Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • September 26, 2016, 12:20:51 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?  (Read 2437 times)

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« on: April 23, 2015, 04:37:49 AM »
A while back, Relipse's TranDesk introduced me to the concept of desktop splitters and rocketed to my top 10 list of daily programs (arguably every waking hour!).

Because it's in an odd place (not a Nany), here again is the link:
http://www.donationc...dex.php?topic=4793.0

I tend to really value simple implementations of things that are new to me, so I can let them sink in before scouting what I might want in an advanced tool.

Trandesk is a simple 4-node desktop splitter with pleasant little color coding of the nodes Blue Green Red Yellow. (And you can shuffle them around, possibly requiring Taskbar Shuffle to do it.)

This kind of thing is essential for me because I discovered a few tremendous uses which all interact.

In unclear order of importance:
1. The last node is the "nuclear waste dump" - a key activity flow for me is a screen-shot-er (I got Mouser to add my 1-click killer feature into SC Captor last year), into a Sticky from Tom Revell's Stickies. By itself that flow has rocketed my ability to capture "infostuff" fragments. I tend to leave them all as open stickies sorted into categories of "topics of the week and month" and "parked older stuff". The problem is this threatens to bomb my screen with over a hundred open stickies!
:o

So what I do is simply "park" the master node of Stickies onto my last desktop splitter node. What then happens is the other three nodes (though I try not to do it in all three) can then hold a tightly curated set with the short term projects, and then I just close/re-open Stickies to let them all get carted over to the Dump node. A few other things go there, like Task Manager, Process Explorer, and perhaps a few non-main browser windows of notes. The small downside is this chews up a node.

2. Medical
I am trying to rally my concentration this year, to get established into medical care in New York City. There's just a lot of stuff to do and know. So this swipes up a whole node full of stickies, browsers, and my note taking app MyInfo.

3. "Recreational Campaign" - Things like my Ludum Dare games adventures eat up quite a bit of linked info and notes! So something as big as that basically needs its own node or else I risk getting hopelessly lost!

4. This leaves only one node left for "everything else!"

So I am poking my toe into the water for people's suggestions of *simple* splitters with more nodes. I don't need "full session control" as someone else was saying elsewhere. Just "what I have now but moar nodes!" It's really a plus for Trandesk that it's 1-click" horozontally laid out, and color coded. Unfortunately Relipse said last year he doesn't know where the source code is anymore, and he's no longer around.

So, suggestions? Quick guess says that I don't often need more than 8 nodes, because if I have that much going on, that means I'd be getting over-extended and would simply close stuff down and free up the node as much to "get it out of my head".

Meanwhile, I also have no idea what other interesting things a desktop splitter can do. So I'm in the mood to at least poke at a few suggestions even if it doesn't "win the contest", just to see ideas on how X people tackle the same core function.

Thoughts? Programs? Ben Stein's Money?

(Heh - I just shuffled some stuff and managed to buy myself a little time freeing up a node, but the question remains.)

zzzzzzzzz.png
« Last Edit: April 23, 2015, 12:07:43 PM by mouser, Reason: Had bad terminology »

ayryq

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Points: 101
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2015, 07:20:39 AM »
From the topic title my first thought was WinSplit Revolution, an essential utility for me. But reading your post I guess that's not the sort of thing you're after.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2015, 08:03:32 AM »
WinSplit Revolution

Right, what the splitters do is they completely hide all existing open windows on that node and "pretend" as if you had nothing open at all. It's like getting 2-3 brand new desktop spaces out of thin air.

I think they're more well known to the Linux culture, perhaps a bit less famous on the Windows side.


ayryq

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2009
  • **
  • Points: 101
  • Posts: 217
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2015, 08:12:29 AM »
To clarify this a little, WinSplit Revolution emulates another function I used to have on Linux (from Compiz) which is like a more flexible, keyboard driven "aero snap." So e.g. Ctrl-Alt-6 sizes the active window to the right half of the screen, hit it again and you get the right third of the screen. Every linux distro I've used has had "multiple desktops" out of the box, but I've never been busy or productive enough to need that sort of thing :)

Hopefully someone else will be more helpful.

