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My Windows desktop, with a picture from boneidle. ObjectDock emulates the OSX dock.

My desktop itself is barren - just some scenery pics, and not a single icon. Since I rarely see it in that state, I figured I'd show it as it looks during a typical programming session. It won't win any awards for prettiness, but it's practical (for me, at least).


I have a dual-head setup (two screens): a 19" CRT positioned on a stand just above a 17" widescreen Powerbook, such that the only gap between them is just the top-edge of the laptop.


I use the top-portion primarily for reference and browsing, and the bottom-portion for coding and terminal access.


The bottom rarely changes - just a bunch of small-point text so I can see more code at once. But the top always has a mess of windows depending on what I'm working on. I try to use OS X's "Hide" feature judiciously, but I still end up with way too many overlapping windows. Time to save up for that 30" Cinema display...


I'm a heavy user of keyboard shortcuts; the longer I can go without touching the mouse, the better. QuickSilver, QuickKeys, TextPander, and Witch are used constantly.


Most Used Apps:


- vim - an amazingly powerful (if complicated) text editor, better than any IDE I've tried. All it takes to become proficient is a few years of study. :)


- - When I'm not in vim, I'm in the terminal. I've tried a couple of the more feature-filled third-party replacements (iTerm, GLTerm), but keep coming back to the stock for its speed and reliability. And by using the "screen" command-line window manager, I don't miss tabs.


- Firefox - how did I ever surf before tabbed-browsing? My list of extensions is huge, but the critical ones are SessionSaver, AdBlock, Filterset.G Updater,, foxylicious, Web Developer, Tab Preview, View Cookies, View Rendered Source Chart, Live HTTP Headers.


- QuickSilver - a "command-line" for the GUI. I use this to launch apps, switch between them, view contacts from my address book, switch songs in iTunes, browse the filesystem, send emails, append to text files, and run various scripts I've written (restart Apache, tail a log file, copy or move files, ...)


- Thunderbird - I'd actually prefer to use since it's better integrated into the system (Address Book and Spotlight), but its IMAP support is atrocious.


- NetNewsWire - RSS reader. I have upwards of a hundred feeds, so I prefer a dedicated app for speed reasons.


- OmniOutliner - great for managing to-do lists, brainstorming, and other "outlining" tasks.


- Adium - all my instant messaging needs in one bundle (except for IRC). I have friends on MSN, AOL, Yahoo, and Jabber, so this is a necessity. Just wish it supported video conferencing and file transfers.


- iTunes - I can't work without music (nothing like some thrash metal to get me motivated... :)


- OmniGraffle - for making purty diagrams


- PathFinder - a much better Finder, although it's not quite as speedy for certain tasks.


- VoodooPad - useful for keeping all the miscellaneous notes and junk in one searchable place, although I don't use any of its more advanced features.


My "Dashboard" deserves honorable mention:


Prior to Tiger, I used Konfabulator and had a few dozen widgets cluttering up the desktop. I've moved all but one of them into the Dashboard now, which is far easier on my eyes. Too many widgets to list, but I have a few that are worth noting:


- The "Remind" widget, which taps into the command-line "remind" app for recuring events, birthdays, etc. I do use iCal for day-to-day scheduling, but I find "remind" better for some things (especially using the "append" trick with QuickSilver).


- iCal Events - for the aforementioned iCal usage.


- Standard weather, system stats, stocks, and other less-useful time wasters.


Of course, I could write a book on all of the apps and processes I use. Looking at it now, I think that's what I just did... :)

Current desktop, Feb 2009


My old desktops

I've been trying my hardest to keep my desktop tidy, Not easy! (I am cheating though, there is a "sort" folder on the desktop where my mess really lives)


Illustration by Arthur Mount

Here's my Ubuntu desktop. I wanted something that clearly was not Mac or Windows. See the picture for annotations! This is on a Fujitsu u810, which has a pretty wide screen, but is only 7 inches. With this is mind, I took care not to clutter it, and to leave as much real estate available as possible.

Desktop featuring Jared Leto.

my current desktop (03.22.2005). i like it neat and tidy... in fact, those two stray image icons on the right shouldn't be there, but i temporarily placed them there while doing some dev work.

Here is my desktop that currently resides on my iMac.


I do whatever I can to have make my desktop as simple as possible. I can't concentrate on my design work when there are 20 icons all over my screen. The discovery of Quicksilver was heaven sent! Not only did it allow me to not have as many icons on my desktop, but it also allowed me to scale down on my dock as well.


The digg widget is a MUST HAVE. It saves me from refreshing their website every 5 minutes!


I use a "desktop items" folder with a custom icon (from a site featured on Lifehacker). Believe it or not, it's not complete chaos in there, either. In it I keep a "whiteboard" folder with current stuff, and a "working on" folder containing folders for my current projects. My (admittedly chaotic) Downloads folder is in there, though.


The background comes from the default Mac "Black & White" folder in System Preferences->Desktop & Screen Saver.

