Loading a desktop with DesktopX (Newbies #15)

Cordelia's Corner for the Complete No0b #15

Thursday, July 7, 2005 by Cordelia | Discussion: Tutorials

Today's topic is loading a DesktopX 3.0 desktop. A DesktopX desktop is basically a snapshot of your desktop. It can be a desktop you've arranged with all of the widgets and objects you like displayed in a pleasing manner (or a displeasing manner, if you have a taste for suffering. Who am I to judge?).


It might also be something that has been set up for "fun" - I'll have to look up this "fun" word when I'm done here. Perhaps someone could provide me with a tutorial on "fun"?


And finally, a desktop might be a secure environment that restricts the user to a limited number of functions. Why would anyone want to do this, you ask? Well, what if you have small children and want to restrict their access to certain programs/folders on the computer. Admittedly, many 5 year olds know more about computers than I do, but it is still possible to restrict them.



Let's see some examples of this. Here is a screenshot of my current desktop.




Now I open DesktopX and click on Load Desktop...



There are 2 desktops that currently come with DesktopX 3.0. The first one is a game called "Keepie Ups" and it looks like this (click on thumbnail for a larger view).  If I click on that soccer ball, the game tallies how long I can keep it in the air. You can see my pathetic score in the upper right and left corner of the screen. I don't feel bad, though - I've always sucked at any sport other than self-loathing or running away.

The next desktop is the "Guest" desktop. Have family coming over for a visit? Will they all be clamoring to use your computer? Load this desktop and restrict their access to your files. One button takes them to the Internet, and the other can be set up to take them to a program they can use - perhaps "Word". Simply right-click on the "My Program" icon and set the link to go to the program you want.


Notice that any widgets or programs you have running when you set the desktop will remain active and visible after you set the desktop.


This desktop is not secure. This desktop would be perfect for my mother (whom I love very much, but who is a technophobe), however most small children will have this desktop unloaded in a matter of seconds. Truly secure desktops can be created with DesktopX Enterprise Edition, but that is well beyond the scope of this article.


If you want to unload the desktop, just right-click on the background and select "load desktop". You get this dialog box and you can choose from any of the 3 desktops. Notice the picture on the "classic" desktop. My guess is that it does not look like your desktop. That's ok, select that one and you will go back to how your desktop was before you changed it.


And that, my friends, is all there is to loading an already made desktop. Making your own is a whole other article. Probably the next one .


If you don't have DesktopX 3.0 you can get it here.



This link will take you to the FAQ page for DesktopX. It's quite possible that I am leaving a lot of questions unanswered in this tutorial, and it's not because I don't like you. (I do, believe me.). It's a very complicated program, and it seems to me that if you can imagine it, you can create it with DesktopX. My little tutorials are just for beginners, no0bies, greenhorns...etc.


Check out the other Newbie Tutorials here:  #1: Intro.#2: WindowBlinds, Part 1, #3: WindowBlinds, Part 2, #4: Screenshots, #5: IconPackager, #6: Wallpaper Basics; #7: Logon Studio; #8: CursorXP; #9: BootSkin; #10: RightClick#12: WindowBlinds Advanced; #13: DesktopX 3.0: Loading Widgets; #14: Loading Objects with DesktopX 


My Desktop:

Skin: Encoded by PixelPirate (It's new, and it's awesome)

Cursors: Encoded by PixelPirate (Keeping with the theme)

Wall: Simplicity by Nerio (Ok, I've used it before, but I can't help it: it's good and it just goes with a lot of stuff!)

Icons: Icon-A-Day by mormegil (was there any question what I'd be running?)

Reply #1 Saturday, July 16, 2005 9:41 AM
Hi, your articals are the only thing I go looking for on this entire forum. Do you need to do anything to your weather thingy to keep it working working? For some reason I have to re-load DirectX to keep mine working.
The real question I had in mind here is why aren't all objects made into widgets? Should you use one or the other if you know you want it there all the time?

I try to shut my comp down in stand-by when ever I can. It seems like as long as I keep DesktopX loaded NO more than 3 days, my system won't crash (I have 1 GB of memory to play with). Should I be unloading DesktopX every time I shut down?

And since they do crash, I'm afraid to make any to share. I'm also hoping the next topic will help me with this.
Reply #2 Tuesday, July 19, 2005 12:56 PM

Akicetrek - thanks for your kind words.

Weather widget: DirectX shouldn't have anything to do with a widget, do you mean DesktopX? In terms of the function of the widget it all depends on which widget you are using and where it's stored. The default widget should use information from the registry and the internet to get you the correct weather. Perhaps you are not online when you launch the widget?

Crashing system - check the objects you are running. There may be an object that is written with a memory leak - it might not be DX directly, it could be a widget. You could start checking by turning the widget off and seeing if you have the same problem. You can also just restart DX as you go. It takes about 20 seconds and it will refresh any memory issues.

You should not need to unload DX each time you shut down. If you are actually shutting down DX will also shut down. If you are suspending then it will continue to run.

I can't help you with making proper widgets - or even improper widgets. I just have no idea! If you make a widget properly it shouldn't crash. If you have made the widget properly and it still crashes and you think it's a bug in DX then please report it to me, to support@ stardock.com or stop by #stardock irc channel and report it there (server.stardock.com, port 6667).

Finally, regarding the object vs. widget issue - I plan to write something about that soon. Check back again next week!


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