Weekend Open Forum: Your desktop's looks

By on April 8, 2011, 8:03 PM
For some reason, it's always fascinated me to see how other folks maintain their operating system's desktop. Although most of us keep our virtual workspace somewhere along the lines of "messy but functional," we add personal touches with custom wallpapers, skins, icons, as well as extensions and gadgets. Unfortunately, Googling something like "screensavers" usually returns low quality sites, so it can be tough to find the gems out there.

With that in mind, we thought it'd be cool if you shared your desktop's looks along with your favorite resources for related enhancements. I dislike bright themes so I run Windows Aero as dark as possible along with over a hundred 1080p space wallpapers (mostly collected via InterfaceLIFT and Wallbase) rotating every 30 minutes (a native feature of Windows 7). Feel free to use our image gallery if you want to upload a screenshot of your desktop.




User Comments: 58

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Being I still use XP and will for sometime, I like the option of turning off the Desktop Icons and placing the Desktop to the side and set it on Autohide. I have a totally clean Desktop just the way a Desktop should.

ess333 said:

i use interfacelift too ... awesome site

Meteorix said:

I have posted mine but canĀ't see it in the site...

By the way, mine is AWESOME !!! XD

[link]

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ha, mine is a mess, so no showing! It doesn't look too much different from the one on the article though, with the exception that mine is much more cluttered, I have FF as primary browser, and instead of that aurora boreal as background, I got hot/cute women (which is also the preferred topic of argument with my girlfriend -_-).

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

I've added the link to your post Meteorix.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I've been using a theme called Windows Live Clouds, got a bunch of nice pics.

[link]

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I have 2 PCs with Win 7. The Wallpaper is a nonstop slide show display of female "art photography".

Beyond that, I always install the "Zune" theme in my XP boxes. I think the steel gray is much more tasteful and relaxing than the stock "Royale" theme.

I'd like to get rid of the orange start button in Zune, but it's always seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

In Firefox, I always run a theme by Frank Lion, (from the UK), called "300". It's maroon & gold basically, very relaxing, especially when coupled with the battleship metallic gray of Zune. Mr. Lion has been writing skins for FF since he was 15, (at most), and has always shared them freely. For some reason he no longer participates in Mozilla's add on pages. Go here instead: http://franklion.blog.co.uk/

lipe123 said:

Just realized I still have the default win7 "flag" background, never really thought about it till now XD.

I have groups of icons all over for games/work/etc.

Guest said:

Here's my okay desktop:

http://i.imgur.com/f22k3.jpg

I have a second monitor hooked up but this one sums up just about everything. I'm running rainmeter and an itunes skin mod. I'm using a theme package for ObjectDock and I'm rotating the wallpaper for both monitors randomly.

rustomac said:

I just realized I posted as a guest...

My Okay Desktop

I created the wallpaper myself taking the high res Okay face straight from reddit. I'm using the Token Icon Set, for any of those who are interested.

For more info on how I created this look, I have a couple more pictures in my gallery as well, with descriptions.

Every time this one pops up I still laugh....

Beaker

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I selected a nature scene from the default wallpapers, and I have a bunch of icons which I rarely use and are there just because applications install them (when there's no option to not do that). I rarely view my desktop, so that doesn't matter. It's always overlayed with browser windows and such.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

I run a very minimal setup. Neutral-ish brown/cream colour for Aero, only Recycle Bin on desktop, clock + default CPU/RAM monitor as gadgets.

I change wallpapers manually every 1-3 months - I opt for ones that don't clash with the aero colour (I change if necessary) and ones that don't have hard edges that I can see through taskbar and Opera's aero interface.

Pinned programs on taskbar are also minimal - I just use start-bar pinning and search. Icons (on bottom right near clock) are also mostly hidden.

I guess I just like to view my stuff without excess clutter. :P

[link]

Guest said:

Is that yellow icon in your taskbar VMware player? Just curious =o

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Me? On bottom-right? That's a star-icon, and it's my university documents folder, along with Downloads folder link. :P

Punkid said:

heres mine...

[link]

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Is that yellow icon in your taskbar VMware player? Just curious =o

Yep.

wardogz said:

Meteorix said:

I have posted mine but canĀ't see it in the site...

By the way, mine is AWESOME !!! XD

[link]

Noooo it's not

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Unfortunately, Googling something like "screensavers" usually returns low quality sites, so it can be tough to find the gems out there.

Damn that's so right...

