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QotD: Virtual Desktops

Question: Do you have (use) virtual desktops?

My Answer: No. Though I feel I sometimes waste a little more space on my 23" display, I usually just hide apps I don't care about and get them back with LaunchBar, the dock, or cmd-tab. Plus, with Exposé (which I rarely, rarely, rarely use), clutter is more manageable anyway.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

10 Responses to "QotD: Virtual Desktops"

  1. Tried 'em but didn't like 'em. I think that if Apple were to incorporate this feature (on the small chance that they do), I'd try it again. In the current implementations, it just doesn't do it for me.

  2. I tend not to.

    At work, where I don't have a Mac, I use virtual desktops on my Linux box. This comes in handy coding, because I can have coding stuff on desktop 1, and browsers/documentation on desktop 2. I find that with anything more than two desktops I quickly lose track of which is where, and I just end up with more random clutter on _every_ desktop.

    One of my cow orkers has a much more ordered mind than I, and manages three or four desktops, all of them kept tidy and organised. I just don't have the right brain for that.

    At home on my Mac, I've already got two monitors: so the "code on one view on another" thing comes for free, and the monitor-space already exceeds my organisational ability. I also make heavy use of Expose, bound to three of my spare mouse buttons so I can do the incredibly quick and useful "click, find window, release", and "click, grab from desktop, release" things.

  3. Once upon a time I used them all the time. I had nifty quick-key things for switching to them and moving windows to certain desktops. Now..., you're right, clutter is more manageable. I have it set to have two virtual desktops, but I rarely use the second, and when I do, I generally start using it almost full time and then realize that I've moved almost every window to the 2nd desktop and... well anyway. So no, I don't use them now. I can't really imagine what I found so useful about them.

  4. The problem is that all the mac implementations of virtual desktops have sucked 🙁 The only place where they are done right is under linux (gnome/kde/fvwm/etc) where I use them all the time.

  5. I think id use 2 or maybe 3 virtual desktops a lot on my 12inch powerbook if i had the feature built into OS X.

    If its in Tiger i think id use it a lot... *shrugs*

  6. Hell yes I use them.

    Desktop Manager is a nice virtual desktop implementation for OSX. http://wsmanager.sf.net

    I typically have 6 desktops running when I'm writing code. 1 for code, 1 for my browser, 1 for debugging windows, 1 for my bug trackers, 1 for mail, and 1 for FileMaker and/or Citrix Metaframe.

    I also use Expose and LaunchBar to quickly navigate to the correct window. Most of my office has switched to using Expose+Desktop Manager to get everything organized.

  7. I used them on linux/kde, but found the implementations for Mac lacking -- since at least when I switched there was no way to treat the f-keys as f-keys, not light/volume/etc hotkeys.

    of course, now there is, but there wasn't then and I didn't want to have to hit command-fn-f{1,2,3,4}

    Anyway, I just got used to using lightswitch and hiding while command-tabbing. Works for me!

    And, interestingly, I use expose mapped to screen corners on my desktop *all the time* since I can "throw" the mouse at a screen-edge to activate. But, almost never on my powerbook.

  8. Absolutely!

    I picked up a 12" powerbook last fall and I've found virtual desktops to be a great help. 1024x768 isn't nearly enough space to run all of my applications.

    I've previously used them under Linux/BSD and I definately preferred blackbox's implementation to the software I currently use (CodeTek Virtual Desktop), but there are a couple features Virtual Desktop has that I appreciate, like the ability to force an application's windows to a particular desktop. I'm sure there is other good software out there, too.

  9. 20" Cinema Display for main windows, 17" generic LCD for iChat, log windows, etc.

    I minimize windows or hide applications occasionally, but I usually don't have too many windows on my main screen... and Exposé is always there if I need it (maybe twice a day, usually F11 so I can get at some finder icon on the desktop)

  10. My lill' iBook G4 demands that I use http://wsmanager.sf.net as well as Expos� a lot. Why minimize when you can move to another desktop?

    Also, clicking on the dock then using F10 is great for flicking between bits and pieces.

    Opening items is left to LaunchBar.


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