Pimp up your Windows Desktop… for uber coolness and maximum real estate

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Now that I have started working, I finally realize the meaning of Desktop Real Estate. I find myself with so many open windows, simply navigating through them becomes a pain. So here is a list of some of the uber coolness I have come across:

1) Yod’m 3D
[Photo from: http://yodm-3d.uptodown.com/en//screen/ ]


Nothing says desktop space like 4 desktops! Using Yod’m 3D (Yet Another Desktop Manager), I can now organize my windows into categories like Work, Social Networking, Inbox.. and enjoy 4 times the screen space I originally had. Hurry up and get it though, because the project has been renamed DeskSpace now, and you have to pay for the newer version. This version, which is free, is fast disappearing off the net.

2) Launchy

[Photo: http://www.launchy.net/images/screenshot_launchy.png]

Launchy is, as the name suggests, a launcher with which you can launch just about anything on the system. Using Launchy, one can eliminate absolutely every icon from the desktop, leaving it a cleaner, more beautiful place. Launchy is essentially a cool Run command and indexing tool, and therefore I have even done away with the Start Menu button! More space on the Taskbar!

3) AutoHotKey

[My Desktop!]

AutoHotKey is probably the biggest and best find I have made on Windows. Here’s what the home-page has to say about it:

AutoHotkey is a free, open-source utility for Windows. With it, you can:

  • Automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write a mouse or keyboard macro by hand or use the macro recorder.
  • Create hotkeys for keyboard, joystick, and mouse. Virtually any key, button, or combination can become a hotkey.
  • Expand abbreviations as you type them. For example, typing “btw” can automatically produce “by the way”.
  • Create custom data-entry forms, user interfaces, and menu bars.
  • Remap keys and buttons on your keyboard, joystick, and mouse.
  • Respond to signals from hand-held remote controls via the WinLIRC client script.
  • Run existing AutoIt v2 scripts and enhance them with new capabilities.
  • Convert any script into an EXE file that can be run on computers that don’t have AutoHotkey installed.

Not only can you define shortcuts for your favorite tasks, but it also has it’s own scripting support! Pure genius!

4) Samurize

[Photo: http://www.samurize.com/modules/myalbum/photos/3831.jpg]

With Samurize, you can embed multiple things (Text Files, Scripts, Console Programs, System info, etc) directly into your desktop. Since I generally use text files for organizational purposes, I find Samurize really handy. It is something like the Linux tool Conky (1, 2), but just like with Conky, I suspect I have barely scratched the surface of what Samurize can do.

[My Desktop!]

5) Outlook on the Desktop

[My Desktop!]

And finally, with Outlook on the Desktop, I have my calendar always in front of my eyes. May not seem a big deal, but it is a life-saver.

So there, that is how I’ve modded my Windows desktop. If you have any other clever suggestions, do send them in so that I can benefit from them *catty suggestions like “format c:\” not expected!*

[hat-tip] Various Articles from Lifehacker.com

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