If you wonder why this article starts with a screenshot of a windows desktop, it’s because almost every PC I ever had to fix looks like this. And I wonder what genius ever got the idea of using the background as a desktop (according to Wikipedia, it’s Commodore. Curse them).
Just look at it. It’s just a bunch of maps, files, and application launchers thrown together in no particular order. Desktops get messy. It’s what they do. At least this person made some effort by lining up the icons…I know many who don’t. Supposedly, files on the desktop are easier to find, but that cannot possibly be the case here. If I had a choice between this and a nice, alphabetic list, I know what I’d choose.
There’s another problem with using the desktop as a place where you store files: every time you open a program (as computer users tend to do sometimes), you hide them all. I guess that’s why the “Show Desktop” function was invented…so you can open even more windows, which will instantly hide your icons again.
Applications are guilty of this too. Almost every Windows program will add a launcher on the desktop by default. And in your QuickLaunch bar. And in the menu. Don’t forget the systray icon, and the “launch program at startup option”.
Windows applications tend to crap all over your desktop.
In Openbox, I’d need an extra program just to add icons to the desktop, but I don’t. I don’t have a “QuickLaunch bar” either. Why should I? I have the menu, and maybe ten keyboard combinations that open my favorite applications. I have a panel at the bottom, but I noticed I don’t use it to navigate between my open windows…it’s only there so I know what applications I’ve already opened. I have conky at the top, so I know how much work my processors have to do, how bandwidth I’m wasting, what song I’m playing…that kind of thing. It’s all I need, and it’s not intrusive.
I reach my files the way they’re supposed to be reached…with the file manager. Every new file goes to a “download” map first, and then to the appropriate map on a separate partition. I never have any trouble finding a file.
And that way, I can actually enjoy the pretty picture I have as my background.