What do I see..

.. when my computer boots to the desktop?

This is what I see..

My desktop

The total view is of a 19” widescreen LG monitor connected via a DVI cable.

Starting at the top, under the Start button are nine applications and utilities all pinned there for easy access. The area below the ‘pinned’ part is also used for quick access, and I occasionally clear out less used items from it. I have a double height taskbar. I do this to make best use of the QuickLaunch and User Pinned toolbars. These replace the customized start menu I used to have in XP and Vista to some degree, enabling one click access to programs I use as a matter of course throughout any day.

On the right side is the system tray containing items that automatically start up. I prefer to show notifications, especially Speedfan, Networx , Genie Timeline and ESET NOD32 such that I can instantly see if they need my attention. In the middle are the opened applications, all of which can be ‘peeked’. This area was not used as much when I had two monitors and Ultramon’s Smart Taskbar running.

The gadget area holds the ‘weather center’ gadget picking up info from the Weather Network’, Windows Calendar, the Network Monitor which shows which machines are connected to the home network and a space for odds and bits to be temporarily stored. The rest of the screen is given to applications/programs.

Showing presently is IE9 running at 120% magnification and my customized ProtoPage home page. The top three widgets contain links that I use a reasonable amount. I have them split up into MVP, business and general topics, all easier to find than looking through Microsoft’s interpretation of Favourites access. Dilbert keeps me up to date with current corporate management styles, and the conversion widget is useful sometimes. There is a second page which contains nine news widgets, six from around the world, two technical and one humour.

What you see is how I start the day. There are five other applications which get started as I go along

So now you all know how I use my computer and how I make best use of the screen real estate. The only niggle I have with a 19” widescreen is the scrolling required to see everything. I preferred a 19” 4:3 screen for surfing, but videos and gaming benefit from widescreen.

Having used two monitors for so long, I am struggling with just one, but I am considering buying a 24 or maybe even a 27” monitor in place of using two. No decision as yet. It is a difficult choice. I like the uncluttered look of just one, but like the separation and two separate taskbars..

Am I a typical desktop user? Not among my clients for sure, all of whom are more typical home users sending email, running educational software for their kids, surfing the net etc. I would consider myself typical of a multi-tasking corporate employee or business user, the latter being exactly what I am.. 

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