What my desktop looks like

Posted by September Blue Saturday, 22 August 2009

Picture 1

The background picture is a photo I took at an aquarium not long ago. I'm quite pleased with it; that fish was not for sitting still and having its picture taken.

This is much neater than the desktop normally looks, because I tidied it before using the computer for a conference presentation in July. The two folders below the hard drive are labelled 'Stuff' (i.e., everything that was on the desktop before I stuffed it into a folder) and 'Paper'. The pdf below them is a live demonstration of the inevitable march of entropy over our meagre efforts of organisation.

The dock (bottom of the screen, as is its rightful place), from left to right:
1) Finder, smiling happily away.
2) iCal, without which I would be screwed. Paper diaries never worked for me.
3) Preview, saving the masses from Acrobat Reader since Feb 2008 (and by 'the masses', I mean 'me')
4) iTunes. The screensaver I have is the one that shows the album covers of all the music you own, in selections based on a) who's in the room and currently viewing the screen and b) the embarrassment potential of the 'You own THAT?' factor. It's quite a complicated algorithm. I'm impressed.
5) iPhoto, which I don't use, much to its disappointment. ('Hello! Look! I see you plugged in something which could possibly be interpreted as a camera! Look! I'm over here! Look!')
6) Safari. I love Safari. Mostly I love Safari for how well it works with the multi-touch trackpad - I can bump up the text size of any page I'm viewing by moving two fingers about a quarter of an inch, which is incredibly helpful for people like me who have terrible eyesight and a tendency towards laziness.
7) Spaces. I don't know why that's even there; the dock icon is not the most efficient way to use Spaces. (Non-Mac people: Spaces does this.)
8) Scrivener! Best writing software ever ever ever.
9) Mail. Like Entourage, but on the side of good.
10) MarsEdit, a handy blogging client (I'm using it right now). Blogger's web interface is clunky, and I like being able to add pictures with minimal effort. (Many of my software choices are motivated by laziness.)
11) Delicious Library, excellent and wonderful library-cataloguing software. It works like this:
a) You hold a book barcode up to the webcam
b) Your computer goes 'Beep!'
c) Delicious Library adds the book to your virtual shelves, based on the ISBN you told it, while reading out the book's title.
There's more too it than that, but do you really need any more?
12) TextWrangler, another text editor I use for HTML and XML. (Okay, not so much HTML, or this blog would look better. I'm working on it. Lazily.)
13) Flickr Uploadr, for uploading photos to Flickr (no!) without having to go through the web interface.
14) iChat. I don't use it that much, but it just looks so nice.
15) Pages. Begone, Microsoft Word! (I don't actually mind Word for Mac that much, but it will not play nice with Spaces, so the hell with it. Document windows should not actually run away from me.)
16) GraphicConverter. Aww, GraphicConverter! I've been using some version of this for about twenty years. Basic but wonderful image-editing software. I mostly use it for flicking through the 83 photos I took of one particular fish to find the single non-blurry one.
17) Tweetie, a Twitter client.
18) Sims 3. Whaaaaat?
19) A Terminal window, which is only there at the moment because...
20), a Java program I'm getting used to, won't do things the easy way. Oh, no.
21) Photoshop Elements. This is both useful and incredibly frustrating. Save -> "Your request could not be completed because of a program error." WHAT? Bah.


  1. dance Says:
  2. That is a lovely picture and I am very impressed you got it.

    You can turn off #5 in iPhoto preferences.

    For the same issue as #6, I use Firefox, which will *automatically remember* that I upsized the text of a page the last time I was on it, and do it for me. It's the most wonderful feature ever, as I was previously hitting cmd-= 2 or 3 times every time I loaded a new page.

  3. Yeah, I know. The only reason it's still allowed to pester me (and to keep its place in the dock) is my conviction that I really should try out the new iPhoto... and yet, it's clearly never going to happen.

    Firefox was my browser of choice before Safari got a bit faster. I did like that it remembered settings!