How to get Virtual Desktops on Windows (with different icons on each desktop)

Today, I’ll share a tip on Windows OS, which is having several desktops available, with different programs – as well as icons  – on each one.

Tired of my Windows desktop bloated of icons, I searched for a solution

Getting used to Linux for 1 year now, I found Windows increasingly frustrating, not able to get a simple and efficient solution like every Mac or Linux user are used to. To that end, I searched how to work it out on a Windows 7 build, and get a similar result for 2 reasons:

  1. my desktop was crowded with unncessary icons, like with ebooks to read later, last music I found interesting, or pictures
  2. it’s a big productivity gain to have dedicated desktops, for instance one for each part of a daily job – all with a unique desktop folder for the same user.

Dexpot looked like a good one

Seaching over the net, I found Dexpot, a german freeware solution for personal use (but paying for freelancer, business and ngo). As a personal user it’s really nice. Basically Dexpot allows a Win 7/8 user to have several desktops with programs in each virtual desktop, totally separated like a VM.

Switching between Virtual Desktops

Dexpot bar

Dexpot bar

In the above screenshot, you see dextop at right, with 1 selected, as for 1st desktop. This icon can be mouse clicked to change between each desktop. That’s simple. Keyboard shortcuts are fully cusomizable too.

Move icons manually in your Windows user folder

Most of the time, you can move icons between Virtual Desktops inside Dexpot. But I got some trouble with some icons, so here is a good tip.

In your Windows user directory (c:\users\yourname\) you now have “Desktop 1, 2, 3, 4”, one folder for each desktop. You can just move icons from the regular Windows desktop folder (Desktop 1) to each of the others. The GUI doesn’t always recognize them, so I prefer this manual way.

To make it work at every Windows start

After you setup Dexpot, don’t forget to right click icon > settings > automatic launch at Windows startup.

It’s one of my best productivy saver for years. I now have 4 desktops, each one with different icons on my PC. With no performance hit at all. If you use it often, feel free to buy it to support developers.

What is a lobby? Good definition with Japan Robot Association (JRA)

Basics of a Japanese Innovation

Conglomerate

Formulation of basic policies for the robot industry and realization of industry aspirations

The Association formulates basic policies and programs designed to promote the development of the robot industry, and develops vision statements for the industry. The Association also lobbies for the creation of government policies and to encourages research and development into robots and promote greater use of robots and the introduction of preferential measures that provide tax breaks and financing for this purpose.

Industry promotion

The Association is actively involved in a range of promotional activities including research and survey reports, robot industry journal, press releases, and a website on the Internet.
The Association also stages two exhibitions – the International Robot Exhibition and the Electronic Manufacturing Process Technology Exhibition – to provide a forum for the presentation of new products and technology.

Market surveys

The Association conducts surveys on ordering, production and shipments of robots and robot systems.

Promoting standardization

The Association promotes standardization in the robot industry by drafting Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS), preparing JARAS (Japan Robot Association Standards) and conducting deliberations on ISO/TC 184/SC2.

Promoting research and development

The Association identifies salient research and development topics and issues in the robot and robot system industry, and promotes research and development.

Promoting personal robots

The Association, in conjunction with the Personal Robot Council, helps to promote research and development of personal robots and encourage greater usage of same by developing suitable strategies and programs and studying ongoing trends in technology and research and development.

Promoting construction robots

The Association, through the Construction Robot Research Council, plans symposiums on construction robots, participates in international symposiums in this subject, and carries out studies related to such robots. The Association is making efforts to increase the efficiency of symposiums related to construction robots, to promote R&D in this field, and to conduct international studies and activities to encourage the use of such robots.

Avoiding ethical issues

Like a sharp reader would have noticed, all questions about robot soul and right to self-determine are eluded, as long as it creates more job in the VERY short-term for a global conglomerate. Of course, apart business, what harm could do an army of titane dolls?

How to quickly add a modal box in your HTML page – with style

A recent use case I got was,  “put a modal box very quickly in place in a web page”, kinda 10 minutes. And while we’re working at it, not too creepy in terms of design.

Step 1: Using  a recent Jquery version in the <head> of page

Google CDN works fine for bootstrapping, so let’s insert this, as long as you put it inside the <head> of your page, and the first to load (always load Jquery.js as first Javascript library in the head):

<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.0/jquery.min.js"></script>

Step 2: Download Jquery modal box, host it and include it in the <head> after Jquery

Depending on how you downloaded and hosted Jquery modal, your <head> should look like this:

<head>
<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.0/jquery.min.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/jquery.modal.css" />
<script src="js/jquery.modal.min.js"></script>
</head>

Step 3: Use Jquery modal box with any link in page, in the <body>

<body>
<p><a href="#sample" rel="modal:open">Open Modal</a></p>
<div id="sample" style="display:none;"><p>Thanks for clicking. That felt good. <a href="#" rel="modal:close">Close</a> or press ESC</p></div>
</body>

That’s it. From there, you can pull a modal box to any link in page, as long as you use rel=”modal:open” on the link, tied to a hidden <div> in page, hidden by default with CSS style (display:none;). It also works with a full external html page.

Step 4: Final result and demo

<!doctype html>

<head>
<script src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.0/jquery.min.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/jquery.modal.css" />
<script src="js/jquery.modal.min.js"></script>
</head>

<body>
<p><a href="#sample" rel="modal:open">Open Modal</a></p>
<div id="sample" style="display:none;"><p>Thanks for clicking. That felt good. <a href="#" rel="modal:close">Close</a> or press ESC</p></div>
</body>

</html>

I put a working demo there.

A simple yet powerful modal box, open to customization

As seen on author page and above, you should get a nifty box opening right in center of page, and putting a shadow on the rest as long as you don’t close it.

sample-modalThis handy Jquery plugin is also fairly customizable – to add forms, buttons and the like – you also have a dedicated css to customize it. So, I invite you to check docs on author page or Github.

Feel free to comment if you have questions, I’ll try my best to answer.