Computers and Internet


I’m trying out an application to provide multiple desktops on my PC with a 3D cube effect for navigating between them. It’s called DeskSpace and was introduced to me by Ben Taylor. Have a look at it in action.

It provides six virtual desktops, one for each side of the cube. A short cut key (for me, Windows+Alt) zooms out to see the cube view whereupon the arrow keys or mouse wheel can be used to rotate the cube. Translucency helps you work out which way to rotate to access your applications. You can also ‘throw’ applications through the edge of one desktop to move them over to another, or quickly navigate to a particular application via a system tray icon.

It’s not a new application. It’s been around for a couple of years, in fact, and possibly as a result it seems quite stable. It works with XP and Vista (plus Vista x64).

Ben and I were talking through how it works. It seems to freeze each desktop into a bitmap image at the point you switch desktops, so updates to another desktop are not visible in the cube (unlike Vista’s card deck Windows-Alt feature). There is also occasional task bar application shuffling when shifting to a new desktop, indicating that it might be selectively hiding applications rather than maintaining multiple desktops in the fashion of multi-monitor desktop extensions.

Not sure how much of a memory hog it is – 4GB of memory sort out most issues – but it is reporting a working set of 150MB (not 150K as I previously stated!)

There’s a 30 day trial and then the per-person (yet multi-machine) licence is currently $24.95 US.

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