I keep my desktop icon layout as strict as possible (I always have OCD when it comes to computers for some reason) My wallpapers are fantasy and sometimes good NASA space shots...On my XP desktops i always go for the Zune theme.

harsansp said:

Here's mine.. Was using this for quite a while.. recently reverted to the regular desktop due to some PC issues.. How does it look? [link]

QuaZulu QuaZulu said:

I've found some good wallpapers at vistawallpapers.com (shows I've held on to this book mark for a while).

VonDisco said:

Mine's ultra simple. Couldn't live without the wonders of Launchy!

[link]

dedparrot said:

http://i.imgur.com/Lw1Y4.jpg

This is my only computer and it's a gaming PC. I tend not to run anything in the background that will take up resources.

Up until recently I wasn't running any anti-virus software, but II thought having one just in case was the sensible thing to do, even though I now have Avast disabled as you can see on the bottom right. The other three icons are Fraps and Gamebooster and Catalyst Control Centre.

And yes, I still use Gmail Notifier.

BMfan BMfan said:

I normally change my desktop picture every day,ranging from cars,earth,space and girls,just depends on mood and i only have the Computer and recycle bin icons.

I also get most of my pics from Wallbase.net,i also sometimes use ewallpaper or HDwallpaper.

Guest said:

Before I gave my Acer Ferrari One a format I used to have the Ferrari calender background that came free with it.

After I formatted it I haven't bothered to reinstall the software.

However,

Netbook

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo60/GeneralAtrox/Desktop
9-04-2011.jpg?t=1302351100

Old Desktop snapshot from 2008

http://i361.photobucket.com/albums/oo60/GeneralAtrox/Mydeskt
p.jpg?t=1302351100

An unbelievable change if I was honest. I can't bare a messy desktop anymore!

nismo91 said:

black wallpaper. black logon screen. everything is blank and clean, to accommodate my clutter files at desktop.

PinothyJ said:

My desktop rarely changes as I am a creature of strong habit and will only change if I think the alternative will benefit me greatly.

[link]

The background is 'Storm' and was created in Chaoscope by yours truly. I use Windows 7 x64 Ultimate in test mode (for a few custom drivers - created by other people) with the SharpE shell (laymen's: essentially a theme that replaces all of the GUI elements like the desktop, start menu, taskbars, toolbars, et cetera, with their own pieces of software. Some alternative windows shells are for the purpose of greatly speeding up your system - see bb4win.org or http://www.lostinthebox.com/viewforum.php?f=43 for great examples - whilst others, like SharpE, are more for aesthetics and functionality in even amounts.).

I think that is about it. I have my CPU and memory monitors sharing space with my multi purpose 'start menu' up the top left with two RSS feeds on the top right of the screen as well as my shutdown menu and two application links (these are for my house-mate when she needs to turn applications on). One thing that you cannot see because it is invisible until called is probably the greatest invention of all software-time and the FIRST application I EVER install onto ANY machine, and that program is SlickRun: a floating command line.

Operating similar to Run (Wkey+R) with two very key additions: it allows you to set magic words and has auto correct. Example: "steam" is the magic word for (you guessed it) Steam. In order for my to launch Steam I press WKey+V (my chosen hotkey), SR appears at my mouse and I start typing the word steam in which it will auto-correct it and I then just need to hit enter. I usually try and pick a MJ that has a unique first three character so I do not have to type the rest. Sometimes this means being a little creative like '++notepad' for Notepad++ and 'pripyat' for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Complete (considering my love of the latter series).

I rarely touch my mouse outside of gaming and Gimp and my wrist is better because of it.

Links:

http://www.sharpenviro.com

http://www.bayden.com/SlickRun/

http://chaoscope.org/

http://www.lostinthebox.com/viewforum.php?f=43

http://bb4win.org/

...

g4mer said:

captaincranky said:

Beyond that, I always install the "Zune" theme in my XP boxes. I think the steel gray is much more tasteful and relaxing than the stock "Royale" theme.

I'd like to get rid of the orange start button in Zune, but it's always seemed like more trouble than it was worth.

If you didn't know there is a Zune multi color theme. You can change that orange start button to some other colors.

[link]

Lurker101 said:

Give me a few hours to find a wallpaper in my setup that isn't explicit

Mizzou Mizzou said:

I have posted mine but canĀ't see it in the site...

By the way, mine is AWESOME !!! XD

[link]

Well, I have to agree ... that it is very cool. I tend to run a very basic desktop but after having a look at Matthew's link to InterfaceLIFT found something I liked. Was having difficulty uploading at 2560x1440, so the image is scaled down and a bit fuzzy.

[link]

Welcome to Techspot

pcnthuziast said:

Been going to interfacelift for years and have probably dl'ed a couple hundred walls. Never heard of wallbase though, but after just a quick browse I'm liking it alot. Thx!