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,248
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 08:26:02 AM »
Pheonix you are using a term that is confusing.  As aryq points out, when people think of "desktop splitters" they think of tools that divide up your screen into areas for docking applications, like jgpaiva's wonderful GridMove tool.

The more common term for the kind of tool you are looking for is a "Virtual Desktop" tool (less commonly called a "multiple desktop" tool).


TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 09:20:15 AM »
Pheonix you are using a term that is confusing.  As aryq points out, when people think of "desktop splitters" they think of tools that divide up your screen into areas for docking applications, like jgpaiva's wonderful GridMove tool.

The more common term for the kind of tool you are looking for is a "Virtual Desktop" tool (less commonly called a "multiple desktop" tool).

Fair!

The first part of a question ... is to get the right term!

The next part is now that we have this ghacks article "on the stack", then that can help people focus on suggestions that aren't in the article. A couple of them stay to 4 desktops, which I already have, so that narrows a couple of them out, but there's a lot of choices there to think over!


TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2015, 11:20:51 AM »
Okay, Round 1's winner emerged faster than I thought!

(One of) the "right terms" for something crucial for me is something like a "desktop manager" where it lays out little icons for your desktops in a horozontal row and you can just click around on them. Lots of the contenders fizzled out by requiring various hotkeys.

Finestra fizzled out by just having too many strange quirks, one of which crashes the program *while hiding all your data*!? (Because it's stuck on desktop 3 or something when you crashed the program on desktop 1.)
:o

The current winner is Dexpot. So besides being "less quirky" (and dangerous!), another subtle test is how long it takes to draw all those stickies on the far desktop, and Dexpot is pretty fast, even a shade faster than TranDesk. I started with 7 desktops for now but it's pretty easy to just add more. (Though hints of above, if I really need that many open "areas", then my brain will probably be fizzling anyway!

So when people suggest stuff, try to check if it has a nice small horozontal selector like that. I do not need one of the "full screen selectors" at this time because I basically know what's on tabs.

In the new features dept, I didn't have the option to move windows to other desktops back and forth. So that's nice that you get to doing stuff and then realize you mis-sorted your activity collections among the desktops ("Yes, hi Building Superintendent, when is that electrician coming? Great. I'll make a note on my computer...").

Very small quirk - I am going with 7 desktops because the "desktop manager" kinda runs off the edge of my screen and only shows seven. And seven should be enough for a while!!

Also, in the settings/desktop switching/ it's important to me to leave *unchecked* "keep all taskbar buttons visible". I can see how people would want that - I just don't.

So this is a pretty good start!




Innuendo

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,255
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 06:08:30 PM »
I cannot speak to how effective or usable it is, but I seem to recall that if you own an AMD Radeon video card you might want to try out their HydraVision software. I seem to recall it having virtual desktop functionality.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 08:00:51 PM »
I cannot speak to how effective or usable it is, but I seem to recall that if you own an AMD Radeon video card you might want to try out their HydraVision software. I seem to recall it having virtual desktop functionality.

I have an Nvidia GeForce (unless Display Adapter is not what I am supposed to be looking at).


Innuendo

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,255
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2015, 07:25:19 AM »
I have an Nvidia GeForce (unless Display Adapter is not what I am supposed to be looking at).

No, that's exactly what you were supposed to be looking at. It was worth a shot, I guess...surprised Nvidia doesn't have something similar.

TaoPhoenix

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2011
  • **
  • Posts: 4,548
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2015, 07:36:08 AM »

Well I don't think it's worth digging for a while. Dexpot is doing just grandly for me.


wraith808

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 8,266
  • "In my dreams, I always do it right."
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2015, 01:13:02 PM »
I used to use AltDesk when I was concerned about such things. But the lag in switching screens for all products that do the same thing made it more efficient just to get monitors.

But if you're looking for free, these are good articles:

http://listoffreewar...al-desktop-managers/
http://www.ghacks.ne...anagers-for-windows/

MerleOne

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 948
  • 4D thinking
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Favorite Windows Desktop Virtualizers?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2015, 03:40:35 PM »
I remember http://www.otakusoftware.com/ had graphically nice products, haven't used them since a long time...
.merle1.