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  • Adam Behringer

    Seattle, Washington USA

    Adam is the founder of BEEDOCS, an artisan software company that makes great timeline software for Mac OS X.

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The Quest for the Ultimate Desktop Background

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I don’t know if any of you obsess about details like this, but it is really important to me that all my computers are tweaked to optimize efficiency. I am not only talking about having fast processors and lots of memory, I mean adjusting the settings so that I can work with minimum distractions and maximum comfort. One of the most noticeable graphics settings on any computer is the desktop background that you choose.

You know, the blue swoop of the Mac or the grassy hill of Windows XP are just not going to cut it. While I like having pictures of my vacations and family on my wall, I find photos to be very distracting behind my work. What I want is the ultimate computer desktop picture.

Let me describe to you the criteria for my perfect background picture.

  • First, it has to be grey. Any other color would clash with some of the content I work with. Grey is the perfect background color for any graphics including web sites, icons, and photos.

  • It can’t be distracting. I need to pay attention to my work, therefore, I need a background that fades into the background. For this reason, I clean all my files and shortcuts off my computer’s desktop at the end of every day.

  • Consistent! I regularly work on three different computers: an Apple PowerMac with 20” monitor which is my main workstation, my Apple PowerBook laptop, and my HP Windows XP machine for Windows software development. It is important to me that all three machines look and work as similar as possible, including the same background image. This not only looks nice but helps me to minimize changes to my work style as I move between machines and operating systems.

  • Look cool. It just doesn’t look cool to have a solid color (grey of course) in the background. I like to have a little texture. I also wanted to put my logo on the screen in a way that doesn’t look distracting, but is nice if I am giving a demo or have one of my computers at a trade-show display.

Here is the best desktop background that I have come up with so far. I created it in Photoshop using various noise, coloration, and blur filters:

I like the subtle fur look and it meets all my criteria. If you would like to download the high resolution version click here (1680 X 1050 - 920kb). It looks best if you center it on your screen with no scaling. Also, if you have multiple computers, the image will look the most consistent if you have scaling turned off.

Let me know if you like it.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Mark PapadakisJuly 06, 2005 1:49 AM

Your desktop image is really great. I am using it instead of the classic Apple, blue one. Thank you for making it available through your site.

Anonymous SvenJuly 07, 2005 5:43 AM

What about this one?

Of course you can Photoshop this with your own logo...

Blogger Adam BehringerJuly 07, 2005 9:09 AM

Sven, that's one is cool but wouldn't it make all the metal windows in Tiger hard to see?

Anonymous AnonymousJuly 07, 2005 2:38 PM

WTF!? That is the UGLIEST wallpaper I have ever seen (and I have a pretty big collection). Just some ugly noise and blur. UGLY! Why can't you use Apple's graphite walls or something? That wallpaper is seriously uglier than a plain gray wall.

Blogger SkyStriderMay 06, 2006 10:31 PM

It's great. I have been using it for the past two months or so and absolutely love it.

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