Tag: Desktop

Windows Quick Tip – How to hide desktop icons

I first learned Windows could hide desktop icons after answering Help Desk tickets. I would get calls and emails from people saying, ALL OF MY FILES ARE GONE!!! When I would get to their desk, sure enough, their desktop would be empty. Completely empty.

Now there are some people who keep a clean desktop, but even they have a couple of icons there. A folder or shortcut to something they often use. Or they’ve got a shortcut they’re unable to remove due to the lack of admin rights.

There are also uses for hiding the desktop’s icons. When I want to record a screen cast or capture screenshots without the clutter of my desktop, I will hide the icons to give it a much cleaner look.

Whether you’re trying to answer a help desk ticket, or simply want a clean desktop, it’s very simple to hide them.

Hide desktop icons

  1. Right click on your Desktop.
  2. Select View
  3. Under the drop down menu, uncheck Show desktop icons
  4. Enjoy an empty desktop.

To bring them back, repeat the first two steps and click Show desktop icons so there is a check mark next to them.

And now you know how to hide Windows desktop icons.

Of Desktops and Writing Environments

I can’t use a desktop anymore. Growing up and all through college I used a desktop. It’s all I had and all I used. When I wanted to compute, I sat at my computer and I computed. Sitting in a chair, at my desk, in my room.

Now, I can’t bring myself to be tethered to the desk. I have a couple of desktop computers around my apartment. They mostly sit and do repetitive tasks which need always-on and always-connected status. They download files and backup data. They keep my information safe. They sit and serve. They are not what I used everyday. They are not the device I reach for when I get home.

At work I have a desktop still, primarily because there’s no “business reason” for me to have a laptop ((If you ignore the netbook the company bought me as a test group to see whether it was worth getting for other employees. It’s not.)) and that works out.

When I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit down at another desk. I rather grab my iPad or a laptop and sit on the couch or out on the balcony, or even lounge in bed with comfy pillows. Sitting at a desk is constricting. I can’t sit next to my wife and be with her. I can’t interact with her because I’m stuck in a single place.

I prefer the mobility of laptops and the iPad. It fits my lifestyle. It fits who I am and what I want to do.

What I reach for when I arrive home all depends on what I want to do. The iPad is mainly for reading. When I want to read, 90% ((Not counting Instapaper reading time)) of the time I pop open the Kindle app and dive into the latest book I’ve borrowed from Lendle.

In that remaining 10% I turn to iBooks and read one of the PDFs or free eBooks I’ve downloaded. I will fill my water bottle and settle into a comfortable place and watch the pages fly by.

When I am in the mood to write I reach for a laptop. Even then, there is some question about what I grab. If I want to write ((as I am now)) and not be distracted or have to lug a heavy weight with me, the Google CR-48 Chromebook it is. It is super light and has great battery life. ((Currently 7 hours remaining at 92%))

I will open a new window and start making the clackity noise in either Simplenote or my new love, Pillarbox.

When I want to do more serious writing which requires research, referencing and piles of tabs and notes I reach for my main laptop, a Lenovo T61 ((I yearn for the day when I can afford a MacBook again)). It is a serviceable machine. WIndows 7 works well enough though it is no Mac OS.

I turn to Windows only when I need to get serious work done. Usually this means I will open Simplenote in half the screen and WriteMonkey on the other half. It is not the “distraction-free” nature of the writing environments that draws me to them, it is their simplicity and stark design. I like having a color palette other than black text on white background. I like the ability to see the word count and little else.

I can stay on task well enough, flipping between my Simplenote notes and Writemonkey’s clean, dark backdrop to my words. I write in Markdown so I prefer plain text to any fancy WYSIWYG editors. I am a big fan of simplicity and portability since I am a very nomadic writer and often use my iPhone to write on my commute. ((I write far more on the iPhone than I do the iPad, even with the external keyboard))