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What Icons Do When You’re Not Looking

Here is an interesting Flash animation that illustrates in a comical fashion just what icons do when you're not looking.

Someone made a comment on a mailing list about the "uselesness" and the "outdatedness" of the Desktop on Mac OS X. Now, I'm not one of those kinds of people that litter my desktop with everything, but I do use it basically as my own private /tmp as well as my own little "to do" list. Aliases to projects I'm working on, images that need to find a home, things like that. I'm curious how everyone else uses their desktop. Feel free to leave comments.

4 Responses to "What Icons Do When You’re Not Looking"

  1. I keep my desktop as minimal as possible.

    Like you, when working on a project, I keep aliases to project folders on the desktop. If I have a presentation, I might keep some of the files on the desktop as well - although I have gotten to the point where I keep a "presentation" folder in the dock, so I can have a nice link to the presentation materials and related websites. The whole dock thing is still a little bizarre to me... not in a bad way, but in a "what else can or should I do with it".

  2. I use the desktop in much the same way (as Erik), as well as a workbench of sorts; if I'm creating an image, all the PSDs and exported versions will be littered down one side. If I'm testing a bit of code, the PB project folder goes there too.

    I have this pathological need to initially save things to the desktop, then move them to their final home later, in the Finder. I find it difficult (meaning uncomfortable, obviously not actually tricky or complicated) to save a new file anywhere else. I like to be able to "see" the file itself for the window I have open. I probably need professional help.

    Oh, and I also have this personality quirk which makes me insist on playing with the View Options for the desktop at least once a month. I toy with labels on the right, icon sizes, bigger or smaller text, show item info. I always turn it all off again, leaving it back at the default settings. I've always done this (played with view options), and I have no idea why. I just seem to feel conflicting needs to personalise the desktop (more so than any other 'folder'), but also to keep it really clean. One day I'll hit on a setup that truly satisifies me.

    Final note: regarding the supposed "uselessness" of the desktop as a concept, I don't agree. I still use NS 3.3 in VPC from time to time, and I find the lack of icons on the desktop very jarring. Need to have Fiend installed to feel comfortable. 😉

  3. Im bored with my desktop icons....

    Im a mac OS X user and work for the creative dept. of a production co. And ofcourse all our pc's are networked. I have four harddrives in my G4, while my partner has 3 in his G5. Being the "creative" department, we decided to go with a theme when naming all these drives to alleviate confusion.... We went with an X-Men characters theme. I have all the bad guys... Magneto, Sinister, Mystique etc. And obviously my partner has the goodies.

    Now for reasons no more than to look good, i would like to change the icon/alias of the drives on my desktop to its accosiated character. Instead of the current "harddrive" icon.

    So for Magneto i would have a little pic of, well Magneto and so on...

    Is this possible, and if so, how ?

  4. I just wanted to ask how I can find the site for the "what icons do when you're not looking" thing. I have tried and tried to click on a link that works and I always get an "error, Page not found". I loved that and I wanted to show it to my daughter and now I can't find it. Please help me find that again!?!?!?!?

    Thanks so much, Anne


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