Fata Morgana (Desktop 16)

This will probably be my last proper desktop for the year. Like Wing, it's an experimental design, not really what I'm using on a regular basis. It's a departure from my usual aesthetic - it lacks a central focal point, it uses a lot of icons, and it leaves the edges open.


I'm not sure if it's ethical to submit this to Lifehacker as an "Enigma-inspired" desktop, seeing as it's my own theme, so I'll leave that decision to them.


I used a fantastic Autohotkey script, courtesy of ryemcc, which allows me to show/hide the taskbar by pressing the sorely-neglected Pause key. As a result, virtually nothing is visible except the desktop and what's on it - namely, some superficial edits to my Rainmeter theme.


I'm experimenting with a very primitive "Launcher" skin. Adding the following line to any object (ideally an image) will allow it to run the specified command when double-clicked. I don't think that's precisely how it's intended to be used, but it works.


LeftMouseupAction=!Execute ["command"]


I do want to credit Dylan Bloom, whose desktop got me thinking about a desert look, as well as pulling the taskbar into the middle.


- - - - - - -


- Wallpaper: Fatamorgana by norbi.

- Rainmeter theme: Enigma.

- Icons: "ecqlipse 2".

- Inspiration: Desert Dreams - An "Enigma" Modification.

- Clocks: 1.

  • larry.gates 7y


    I figured out the IP issue. It had to do with the X location. It was hiding the IP. And for your bottom bar, the location worked perfect, but the IP needed a status value of 1 or more. From there it pulled some other IP address (I guess a proxy or something).

    In other words I got to work. Thanks

    Nice Desktop
  • _d5_ 7y

    dude, you should put a good salvador dhali ( apologies for a bad spell ) background on that theme....

    but the desert one is good too

  • -Nabeel 7y

    Last desktop for the year? But there's more than a month left for 2009!
    Say it ain't so!
  • Stephen Gibson 7y

    Very interesting design. I like the Rainmeter "dock" too. I've been experimenting with a program-launcher config myself.
  • Michael Engard 7y

    larry.gates: Thanks. Glad to hear you worked it out. :)

    Nabeel: I've just got a lot of schoolwork and some other projects coming up. But it's entirely possible that I'll be eating those words. They do look tasty.

    Espiox: Thankses. I always find it a challenge to come up with something useful or innovative while still preserving "minimalism." I lean towards keyboard commands (Launchy, Autohotkey, etc.) and I'm the type to attack desktop clutter with a vengeance. I'm sure I'd never use that dock, for example, because Launchy just obliterates the need for icons of any kind. So at this point I'm just wandering into unfamiliar territory just to see if there's something new to find.
  • matthewtelam 7y

    I love your desktops!
    It interests me that all OS's available now separate the wallpaper, the launch apparatus, Menu/task bar, etc. When true productivity and mental clarity comes from a simple yet "active" desktop. That is, a dynamic screen/picture that serves for all activity objects on a standard computer.
    You seem to make the idea work and work well!
  • Dan Turkel 7y

    I'm usually quite inspired by your desktops but this is probably my least favorite as far as functionality and aesthetics. I hate the bisection of the screen and I also don't see the point of having icons everywhere. It just seems a little unnecessary to me.
  • Michael Engard 7y

    daturkel: Then your sensibilities are probably a lot like mine - functionally, anyway. ;) As I mentioned at the top, I'd never use this desktop the way it was made. I can't stand launcher icons, either, nor am I anywhere close to giving up the taskbar paradigm. Aesthetically, though, I'm proud of this one - I wanted to see how it would look to integrate the wallpaper and the shell, to get away from the "picture frame" norm, and although it's obviously a work in progress, I'm mostly pleased with the results.

    Also... when I made this setup, I had a kind of imaginary, fluid interface in mind. I envisioned a single unified taskbar - call it an omnibar - would present itself at the center of an empty, waiting desktop, and then move out of the way when an application was opened. Likewise, its contents would change and expand contextually, following the principles of Enso, Ubiquity, or, to some extent, the Mac's menu bar. I think my followup to this desktop gets that across more clearly. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

    As for the "dock" of icons, I don't mind admitting it: total filler. :)
  • Dan Turkel 7y

    The concept of a dynamic omni-bar is awesome (sort of reminds me of the computers in "Minority Report") and I'm all for integrating wallpaper w/ the shell but the icons at the bottom just tick me off (it's a personal thing). I think it has a lot of potential though and I'll be sure to watch as you develop your desktop further.
    Also, I based my current desktop off of your original enigma theme (like in lightning at sunset) and I too also am not crazy about the picture frame feel. I was thinking of moving to a bottom only bar but I wouldn't be able to fit a to-do list. I'll keep experimenting and seeing how it goes.
    Also, you mentioned Ubiquity: do you use it as it is now? I saw a video showing off all it's mashup features and features that were in concept stages and they wanted to implement and I thought it looked awesome but never got around to using it. If you are using it, how is it and what do you personally use it for?
  • Michael Engard 7y

    daturkel: I'll own up to the icons. I guess I thought they'd be more tolerable if they blended in with the interface, but rather than feeling more natural, they ended up looking just like the placeholder that they are.

    I love those damn screens in Minority Report. I know it's cliché now, but I think that's basically the ultimate ideal of this school of thought.

    I still have an affinity for the picture frame, though. That's what I really am using day-to-day - minus a few details, it hasn't changed from the twin-taskbar structure seen here. I often feel torn between an open/"minimalist" style, and the odd aesthetic comfort of a bounded screen. In fact, that's probably why I have such a thing for transparency: it's one of the best compromises between those two. (And I see that's more or less what you've got in your latest shot.)

    Finally, Ubiquity: I'm using it, but I have yet to delve deep into its capabilities. I use the most basic of functions: quick inline dictionary/Wikipedia lookups, translations (I do a lot of work with German material), maps/weather sometimes. I see the appeal of the whole "mashups" trend, but it frankly doesn't interest me that much. What I'd really like to see, in some future Firefox release, is having Ubiquity and the address bar combined into one unit. (And then, I'd like to see the same functions in a universal bar ala Launchy, but I'll take these gifts one at a time. :)

    Thanks for the comments, I always love to talk about these things.
  • Dan Turkel 7y

    Kaelri: No problem, I love to talk about this stuff too. I'm not sure I'm ready to start w/ Ubiquity yet. Firefox one letter search shortcuts (which I think I found out about from you: a for amazon, i for imdb etc) do most of my quick searches right now and now you've got me quite inspired to try my own experimental theme. I'll think it'll require a lot of faking stuff (using multiple programs to create an illusion of one interface doing something) but it might be cool.
  • Chaebi69 7y

    I still never don't understand how you got CD art display like that (or is that CD art <.<) It looks so neat.

    I meant there is a blank CD near it that looks similar to the Eclipse 2 icons. Urr... Just in case, that can't be an art album o_o
  • Michael Engard 7y

    chaebi69: Just another illusion. I made CAD's own display invisible, and simply placed it next to the iTunes icon, which is a simple Rainmeter element.
  • José 4y

    Very original!
    GREAT wokr!
    Kind regards
  • Kytsumy 4y

    Simple and beautiful ...!!!!
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