Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dreamscene -- spruce up your Windows 7 desktop

I'm not really a big Windows 7 user but I do have it installed on a few computers and will admit that it's a lot more usable than previous Microsoft OSes.
Anyway, I came across Dreamscene in a Twitter post yesterday and had to give it a try. Instead of a static desktop background, Dreamscene provides a background with some motion to make your desktop more interesting, if not necessarily any more functional.
However, my first attempts at installing it in Windows 7 Ultimate on a Dell Dimension E520 using this guide were unsucessful.
Nevertheless, this guide did work for me.
This link provides some more detail on how to set a particular video (.wmv format) as your desktop background.
Although you can use your own videos in Dreamscene, there are a lot of suitable videos available in the Dreamscene galleries here and here.
Although Dreamscene looks great, it has some drawbacks. First, my CPU usage which, when not doing anything in particular, is close to 0% will rise to over 30% when Dreamscene is activated. So, this is going to slow down your computer when doing heavy work.
The other problem that I've noticed so far is that text in desktop icons become almost unreadable which may or not be a problem depending on how much you need to read the names of the icons to know which is which.

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