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Desktops and wallpaper.
Talk about mixed metaphors... The central aspect of a typical modern GUI interface is the "desktop", where things live unless they are contained in a "window". The image displayed on the desktop, visible unless icons or windows obscure it, is called "wallpaper".

So your desktop has wallpaper and windows. Weird desktop, if you ask me.

At work, I've got two monitors, both about 17", and on the left one I've got a window maximized, and on the right one I've got a different window maximized. Usually, when I'm at home, I've got a window maximized. I'm trying to accomplish a task in the application I'm using now, so I don't want to waste any screen real estate.

With windows maximized all the time, I rarely see the wallpaper I choose. As such, it's just not important to me. Even when I don't have at least one window maximized, I usually have multiple windows per monitor open

But I see a lot of postings on Life Hacker and other sites which talk about really tricked out desktops, wallpaper designed to span multiple monitors, etc.

Am I unusual in using maximized windows all the time? Do most people really look at their wallpaper?

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I always maximize my programs, and use the desktop toolbar to pull different ones to the fore, as needed. (Sole exception being WinAmp, which is occasionally minimized.)

I see my wallpaper when turning the computer on and off, usually, and occasionally when shutting down a program, but otherwise not all that frequently.


I maximize my windows (or sometimes tile them vertically if there's something I need do be doing in both), and I generally use alt-Tab to switch windows.

I see my wallpaper in the morning when I log on and in the evening when I log off, and that's about it. Nevertheless, I do change it periodically (every few months, I guess) when I run up against something really cool that I'd like to look at.

I love my computer wallpaper, and I only change mine when I run across something I like more. ^^; It usually take many many months for this to happen. :P Mine has been the same since sometime during the summer.

I usually have my windows maximized unless it's AIM, or I'm writing a paper and logged into IM at the same time. So unless I'm only on AIM, if I'm working at my computer I usually don't see my wallpaper.

However, I do keep my computer open and my windows minimized if I'm not working at my computer but keeping it on anyway. ^^;; Soooo I actually see quite a bit of my wallpaper.

I may be an anomaly though.

if you mean the wallpaper that keeps my computer monitor from getting wonky? Heck yeah ;) But I think you already knew that *lol*

i think you mean the screensaver, not the wallpaper. the wallpaper is the background image behind everything else - if the icons were dishes and silverware, the wallpaper would be the tablecloth (to further mangle a metaphor).

I don't have a steady wallpaper- I have a collection of imges that gets ranfdomly chosen from- I get about a half hour for each of the sexy, spiritual,silly & perverted images that I have ganked over the years into a folder (roughly 5,000)

that's an interesting idea - wallpaper that changes, like the "slideshow" screensavers, only all the way in the background. i think i'd find it personally too distracting, though... i've got a lot of images, many of which are absurdly unsuitable as wallpaper.

skitten has her slideshow wallpaper and screensavers both looking at the same directory of images. The timing of the two is different; about 1min or less per image for the screensaver, about 30min for the wallpaper.

Many of her images I consider "unsuitable for random guests", but she doesn't mind.

it's not the content that's unsuitable, it's the picture itself - wrong aspect ratio, too small (and would look horribly pixelated if enlarged), or possibly a partial picture that was one step in constructing something else.

(my screensaver simply blanks the screen and puts the monitor into "standby" mode.)

so do I but do it anyway *lol*

I also use multiple monitors and want to make use of all of my screen real estate. Generally I have multiple windows going, often many windows in each of many applications. I have my background set to an image that provides lots of contrast to the windows that will be on top of it, to help me find the edges of my windows.

In linguistically awkward fashion, I use my wallpaper for the same purpose as a (real-life) window (which my office lacks). When I'm working, I have programs maximized. When I need to stare into the middle distance, I minimize everything and have a nice view of whatever Thomas Cole felt like painting.

No idea what most people do, but my anecdotal evidence suggests that your use pattern is more common.

I never ever ever maximize a window unless I _need_ it maximized for a particular task, and I resent as all hell when I feel I have to. I like my windows long and narrow, so the recent wide trend is double-annoying. Just about the only application that routinely runs full-width for me is a spreadsheet. Maximized windows make my eyes scan sideways, narrow ones let me read vertically, which is much faster.

So yeah, I see my wallpaper pretty much always. Which is why my choice is a solid teal color on which both icons and windows contrast well.

i don't have a lot of icons, and the ones that i do have are arranged in two columns along the left-hand edge of my screen. i generally have whatever window i'm working in almost maximized - it fits vertically on my screen, and aligns with the right-hand edge, but leaves the icons visible.

my wallpaper is an abstract image that a very dear friend created for me whilst tripping on LSD, a long, long time ago - on my previous computer, and i've had this one since 1997.

I use my desktop as a memo board. So it's a wallpaper covered with icons for files that are in the "I should probably do something about this soonish" category. So I see the wallpaper when I close my big windows. I usually use pictures of attractive women as wallpaper. And, as luck would have it, the icon spacing tends to put weird symbols where here eyes are supposed to be, with vaguely creepy results.

Unrelated to current topic, but I've been chatting a lot with skitten lately, and as she thinks quite highly of you, I thought I'd like to read your stuff also. So I've added you to my f-list; welcome.



Welcome, but how do you use windows and wallpaper on your desktop?

As I use Ubuntu, I'm not sure the question applies.



I use ubuntu at home, so? I didn't mean "windows" as in "Microsoft Windows", but rather as in the "WIMP" (Windows, Icons, Mice and Pointers) interface used by MSWindows, MacOS X, Linux, etc.

The question is... how often do you look at the background image on your screen, versus the background image being completely obscured by open applications?

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