For something that you look at every day of your working life, your computer desktop doesn’t get as much attention as it deserves. That’s too bad, considering that the desktop can do a lot more than display wallpaper and hold shortcut icons. From widgets to workflows, from calendars to computer stats and beyond, you can do a whole lot on your desktop without manually starting up a single program. Hit the jump for our top 10 list of applications and tweaks that make your desktop a truly useful place to land.
10. Embed Text Files on Your Desktop with Samurize (Windows)
If you keep important information like tasks and project notes in plain text files, you can pin that information to your desktop automatically. Free Windows application Samurize can embed text files data right on your desktop behind any program windows, giving you at-a-glance access without having to launch a text editor. Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to incorporate text files onto your desktop with Samurize . (Samurize includes support for system statistic widgets, too.) Linux users can get something similar with programs like gDesklets or Conky , or by embedding a terminal in their desktop with Compiz Fusion .
Geek to Live: Incorporate text files onto your desktop
by Gina Trapani
9. Monitor Your Mac with GeekTool (Mac OS X)
More than just the Mac equivalent of Samurize, GeekTool is a desktop overlay that helps you keep tabs on nearly anything that can be piped through your system terminal—text files, CPU and memory usage stats, a calendar display , a list of Google Calendar events for the day , or even dynamic graph images. And it’s a great motivator to keep your desktop space tidy, to boot. Here’s how to monitor your Mac and more with GeekTool .
GeekTool desktop calendar
Mac user Hannes Bretschneider posts a useful script for the GeekTool desktop overlay which displays
How to Pimp out Your Desktop in Windows 10
Windows 10 remains one of the most boring operating systems to date. If you are anything like me and miss the good ole days of windows 7 vista than you probably have been trying relentlessly to customize Windows 10 but have hit several walls regarding customization.
As annoying as windows 10 is, you may have wanted to throw your Desktop or laptop out the freaking window. Windows 10 definitely doesn’t make it easy to customize. I have learned, over the last few days trying to fucking tweak my (P.C) is hard asf,.
The Pc is definitely the “ Poormans Crack machine”.
These last few days I have been testing and tweaking Windows 10 to pimp it out to Pink aesthetic perfection, I also put together a complete .ico file package that took me days to organize and I also included 3 Free software’s that will help you to pimp out your pc absolutely free.
So Make sure you watch the video on YouTube before you download the software and icons because I give you very important tips on how to pimp your Windows 10 Desktop.
Heres what we will cover:
– How to customize and change the windows 10 Trash bin icons
– How to Create your own Icons in windows 10 using free software
– How to batch file multiple png files and turn them into .ico with free software
– How to Remove arrows off shortcut icons in windows 10
– How to change and customize windows folder icons
– How to customize and change windows system folder icons
– How to bring back Windows vista notepad and snipping tool
– How to change the desktop background, taskbar, and windows colors
-How to roll back windows 10 updates
– We also discuss size, color modification of windows 10 in further detail
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A wallpaper or background (also known as a desktop wallpaper, desktop background, desktop picture or desktop image on computers) is a digital image (photo, drawing etc.) used as a decorative background of a graphical user interface on the screen of a computer, mobile communications device or other electronic device. On a computer it is usually for the desktop, while on a mobile phone it is usually the background for the ‘home’ or ‘idle’ screen. Though most devices come with a default picture, users can usually change it to custom files of their choosing.
A mobile wallpaper is a computer wallpaper sized to fit a mobile device such as a mobile phone, personal digital assistant or digital audio player. The height is often greater than or equal to the width. Wallpapers can typically be downloaded at no cost from various websites for modern phones (such as those running Android, iOS, or Windows Phone operating systems). Modern smartphones allow users to use photos from the web; or photographs captured with a phone’s camera can be set as a wallpaper.
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Pimp Your Screen is here to customize the look of your desktop by giving you an exclusive selection of specially designed background images and wallpapers arranged in categories. Choose from a variety of minimalistic images, abstract backgrounds and truly unique wallpapers that will bring even more beauty to your Mac. Pimp Your Screen is a true pleasure to use due to its neat interface and well thought out design. Finding a wallpaper of your choice has never been so fun and easy!
