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Useful bling

2007-07-19

Screenshot-cube

Desktop Cube

Originally uploaded by rharrison.

I was just reading cgwalterspost on his thoughts about the Pyro Desktop project. One of the comments got me to thinking about desktop “bling” and how useful it really is.

I actually wouldn’t have a agreed with him a few weeks ago. I thought the “bling” I had with compiz and beryl (now compiz-fusion) was great. I had everything turned on but really didn’t consider it incredibly useful. Mainly I was running it just to rub in what the OS X and Vista groupies couldn’t have, and I did think it was fun.

I started having some problems with my machine locking up running with compositing recently and had to turn off the fancy effects since I didn’t have time to figure out where the problem is. The last two weeks without bling I’ve found that all that “fluff” really did give me a great deal of helpful feed back in my daily work. I’m really having trouble adjusting to not having the bling any more, which is really surprising.

The scale plugin (expose) is the one I miss the most. Just being able to hit a button and see all my open windows is incredibly helpful. Especially on the laptop where I have limited screen real estate. Wobbling windows (which seemed like one of the most useless plugins) did give me a feel of how my windows were moving, and setting my system bell to simply wobble the window slightly is a very welcome change instead of having the entire screen blink for a visual bell, which is annoying, or just the title bar, which I never seem to notice. There are many other effects I really want back. Thumbnail previews, the cube, even the “light my window on fire when I close it” plugin. Actually that was my favorite.

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