OS: Fedora 7, fully up to date

WM: wmi (used to be at, but it is no longer maintained)


wmi is one of the ``rodent free'' window managers, aka one you do not

need to use the mouse to use. It was written to support programers, and

they do not like the mouse. :)

OS: Fedora 7, fully up to date

WM: wmi (used to be at, but it is no longer maintained)


wmi is one of the ``rodent free'' window managers, aka one you do not

need to use the mouse to use. It was written to support programers, and

they do not like the mouse. :)


My normal day-to-day tools include mutt (Mail), (Todo List

manager), rxvt (Terminal), and screen (window multiplexor).

My normal day-to-day tools include mutt (Mail), (Todo List

manager), rxvt (Terminal), and screen (window multiplexor).

I have switched on the "Auto hide" option in the taskbasr properties.


I have selected an image for wallpaper.


Also, I switched off the "Auto Arrange" option in the context menu, which appears when right click on the desktop. After doing this I have moved my icons to the middle of the desktop.


I have removed My documents, Internet Explorer, My Computer and My Network places icons by uncheking the options available in the dialog box, which is appears when selecting Customize desktop option in the Desktop tab in the display properties.


That's it. I got a clutter free smooth desktop. Find attached JPEG image along with this mail.

I am running Win XP. I have hidden all the icons from the screen, but have checked the "desktop" option in the toolbar, so they are still available there.


I have RocketDock installed, for most of the programs i have installed, and whose names i don't remember, but recognize the icons.


I have installed Launchy, a great program starter, and file finder.


The wallpaper is a picture i took while on a trip to Hongkong, end August 2007.


I like my desktop uncluttered, without icons, but i still like the ease to access them fast whenever i need.



Visual Style: Gaia

Wallpaper: Good Vibrations by liqachu

Media Player: Foobar with FofR skin

Misc: Yahoo Widgets

I'm not as techno-savvy as a lot of the other Lifehacker readers, so I don't have as many neato tools or icons. I'm an archaeology geek, not a computer one!

A pic of Mexico with the Center for Youth Ministry logo in the right corner. I got the photo from

that desktopshowandtell tag is fun stuff. is there a woman sexier than angelina jolie?

Hello Lifehackers. So here's my contribution to the desktops showing.

This is my Windows XP box I use at work:


- First of all, using a UxTheme.dll patcher I was able to use a

third-party .msstyle theme from Deviant Art called Royale Vista VS



- It goes nice with my Rocket Dock (Skin: Vista Inspirat). It sits

hidden on the left of my screen and contains my most used apps.


- Also matches the Launchy black skin. =) As you can see I like lots

of ways for accessing my programs. For my most used apps I prefer

clicking on the dock and for something more obscure I use Launchy. It

has been a while since I pressed the start button. =P Actually I would

ditch the task bar altogether but I like to switch windows through it.


- My wallpaper changes daily (and also gets the handy calendar drawn

on it) using John's Background Switcher

( It can

update from your local files or it can download photos from flickr

with tags specified by you.

One of my tags is Japan. They make good wallpapers =)


Well that's pretty much it, I like it simple. =)


BTW, my Windows XP is in Portuguese as you may have noticed. =) I'm brazilian.

This sits in my home office, on the right.

I'm pretty new to the Mac scene having received my first Apple

computer a little over a month ago, and when I decided that my desktop

needed some fine tuning, I turned to Lifehacker for help. I have yet

to be disappointed. This is what I did:


- My dock contains applications that I use on a regular basis. I

dragged the "Applications" folder to the dock to get a Windows style

Start Menu so I can see which applications I have installed. I usually

just use Quicksilver to launch applications. I also removed the fugly

gray background and replaced it with a transparent one with ClearDock.


- In the menu bar (upper right corner), I removed the regular Date and

Time and replaced it with the one iStat menus offers, as I now have a

little calendar that shows me the date as well. I also added memory

and CPU menus. Additionally, I removed the Searchlight icon, as I

never used it. I removed it by renaming Search.bundle in Macintosh

HD/System/Library/Core Services/ (caution: you probably need to name

it back again when upgrading to the next os version).


- On the right, I have several applications that I use often but not

as much as the ones in my Dock. They also serve as a subtle reminder

that I am supposed to be doing schoolwork :)


- I have yet to find a decent and complete icon set, but I did change

several system icons with LiteIcon.


- Wallpaper: I usually change it all the time but I kind of like this

cow - so I don't do it anymore. What can I say :)

Desktop is pretty simple. I got a simple Vista Sidebar gadget in the upper right to show resource usage, on the bottom center, another Sidebar gadget by the self explaining name of "App Launcher" and it houses all the programs that I'll use, keeping my desktop clean, as well as the start menu. The basic taskbar docked WMP11 and a self created wallpaper to rememind me in the middle of stressful projects that everything will be better.


Not much to see, but this is my little space in the computer world.