- Exclusive content designed specially for your Mac
- Animate your wallpapers in just a few clicks
- Enjoying the iOS version of Pimp Your Screen? Find the same background image for your Mac
- Supports all available resolutions
- Multiple Display Support
- Automatic resolution detection
- Different categories to let you find a wallpaper of your choice more easily
- Preview your background image before saving
- Popular, Favorite and New tabs
- Regular content updates
- Rate the images you enjoy most and add them to your Favorites Bring more color and beauty into your daily life
- More retina wallpapers for almost all types of devices: discover and enjoy new crisp and sharp-looking images added every day!
- Important performance and stability fixes for fast and smooth work on OS X 10.11 El Capitan
OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
Article posted on 3/16/2006
Stardock lets you pimp out your PC desktop
BY ANDY IHNATKO
Hatred is a cheap, primitive, wasted emotion, but when it comes to working with a computer on a daily basis . . . well, it certainly works.
But please, be precise with your hatred. You don’t really hate Windows. You just wish that certain specific bits of it made more sense, or were more useful — or didn’t look like they were put together with Legos.
Even if you’re a true-blue XP diehard, you don’t really hate the Mac OS or Linux, do you? Surely Apple has had some ideas you enjoy?
If you troll shareware and freeware archives, you’ll find loads of little utilities for altering the appearance and functions of Windows. These apps allow you to inflict changes ranging from subtle tweaks to full-court presses that encourage comparisons to what happens to a 1988 Plymouth Reliant on “Pimp My Ride.”
In this particular category, Stardock is the king of the pimped-out Windows XP. If you head over to www.stardock.com you’ll encounter more than a dozen cheap individual enhancements, most of which can be purchased in a $49 bulk-pack called “Object Desktop.” Its components run the full gamut:
WindowBlinds is the simplest, most direct and most obvious enhancement. It allows you to customize the appearance of Windows’ standard windows and the startbar, ranging from the effective (the clean, efficient appearance of a Linux windows manager), the traitorous (a perfect interpretation of the Mac window style) to the downright punitive (a tribute to “American Idol”). Dozens come with the package, and hundreds are available via download.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making XP look pretty (unless you actually want Clay Aiken’s head as every window’s close box; that’s just weird).
The real meat of this package is its many performance tweaks. Virtual Desktops is a feature familiar to Linux users and envied by Mac folks. As it is, all of your apps’ windows are jumbled together on one desktop, and the only way to manage several tasks simultaneously is to buy the same sort of video screen that Mick Jagger bought for the Rolling Stones’ touring stage.
With Virtual Desktops, I have one desktop containing just the word-processing and Firefox windows I’m using to write this column. When I want to work on some personal business, I can hotkey over to a different desktop that just contains my mail app’s windows, my appointment calendar and my address book.
Another desktop contains Photoshop and the other windows that help me wrangle 2000 vacation photos into something manageable.
All by itself, Virtual Desktops reduces the annoyance factor of any given workday by at least 30 percent.
Copying a file into a folder that’s inside a folder that’s inside a folder (etcetera) is a colossal pain: You have to uncover the final destination folder before you can drag something in there.
SpringFolders kneecaps this annoyance by causing each folder to spring open when the item you’re dragging hovers above it. When you’ve drilled all the way down to the destination folder and released the mouse button, the file drops in and all those sub-sub-folders snap shut behind it.
If you’re no fan of the Start menu and the taskbar, Object Desktop feels your pain. RightClick sticks most of the Start bar’s functions underneath your right-hand mouse button. It’s a handy add-on, but it just slaps at the problem. With ObjectBar, you can do anything from simply making the old thing work better to replacing it entirely, with a floating pallet, a docklike well . . . holy cats, it can even turn the Start bar into a flawless knockoff of the Mac menu bar, even incorporating application-specific menus.
(If you are a closeted Mac fetishist, you’ll want to know about ObjectDock, an app that brings the Mac’s frabjously useful System Dock to Windows XP. It’s not part of Object Desktop, but it’s a free download from Stardock.com)
Then there’s DesktopX, which defies easy explanation. Where Object Desktop’s other utilities feel like simple tweaks and enhancements for XP, DesktopX feels more like retribution for XP’s past slights, sins and injuries. With it, you can create a whole new environment that in style and function has no intersection whatsoever with anything created in Redmond, Wash.
The icing on the cake is that nearly all of Object Desktop’s enhancements are themselves customizable. Its components have been around for ages, and dozens of sites offer hundreds of custom skins, settings and palettes.
Needless to say, I’ve become a big fan of Object Desktop. Its functions are based on a lot of rules-busting code, and as such, not all apps will play nicely with it. All the same, it’s a terrific value and well worth the minor risks.
