I just had an idea, similar to the Atmosphere concept (good picture here) from the My Dream App contest. It’s an added wrinkle, actually. Your desktop changes your wallpaper and window theme based on whether you’re at work or not. Yeah? Yeah? Yeah.

No, really. Just imagine it. It’s mainly neat for people who use the same system at home and for work. So you get up in the morning, and let’s say there’s a picture of a cup of coffee and a newspaper — with functioning news feeds. God, I’m a genius. Then it rolls around to the time when work starts. A cartoon work whistle blows. Suddenly your desktop resembles a cubicle wall, featuring a randomly selected Dilbert cartoon and a humorous or sentimental clipping of your own choice1. If you use MacOS2, the interface for all applications now looks like Windows 98. Access is restricted to all websites except Noon comes. A dialog appears, asking if you “brownbagged it today”, or if you want Rich down the hall to include you in his lunch run to Wendy’s. An old-fashioned TV with rabbit ears airs all the relevant clips from last night’s Dancing with the Stars for you to talk about in the lunch room. Okay, and then at 5:30, your desktop just goes crazy. It becomes a total disco inferno, with wacky strobing special effects and fake confetti and everything. Like, for a minute. And then it becomes this chill space jazz lounge, with cool relaxing music…

I sorted of pissed on this, but it might actually be cool to have your desktop bring up certain programs at different times of the day, and maybe use different configurations based on whether you’re in work-mode or not.

Update: I am a stupid idea god. This article says that Apple filed a patent for this. Ahem: “For example, the color gradation may be computed based on the time of day to mimic the changes in the colors of the sky.” This is kind of a bullshit thing to patent, btw.


  1. No, it doesn’t look like a physical desktop. That would be stupid. [back]
  2. or Ubuntu, yo. [back]