*** The scribbled notes are *on* the desktop, they're not explanations - it's a Tablet PC. ***


A screenshot of the desktop of Moog, my Toshiba M200 Tablet PC, for the Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell pool.


It's a bit on the self-referential side, because I only got the idea to do this after browsing the other desktops in the group.


It's using the internal LCD panel, 1400x1050 resolution.


See notes for most info.


Main software used...


Windows XP Tablet PC Editon 2005 - catchy name. The only choice on a tablet, really. I'm a wannabe geek, so I really *want* to be a Linux user, but Windows does work pretty nicely, really.


Outlook - 2003 at the moment, but I may end up switching back to 2002 at some point, as it's all I'm really licensed for these days. Running NewsGator at the moment to put all my RSS feeds in there too, but I usually end up switching back to Bloglines pretty soon after trying anything else.


Internet Explorer. I know, I can't be *any* kind of geek if I'm not using Firefox, but 1.5 was using over 370Mb of physical RAM - I've only *got* 512Mb, and it wouldn't give any of it up, so I've had to dump it again. Shame, really, it had just got going nicely on the tablet, with the new extension for tablets.


(Screenshot was converted and compressed with The GIMP - I use it for all my photo editing.)




The idea is this - keep anything relating to an active project or action (GTD style stuff) in the Outlook task for it, as attachments. When starting to work on something, drag the attachments out into one of the three numbered areas in the middle, and work on them. When done for the moment, drag 'em back to where they came from and erase any scribbled notes relating to them.


How well does it work? Dunno - only just set it up, not tried it yet.

Thanks to Chris James for this beautiful photo he shot while in town visiting. Makes a fabulous desktop, especially because it's me.

just my desktop for 04.01.2005. submitted to the "desktop show and tell" group.


this is a fingerpainting done by some kid and was submitted as a poster for the earth day poster contest at (my workplace).

My WinXP Pro desktop at work, wallpaper by BPGStudios

This, unsurprisingly, is my desktop. The wallpaper comes from - go read the comic.

I have a fairly 'empty' desktop but that's the way I like my desktop.


1 : I'm a person who likes to make notes about everything, so I use a program called "StickyPad", which does the thing for me.

2 : With the program "Samurize" I can make my desktop more interactive. It contains disk usage meters, clocks, memory meters etc. etc. It's also possible to script programs for it, so you can make your desktop much snazzier than it was. On my desktop, I'm displaying album art from the current song I listen and have two disk usage meter next to it. fairly simple (took me 1 minute to get it like this)

3 : I simply don't like the windows clock, so I use the program "Clock Tray Skins" to suit it to my needs.


Gotta try this lighttpd...

So minimalist, I barely have a desktop! Gentoo with Fluxbox window manager themed with a customized version of Fluxbox theme "blackstar"; wallpaper from flickr. Right-clicking brings up a menu with window manager settings and shortcuts to my most-used applications.

Right now it's clean, since I'm a "Mac" man. I am thinking about adding my project folders.

My desktop entry for the Lifehacker Desktop Show and Tell.


Oh, and the desktop image courtesy of "swissboy" on SXC.

To avoid clashing with the konfabulator widgets, I prefer a desktop that is relatively simple and dark where they overlap it.


This is on a 2-GHz 20" iMac (pre-iSight)


See the notes in the image for more details.

Here's my desktop, in all of its monochromatic glory (desktop from



I roll with the Lifehacker GeekTool calendar "widget," and a custom

GeekTool clock (makes more room in my menubar). Next to the calendar

and clock is the Yojimbo drop-dock for quick access to my Yojimbo

projects and folders. The album art in the lower right corner is

provided by CoverSutra, a program I couldn't live without. In the

menu bar, aside from the standard Apple stuff, is MenuMeters keeping

track of my free RAM and Twitterific keeping everyone up to date with

what I'm doing.

latest desktop wallpaper

Window borders: StormCloud

Icons: Dropline Neu!

Dock: Avant Window Navigator

Widgets: gDesklets

Wallpaper: Can't remember for the life of me where I got it.

can you tell I love pinups?

This is my actual Mac, a B&W G3 running OS X 10.3.9. Best $70 I ever spent was to rescue this beauty from the local computer shop. :)

I found out about this tag at Lifehacker, and I'm glad I did.

My desktop at home, for inclusion in Lifehacker's Desktop Show and Tell

Here I used Pitaschio for the icons, Wallpaper Master to switch my 1400 pictures every minute and Yahoo! Widgets for the Informer (the gray bar at the bottom), Yahoo! Weather to tell what the weather is and how hot it is, and the translucent thing on the top near the left is "Lock-It!" which, when double-clicked, sends you to the logon page. The desktop picture is a B-1 airplane taking off from a runway.

Changes all the time. Usually a photo I took that reflects my mood that day.

Running PathFinder and GeekTool

Vista with the dock from


Background from


thats about it, a lot of people don't like using the Windows Sidebar, but I think it matches the wallpaper =)

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