Over the course of one week I managed to tweak away most of what I find annoying about XP.
There’s not a whole lot of competition in the “Most Exciting Windows Utility” pageant, but rest assured that Stardock walks down that runway in tiara and tears.
Not only is IT tasked with new technology deployments (which ultimately improve ROI), putting out fires when networks don’t work properly and responding to service tickets from frustrated users, but they’re often anchored to bland, run-of-the-mill workstations for most of the day. And although desk work isn’t disappearing any time soon, maybe it’s time for sysadmins to get creative. To paraphrase Xzibit, “pimp my desk.” Here’s how.
Go Comically Big
Start with the most obvious — changing your desk setup. This isn’t a new chair, cool computer tower or better lamp, but rather a total reimagining of your workspace. Really want to feel like you’ve taken things a notch above “passable”? Try something like this: It started as a computer case mod and morphed into an entire desk. The best part? It’s shaped like a TIE fighter from the Star Wars universe. Not only do you get the benefit of having the coolest workstation around, but every time someone comes to ask you a should-be-obvious-already question, you have reason to hum the Imperial March with a stern glare in their direction. Assume force-choking position for dramatic effect.
But maybe you’re on the side of the good guys and embrace a desk that says “I’m here to help.” Consider something like these replica Avengers desks using licensed props. With Cap’s shield, Iron Man’s mask and Thor’s hammer shining brightly in front of a Hawkeye-themed set of drawers built into the back, the impact of your “pimp my desk” efforts go from zero to amazeballs faster than a Black Widow roundhouse.
Think Outside the Desk
Of course, having a great desk is only half the battle; you also need cool gadgets to pimp your entire workspace. If you’re a heavy mobile user, try something like the Logitech K480 keyboard. Featuring a special groove-stand for your mobile devices at the top edge, this piece has awesome Bluetooth support and, best of all, a dial that lets you switch between typing on three different devices. No more grabbing your phone to text back or picking up your tablet to rattle off an email reply. You can do it all in one place.
Want to work smarter and faster? The Halo Scanner mouse might have you covered. Switch to scan mode, drag it across parts of the document you need and the desktop stitches everything back together again. It’s got some bugs, sure, but it’s a step in the right direction. And because you spend most of your time working on your PC, why not make sure you’ve got the best view possible? The Adlens Interface takes care of this problem with a pair of yellow-tinted specs that can be adjusted to match any prescription. They don’t look half bad and the blue filtering really makes your screen pop.
Winning at Windows
To take your desk-pimping up another notch (to 11), don’t stop at gadgets and workstations — make sure your desktop is leaps and bounds ahead of the curve. Compliments of Lifehack, start by cutting down the number of icons on your desktop. A lot. Ideally, aim for three or fewer to take back all that desktop space. Next, grab apps like ObjectDock and Launchy to help organize, search for and launch applications without cluttering up your desktop again. The goal here? Pure IT superiority. As a tech guru and master of the computing arts, Windows knuckles under to your expertise — not the other way around.
Ready to take up the “pimp my desk” rallying cry? It’s time to stand out in a world of simple, yawn-inducing workspaces. Get creative, get crazy and take your helpdesk to the next level.
For those times when you can’t get something done by clicking a few buttons with your mouse, the Windows command prompt has always been an indispensable tool. But as much as advanced users have relied on this useful utility, it hasn’t seen a significant update since the Windows 95 days.
That’s finally changed with Windows 10, as Microsoft added some useful functionality like Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V copy and paste shortcuts. They’ve also added quite a few more customization options that allow you to personalize the command prompt to a look and feel that’s uniquely yours, and I’ll go over these options below.
Step 1: Open a Command Prompt Window
First things first, you’ll of course need to launch the command prompt itself. If you haven’t done this recently, I’ll offer a brief refresher course—simply press the Windows button on your keyboard and wait until the Start menu opens, then type “cmd” and press Enter.
Step 2: Access the Settings Menu
Next up, to tweak these options, you’ll need to access the command prompt settings menu. To do that, simply click the logo in the upper-left corner of the window, then choose “Properties” from the context menu.
Step 3: Tweak Basic Options
From here, you’ll be taken to the main Options tab. Not much is worth changing in here, since most of the cool stuff like copy and paste functionality is already enabled. But if you’d like to be able to highlight command text with your mouse pointer, you can tick the box next to “QuickEdit Mode” at the very least.
