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Make more elbow room on the desktop

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:01 AM

Post your comments for Make more elbow room on the desktop here
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#2 User is offline   tmilovan 

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  Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:18 AM

Had the same problem on my Macbook. Hence I built this :): http://www.project-desktops.com. It lets you create a desktop folder per project (shameless plug I know :)).
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#3 User is offline   Greyland 

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  Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:31 AM

For the files that I access on a regular basis, that I want on the desktop, I put into a folder on the desktop. Now, these can be the actual files themselves, or an alias. In either case I have fast, easy access to them. And being in a folder doesn't slow down my mac when it starts up.
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#4 User is offline   dwcowell 

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  Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

Hmmm. What if you use something like Tinkertool or Onyx to disable the desktop?
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#5 User is offline   dwcowell 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:38 AM

View Postdwcowell, on 29 February 2012 - 10:34 AM, said:

Hmmm. What if you use something like Tinkertool or Onyx to disable the desktop?


To clarify: I was referring to avoiding the slowdown due to many files on the desktop.
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#6 User is offline   imjeffp 

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  Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:05 AM

I thought the "stuff on the desktop slows down your Mac" was out of date?
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#7 User is offline   technologist 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

View Postimjeffp, on 29 February 2012 - 11:05 AM, said:

I thought the "stuff on the desktop slows down your Mac" was out of date?

Pretty much. That was true a decade ago, before Quartz Extreme, but not today.

On the other hand, icon previewing (where icons show thumbnails of documents) can be a drag if you have a lot of images or movies on your desktop. In that case, you can just un-check "Show icon preview" for the desktop itself.

This post has been edited by technologist: 29 February 2012 - 11:19 AM

And now a word from our lawyers.
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#8 User is offline   clivex 

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  Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:22 AM

The only icons I ever have on my desktop are for mounted volumes.

Why would you keep loads of files and folders on the desktop?
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#9 User is offline   Chris Breen 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:27 AM

View Posttechnologist, on 29 February 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

Pretty much. That was true a decade ago, before Quartz Extreme, but not today.


Nuh uh. Try packing your desktop with a hundred icons and see what happens.

#10 User is offline   tmilovan 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 11:34 AM

View Postclivex, on 29 February 2012 - 11:22 AM, said:

The only icons I ever have on my desktop are for mounted volumes.

Why would you keep loads of files and folders on the desktop?


If you keep on it your current and unprocessed files (mostly documents that require my attention for some reason) as I do, you get a great overview on what still has to be done. It's a great "on glance" indicator in how much trouble you are at the moment :)).
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#11 User is offline   technologist 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:29 PM

View PostChris Breen, on 29 February 2012 - 11:27 AM, said:

View Posttechnologist, on 29 February 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

Pretty much. That was true a decade ago, before Quartz Extreme, but not today.


Nuh uh. Try packing your desktop with a hundred icons and see what happens.


I just made a hundred duplicates of an empty folder, another hundred duplicates of a text clipping, and twenty duplicates of an RTF file. Plus I have about a dozen other random files on my desktop. I've got two 1080p displays, and I'm running out of desktop to spread them out on. Of course, I have icon previewing off and item info off.


And I've got nine apps open in the background, including Outlook, six Safari windows, Eclipse, XCode, and BBEdit. I'm using about 25% of a quad-core iMac's cycles. Everything just hums right along.
I just band-boxed a bunch of them, hit Open, and watched the Finder spew windows onto the display. Ridiculously, machine-gun fast. Then I band-boxed the whole lot and dragged them to the Trash. Absolutely no lag, dragging those 200+ translucent icons around all at once.


Try it for yourself.
And now a word from our lawyers.
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#12 User is offline   Chris Breen 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:38 PM

View Posttechnologist, on 29 February 2012 - 12:29 PM, said:

Try it for yourself.


Wrong test. Custom icons with icon preview on. And don't just make files and toss them out, live with your Mac for awhile with a desktop cluttered with these kinds of files. You'll find that it's pokier than it is with a clean desktop.

#13 User is offline   bastion 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 12:49 PM

View Posttechnologist, on 29 February 2012 - 12:29 PM, said:

View PostChris Breen, on 29 February 2012 - 11:27 AM, said:

View Posttechnologist, on 29 February 2012 - 11:18 AM, said:

Pretty much. That was true a decade ago, before Quartz Extreme, but not today.


Nuh uh. Try packing your desktop with a hundred icons and see what happens.


I just made a hundred duplicates of an empty folder, another hundred duplicates of a text clipping, and twenty duplicates of an RTF file. Plus I have about a dozen other random files on my desktop. I've got two 1080p displays, and I'm running out of desktop to spread them out on. Of course, I have icon previewing off and item info off.


The problem with your test is that the two things that dominated it - folders and text clippings - are somewhat exceptional in that both of them have their icons found very quickly. You'd see different results if you had done hundreds of copies of that RTF.
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#14 User is offline   technologist 

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:20 PM

View PostChris Breen, on 29 February 2012 - 12:38 PM, said:

Wrong test. Custom icons with icon preview on....

View Postbastion, on 29 February 2012 - 12:49 PM, said:

The problem with your test is that the two things that dominated it - folders and text clippings - are somewhat exceptional in that both of them have their icons found very quickly. You'd see different results if you had done hundreds of copies of that RTF.
Right, right, if you completely ignore what I said in this thread, beginning with my very first post, about turning icon preview off, then having large numbers of icons on your desktop will cause a slowdown. Because it's not the number of icons that causes the slowdown at all; it's the thumbnail generation (and updating) that slows things down, because that part can't be GPU accelerated.

So, for the dozenth time, so long as you have icon preview off, performance will not degrade noticeably how many hundreds of items you put on your Desktop

This post has been edited by technologist: 29 February 2012 - 02:30 PM

And now a word from our lawyers.
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