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  1. #1
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    A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    I've had a brilliant idea that would improve the Windows interface, one that would make better use of the desktop. I was wondering if someone's already invented it, either as an add-on, or as part of another (failed? forgotten?) OS. It's this:

    It ought to be possible to create resizable boxes or partitions on the desktop, where one could hold icons. They would be like folders, in the sense that they would hold items, and windows in the way they could be resized, although they could be made in polygonal or L-shapes to fit the space required. They would be like toolbars in the way they could be moved around, docked and closed and opened. However, they couldn't rest on each other and obscure one another, They would simply be places to put things on the desktop so they wouldn't be moved or obscured if you moved other ones like them. You could also write on them, like post-it notes, in emergencies. I'm sure someone could think up more uses for them.

    I'd call these 'corrals', for want of a better word. They'd be like desktop organizers on the real desktop. Has anyone already invented this particular wheel, or am I the first to think of them?

  2. #2
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    Hi Andrew,

    Do you mean something like the program groups that used to clutter the desktop under Win 3.0-3.11? Trues, they were limited to rectangular shapes, but other than that, they were re-sizeable and re-locatable.

    You might be surprised to learn that the same program groups exited under Win 9.x, and possibly under NT/2K/XP also. Only difference was that you normally couldn't see them. I believe there is/was a registry setting that can/could cause them to display, though. That may be one way of creating to a 'corral', as you call it, on the desktop.

    Cheers

    Everything changes but everything stays the same ...
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by TimOz on 19-Feb-03 15:17. Added links & WT2)</P>Program Manager is still alive & well (?). If you want to have a play with it run "progman.exe". The help in it tells you more about it's intricacies.

    There are also desktop managers of various flavours around, that may give similar functionality, although not exactly as described. I used to use WinTidy95 with W98 so I could switch between different icon layouts for different activities. Another type, like the Virtual Desktop Manager (see <!post=PowerToys for XP, 135109 >PowerToys for XP<!/post>), lets you switch between desktops (4 with VDM, others support more).

    Just discovered <!post= WinTidy 2, 88066 > WinTidy 2<!/post>, for NT based systems.
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
    <img src=/S/flags/Finland.gif border=0 alt=Finland width=30 height=18> <img src=/S/flags/Australia.gif border=0 alt=Australia width=30 height=18>

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    I was familiar with Program Manager (mostly forgotten about it now). However, it's limited to icons, and you can thrust windows off the side, amongst other things. My 'corrals' would have full windows open in them, and they'd have 'hard edges' so you'd be unable to accidentally move a window partially off-screen. And they'd be more or less invisible (unless you switched on the gridlines) and wouldn't take up any space such as title bars or menus. Oh, and you'd be able to write in the 'sand' floor of the corral, allowing you to keep notes.

    Another idea is they would gradually fade out windows that were behind other windows (Z-order, is that the name?) so you could tell roughly how far away from the top a window is.

    Incidentally, is there a public forum where one can make these sort of 'wishlist' suggestions? I don't suppose this is the right place, is it? I've tried emailing ideas in the past to Microsoft, but it's a black hole - you get a token acknowledgement, but never any helpful feedback (unlike here!)

    Cheers
    Andrew

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    Sounds to me like we would benefit from YOU learning how to "program" (unless you already know how). Could we possibly get your employer to send you to programming school? <img src=/S/clever.gif border=0 alt=clever width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    I'm unaware of any genuine effective MS wishlist forum. It should be easy to find though. Just the number of staff to handle the "incoming" should be about the population of a small country, and hard to hide. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    <font face="Comic Sans MS" color="blue">TimOz</font>
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  7. #7
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    OK guys, it's time to come back down to Earth. Windows has enough problems doing what it's supposed to now, without giving it any more reasons to crash and burn. <img src=/S/bouncenburn.gif border=0 alt=bouncenburn width=31 height=31> But it would be nice.

  8. #8
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    Have you tried any the address's listed at http://register.microsoft.com/contactus30/....microsoft.com/

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    Well, yes, the 'product suggestion' link was the black hole I alluded to. The problem is, there's no feedback from that particular input, save for a form reply of thanks. I'm not looking for reward or appreciation - rather, I wanted to be sure that they understand what I'm driving at. Unlike here on WOPR, where at least I had a second bite of explaining myself - although I suppose on WOPR it's perhaps an audience more sympathetic and understanding than influential!

  10. #10
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    Believe me, if they did NOT understand or needed more information they (MS) would have contacted you. You will find that there is a large department that goes through each and every message and is sent on to the correct division. YES, they are read and are in the system. Your suggestion MAY never be incorporated, but it is read, it may just not fit their plans.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  11. #11
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    Re: A brilliant idea for Windows desktops

    Have you ever taken a look at DesktopX?
    -Mark

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