Step 4: Adjust the Font, Layout, & Colors
Next, head over to the Font tab if you’d like to change the way text appears in your command prompt. There are a few fonts to choose from, and you can of course change their sizes, but one of the more interesting features here is an option to make fonts bold.
Then, the Layout tab gives you options for adjusting the boundaries of the command prompt window itself. For instance, you can change the “Window Size” values to make the command prompt a bit bigger when it first launches, which should come in handy on today’s larger monitors.
Finally, the Colors tab is where you can make the biggest visual changes to the Windows 10 command prompt. First, choose one of the four options in the upper-left quadrant of this menu, then select a color from the provided options. If you’d like to go fully custom, you can even enter RGB values in the upper-right quadrant, or tweak opacity near the bottom of this menu.
What does your command prompt look like now that you’ve got it all decked out and personalized? Let us know in the comment section below, or drop us a line on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.
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Skin it, stick it, etch it, paint it–check out these ways to make your laptop PC look unique without breaking it (or your bank account).
Pimp Your Laptop
Are you tired of looking at the same old black laptop? Do you wish you could stand out in your local Starbucks? (After all, nothing goes with your Frappucino like a blinged-out 15-inch Macbook Pro.) Here are a few ways to make your laptop look unique–via skins, stickers, or laser etching–without compromising its ability to do work.
Change the Cover
If you want a quick, artsy way to update your computer, consider skinning it. Skins usually cost between $15 and $30, and some companies have already done the searching for you–GelaSkins has assembled an array of visually intriguing designs that are just waiting to adorn your laptop.
Add Your Mark
If nothing on GelaSkins catches your fancy–or if you want to personalize your laptop with a huge photo of your puppy, for example–try a custom skin. Schtickers will let you upload a photo, add text, add backgrounds, change colors, and create a skin that fits your laptop for $25.
Calling all girly girls! Who among you doesn’t want a laptop that shines and sparkles in the sun? There are several ways to add glimmer glamour to your tech: You can attach glitter and sequins yourself; you can grab a sparkly laptop skin (like this $53 Personalized Crystal Laptop Skin from Skyn Mobile), or you can send your notebook to Crystal Icing to have it dipped in Swarovski crystals for $2000+.
Vinyl decals offer a great way to get a custom look without the premeditated effect of a full skin, and without the haphazard look of random stickers. Etsy has a number of cool decals for sale, including the $15 Snow White Macbook decal, shown here, and a $12 zebra Macbook decal.
(Image from moviemagicman at Etsy.)
For Those Who Aren’t Afraid of Permanence
Skins and stickers can make a laptop look cheap. If you have a design in mind–and no issues with voiding your warranty–you can achieve a pretty cool look with laser engraving. Adafruit Industries, an etching service in New York City, charges just $100 to burn a permanent image onto a laptop case.
Get A Paint Job
If your passion-pink laptop has faded over the years from pizzazzy to pallid, why not slap on a new coat of paint? For about $500, ColorWare PC will recolor your laptop (complete with scratch-resistant plastic coating).
(Image from ColorWare PC.)
Graffiti Your Laptop
Looking for more than just a new coat of paint? A professionally airbrushed design may be a better match to your style. Smooth Creations has some pretty great looking airbrushed gamer designs (including Call of Duty). The company isn’t currently taking custom orders, but it plans to start doing so soon. Meanwhile, your local body shop might be willing to step up.
(Image from Smooth Creations.)
Carbon Fiber. Laptop Case?
You may not have a fast computer, but at least you can look like you do. At far left we see how a guy who wanted the look of a carbon fiber laptop case–but not the price tag–managed to cope: He used some carbon fiber vinyl to replicate the sexiness of an Acer Ferrari 4000 Carbon-Fiber notebook (at near left).
You spend a lot of waking hours at your computer, so why not make it a little prettier (and more productive)? Here are 10 ways to customize every inch of your desktop, no matter what operating system you use.
WARNING: The deeper you go with customization, the more you risk causing problems with your system, particularly when changing system files. We’ve tried a bunch of these tools and apps before, but you should always back up your system before you start any deep customization!
