the SharePoint server go to the Themes folder e.g. c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\we server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\Themes
  2. Make a copy one of the existing theme folders and its contents rename it e.g. MyTheme.
  3. Rename the .INF file within the MyTheme folder to MyTheme.INF
  4. Edit MyTheme.INF and change the references to the copiued theme to MyTheme
  5. Modify the c:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\we server extensions\12\TEMPLATE\Layouts\1033\SPTHEMES.xml to include a reference to the new MyTheme theme
  6. Run iisreset from the command prompt
  7. Apply the new theme to a “test site”, and connected to this site via SharePoint Designer 2007,
  8. Locate the cascading style sheet named ****1011-65001.css, not the actual theme.css inside the folder, and modify this to suit your look and feel requirements.
The ****1011-65001.css file is a merged copy of the theme.css and other css files and is the style sheet applied to the site. This is why when editing the theme.css on disk you not see your changes, the 1011-65001 is the one actually applied to the site.
 
The catch in all this is that it is not documented anywhere I can see that the new theme folder name cannot be longer than 8 characters! If it is you will receive an error similar to this "A theme with the name ******** 1011 and version **** already exists on the server".
The description of the theme in SPTHEMES.xml can be longer than 8 characters but the TemplateID cannot and this must map exactly to the folder name of the new theme.
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Filed under Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007

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