360 Desktop - gHacks Tech News

360 Desktop

Well I finally got a notification that 360 degree desktop was ready, something I’ve been eagerly awaiting for for a number of months now. I saw a brief preview of it in a PC magazine and was very interested to see it, but you had to sign up and wait on the website. However, you don’t actually need an invitation, you can go right to the website and try it out now.

One big advantage Linux users have over Windows is that Linux has multiple desktop environment’s built right in, Windows doesn’t. Sure you can get applications to get them, but to be honest I’m yet to discover one which does a completely satisfactory job.

360 Desktop was developed to break the desktop out from the ‘box’ we’re accustomed to and instead provide a panoramic desktop looping in three dimensions and hosting widgets and web gadgets.

Give it a little time when you load it up the first time, don’t get annoyed if it lags a little, you’ll find it soon speeds up. Memory usage is pretty low and scrolling the desktop around is smooth and fluent.

You can use the scroll button on the mouse to move across the desktop rapidly, while a little box in the upper-right hand corner notifies you exactly where on the desktop you are.

I'm going to be using it for a few more days before giving my opinion on it as being more, or less productive then the standard desktop.

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Comments

  1. Rarst said on July 9, 2008 at 9:54 pm
    Reply

    >One big advantage Linux users have over Windows is that Linux has multiple desktop environment’s built right in

    How is it an advantage? I never understood multiply desktops even when I was working in Unix. They only increases amount of time and clicks it takes to get from one app to another.

    They may fulfill organizational role but hardly productive one.

    Subject app looks like classic eye-candy – very cute and very useless. :)

  2. Ed Poore said on July 10, 2008 at 3:39 am
    Reply

    @Rarst

    The most useful advantage I found was when I was writing some embedded software under Fedora.

    Desktop 1 – Coding environment & Google etc
    Desktop 2 – Compiling windows (shell)
    Desktop 3 – Uploading (ftp etc)
    Desktop 4 – Testing (web browser, telnet etc)

    I know some of this is redundant when you bring multiple monitors into consideration and programming with Visual Studio etc.

    But with the system I was using the compilation happened in a batch script, the coding in a simple text editor. I.e. everything had to be done more or less manually so having the different desktops allowed me to arrange the windows and flip from one to another with ease depending on what I was doing at the time.

  3. joshua said on July 10, 2008 at 5:23 am
    Reply

    I’m no linux fan, I was just making the comment that its a functionality Windows just doesn’t have :)

    If managed right multiple desktops are far more productive, such as using keyboard shortcuts to navigate between etc.

  4. Rarst said on July 10, 2008 at 8:18 am
    Reply

    >The most useful advantage I found was when I was writing some embedded software under Fedora.

    And where is advantage? How is switching from desktop to desktop is different from switching between these apps? :)

    Multiply desktops may be useful if you need to fit lots of apps on single screen at the same time, but such scenario is extremely rare.

    >I’m no linux fan, I was just making the comment that its a functionality Windows just doesn’t have

    There is Microsoft PowerToy for this, it doesn’t come bundled with Windows but I think it pretty much counts as optional utility from developer.

    >If managed right multiple desktops are far more productive, such as using keyboard shortcuts to navigate between etc

    What prevents using keyboard shortcuts to navigate between apps instead and skip desktops overhead? :) Even more productive.

  5. Ed Poore said on July 10, 2008 at 11:00 am
    Reply

    @Rarst

    The issue is with setting out the layout, you can configure the windows to be side-by-side etc.

    Imagine the simple example where your development window has two windows side-by-side (for want of something else, an editor and a command-prompt to compile things in) and then the debug window has another prompt setup (or program) for uploading the code (e.g. through ftp) and a window (say a browser) for testing it.

    If you use the keyboard shortcuts then you have to flip through them quite a few times to bring those two windows to the front, on linux it’s one combination to bring the required layout into view.

    It makes even more sense the more windows you have in each “configuration”.

  6. Aseem Kishore said on August 9, 2008 at 6:38 am
    Reply

    Also, check out a post I wrote on 360 Desktop. It’s a pretty neat piece of software with a few kinks in it.

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