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Not much tweaking to my desktop, and its rather cluttered. Lots of icons on the left side - I have a bad habit of saving things I'm working on my desktop and don't clean it up very often. On the right I have a couple widgets via Rainmaker (I still run xp so had to find something else for widgets). Have a clock, monitor for my CPU, RAM, and network - along with several quick launch buttons for programs and folders I use often. Also keep a weather tracker over there as the weather changes a lot around here.

For a background I use various anime and game wallpapers. I use the same for my screensaver - it cycles through my folder of anime and game pictures.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Just curious, can you recommend some good sites for the anime wallpapers?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Give me a few hours to find a wallpaper in my setup that isn't explicit
Yeah, I'm still looking myself.

If you didn't know there is a Zune multi color theme. You can change that orange start button to some other colors.

I'll check that out, thanks

Just curious, can you recommend some good sites for the anime wallpapers?
This might be stating the obvious but this: http://browse.deviantart.com/manga/ is one place to start.

As to the rest of you, I've noticed quite a few scenic themes. This site usually comes up in conjunction with this type of discussion: [link]

. Unfortunately, Googling something like "screensavers" usually returns low quality sites, so it can be tough to find the gems out there.

That's probably for the best. Screensavers *are* one of the most, if not the most, notorious deliverers of malware on the web. (If this has become a *used to be* fact, I apologize). The "Jessica Simpson" screensaver had a half dozen PUPs in it alone.

At many website featuring both wallpaper and screensavers, it was usually safe to grab the Jpegs, but best to avoid the active content like the plague.

Once upon a time, Nero had the cutest screeensaver. It was a prehistoric theme, with the (obvious) volcanic eruptions, pterodactyls flying about, et al. However, it did make my P-4 huff and puff quite a bit while it was running. (I couldn't find this @ Nero.com, it's on the Nero 6 retail disc).

For those of you newcomers, be very cautious about what software you use to customize your desktop, the theme goes deep into your OS, and is one of the fastest ways to hose your machine.

mosu said:

Avatar theme on W7

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i like to use desktopnexus.com

Meteorix said:

Yes, It is...

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Here's mine:

[link]

Nice and clean.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Technochicken said:

Here's mine:

[link]

Nice and clean.

Why you gotta escalate things? =)

Zen Zen, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I like to keep things rather simple, when it comes to my desktops. The only customization tools that I run with, is the use of a program called Rocket Dock and the application of simple .msstyles taskbar themes. I opt out of having my desktop display any regular or normal Windows icons, I can't stand them, I keep things simple and clean by running docks. Not as much "eye candy" on my system as you might find on a Vista or Win 7 machine, for I'm running Windows XP Professional (64bit).

Here is my current desktop I'm running with on my primary computer system. I will post my lap top desktop later.

[link]

Hope you all like it..............I do!

cmbjive said:

I recently switched computers so my desktop has the preinstalled wallpaper that comes with Windows Vista. I have a Google Desktop on the right side that gives me the time, my PC's performance and news updates. Pretty simple stuff.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

I used to run Rainmeter to customize my Windows system, with no icons whatsoever on the desktop and using Launchy to access applications. Nowadays I'm using a MacBook as my primary computer and don't really care that much about customizing OS X's looks besides changing the background picture every once in a while. Here's what it looks like right now:

[link]

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I haven't turned on my desktop in weeks, as I mostly find myself using my notebook. So my desktop's appearance hasn't changed in months :p

Anyway link to my photo gallery is here, which now includes the desktop of DV5 as well.

Edit: Generally I download wallpapers from interfacelift.com.

treeski treeski said:

[link]

My desktop added to the techspot gallery.

harsansp said:

Here's how my desktop looked until recently... Shifted to Win 7 default look with Bing theme few weeks back.

Windows Aero Visual Style

Objectdock - Mac OSx Leopard Style

Rainmeter - for background clock and calendar

Start button changed with W7SBC

Wallpaper from Deviantart

http://i51.tinypic.com/j0jiq1.jpg

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I'm a bit late to the party, but here's mine:

[link]

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Julio

Okay ....... nice touch. At least you are using IE as well along with FF just like me

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Captaincranky said:

I have 2 PCs with Win 7. The Wallpaper is a nonstop slide show display of female "art photography".

I'm going to guess 'The best of Rubens" and 'Calendar girls':p

Guest said:

Here is mine... spring :)

[image link]

Scrub206 said:

I like a nice clean background on my PC, i dont like ANY icons on it. even the recycling bin:

http://tinyurl.com/3ld9lpm

and a nice 3840x1080 wallpaper.. tho im having a hard time finding them at that res.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.