Home From The Field Active Desktops: Wait, do people actually use this?


  1. back in the day I had it set up so that I had a command-prompt as my desktop background. Well, really just a proxy for the real command-prompt, but still.

  2. build a logon-screen in HTML/flash. Hide the taskbar + Icons. Build your flash like this: someone tries to login. Let the Screen Flash red and the text: nuclear bomb engaged or so (mine was: clearing backup drive) Made that once. My boss nearly killed me.

  3. When I used it back in the days, I created an html-page with all the critical phone numbers and mailto addresses to this and that (worked in a call center referring or connecting people to just about everywhere). Was actually very useful!

  4. During a specific problem we had with two traffic load balancers, I set up a web page that queried the relevant parameters via SNMP and printed them in miniscule type on the same background colour as my desktop – green if they were OK and red if they were not – refreshing every 10 minutes. Then I put that page as a 10 x 50 active desktop element right above the system clock. After about two weeks we got a software fix, so I removed the page and never used active desktop again. 🙂


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