10. Collect Some Sweet Wallpapers
Still rocking the default windows wallpaper? Maybe it’s time to switch it up. There are a lot of great wallpaper sites out there , but you can make your wallpaper even more awesome with a few tools. Desktoppr is an awesome way to browse and sync wallpapers with all your computers, and then rotate between them with a good wallpaper switcher . Wallpapers don’t have to be a time waster, either—they can be motivational and productive , too. Check our weekly Wallpaper Wednesday series for more wallpaper fun, too.
Five Best Wallpaper Sites
Personalizing your desktop starts with customizing your wallpaper. Finding good wallpapers for…
9. Install a Custom Dock
The default Windows taskbar is actually pretty awesome, especially once you beef it up . But if you prefer the aesthetic and functional nature of a dock, we recommend checking out a customizable dock like the $10 ObjectDock , or the older (but free) RocketDock . If you’re on Linux, check out Docky instead. If you’re on OS X, you can customize your dock with something like DockMod .
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8. Change Up Your Icons
Maybe you have one or two apps with ugly icons, or maybe you want to change them all up for a more unified, customized look. No matter what your desires, it’s pretty easy to change the icons on your system. Individual apps and folders are extremely easy to change on both Windows and OS X , though system icons are a bit tougher. Windows users should check out IconPackager , which can do a heck of a lot—but in my experience is a bit finicky, so be sure to back up your system first.
How to Customize Any Folder or App Icon in Windows
Custom icons aren’t just for fun; they can also help you better identify oft-used folders and…
7. Tweak Your Favorite Web Sites
They aren’t part of your “desktop,” per se, but you probably spend a lot of time looking at the same web sites, and those are customizable too. Check out our guide to customizing your favorite sites with userscripts and user styles for more, and be sure to check out some of our site-specific guides too—like this one for Facebook or this one for Gmail . It’s amazing how much better (and better looking) you can make your favorite sites with a few tweaks.
How to Customize Your Favorite Web Sites to Your Exact Preferences
We all have a few favorite web sites, even when they’re not perfect. You don’t necessarily have to…
6. Organize Your Desktop Clutter
Of course, a lot of these customizations will mean nothing if your desktop is covered in icons. All it takes is a little organization : with an app like Fences or Desktop Groups you can not only make things more attractive, but keep everything organized by category, project, or whatever else you want, so you can reach everything easier.
How to Design and Create a Clean, Organized Desktop
Numerous studies have shown that your environment affects your productivity, and that even…
5. Skin Your Windows
Tired of the boring grey window borders and traditional buttons in the corner? You can spice up your windows with WindowBlinds (Windows) or something like CrystalClear Interface (Mac). Linux users don’t have as easy a one-size-fits-all method—as it depends a lot on your desktop environment and window manager —but sites like GNOME-look.org are a good place to start looking for good themes.
WTF Desktop Environments: GNOME, KDE, and More Explained
You can customize nearly every last inch of your Linux installation to fit your liking, and it…
4. Add and Change Your Favorite Features
This one’s a little more function than form (not that we’re complaining). Sometimes the best desktop customization comes in smaller tweaks that help you get things done better—and that’s where our favorite system tweakers for Windows , OS X , and Linux come in. With the right tweaker in your arsenal, you can customize your operating system’s built-in menus, settings, fonts, or anything else under the hood.
The Best System Tweaker for Windows
Windows users have a ton of system tweakers to choose from, but we love the Ultimate Windows…
3. Get Some Neat Desktop Effects
Ever feel like your windows could make a snazzier entrance when you un-minimize them? Ever get jealous of that awesome desktop cube Linux users have? Windows users can get in on the fun, too. Free app Dexpot has a few cool animations to contribute (including the aforementioned cube), but if you really want to take it further, WindowFX is an awesome (but sadly, $10) app with a ton of animations and customization built-in. Check out the video above to see it in action.
How Do I Get Cool Desktop Effects in Linux?
Dear Lifehacker, I’m loving Linux, but I keep seeing screenshots and videos of these tricked-out,…
2. Overhaul Your Skin Entirely
This is definitely one of the more sweeping changes you can make to your system—not to mention riskier—but if you really want to change everything from the ground up, there are a lot of cool system-wide skins out there you might like. Want to give everything a cool transparent look? Check out the Shine skin . Want to make your Windows system look like OS X? The Mavericks Transformation Pack is for you. Search around sites like DeviantART and our Featured Desktop series for inspiration and links to some pretty cool skins, if you’re feeling adventurous.
The Tide Desktop
Chris Sm sent in this desktop for us to review, which combines a really interesting wallpaper with