Chris's computer desktop
I won't inline an image of my SGI Indy's desktop, however tempting it is.
That horror I'll save for later (when I have imagemaps working), so for
now you'll have to manually fetch a
image of it from my SGI. Well, as manually as a click on the
world-wide web ever is. If 320K makes you wince, you should know that
it's a 1280 by 1024 picture with at least 256 colours.
I admit that this is a somewhat more cluttered desktop than I usually
have; I deliberately opened up a couple of extra windows. It is typical
of what my desktop looks like when I'm busy flailing away at something
or - system administration being system administration - flailing away
at several somethings simultaneously.
In which we tour a desktop
In the future this will be an imagemap. But on the web, many things are
in the future. For the present you get a manual explanation of various
harmony. Follow along with a separate window full of the image (I use
xli on my machine, but your mileage may differ).
Invisible under the main exmh window is another 9term window from
which I'm running snapshot and running programs to convert
the SGI specific format it saves things in to JPEGs.
- The background is, yes, a full-screen (1280x1024) image; this one
is of Kiki from the Japanese anime of the same name. It's somewhat
scaled down from the
original (1 meg JPEG). Because I wanted to show
things off you can't hardly see anything of it.
- Down the top left side are a bunch of xload windows monitoring
some of the servers I sysadmin and my local machine. I have no idea
why my SGI machine periodically claims its load average is 1; it's
- Taking up the lower left is my
session, which at the time I composed this snapshot I happened to
be using to read the bugtraq mailing list. Unfortunately you can't
see any of the spiff features for dealing with MIME mail since that
message is just plain text (not even PGP-signed). Exmh's separate
folder list is iconified up in the upper right.
- In the lower right hand corner is a
9term window in which,
typically, I am getting patches from SGI. That's what the iconified
netscape session in the top center of the screen is also about.
Naturally the security patch I wanted wasn't available through
SGI's web based patches list, so I had to use ftp.
- Above the 9term window is a just-created root xterm; note
the use of alarming red to make it stand out. I will shortly
use this root session to move my screen snapshot to the ftp
- Moving up the right side is the special SGI utility used to
take screen snapshots. Why do you need a special SGI utility to
do this? Because my SGI has multiple hardware colourmaps, which
OpenGL applications like
(a nice sysadmin tool for showing the memory breakdown of your system) use.
Normal X window/screen capture utilities (which expect a single active
colourmap) can save bogus colours for some windows.
- In the top right corner is xpostit's main window. Xpostit's notes
are all iconified in a twm icon box, which you can spot over at the left
just besides the the bottom of the server.esc xload.
The xclock besides
it is both boring and expected.
- Taking up most of the top is an icon box that holds all my xterms.
The *** in front of the top leftmost one indicates that it's
gotten output since it was iconified. The names generally tell me what
the particular xterm is, although they may be just cryptic to you.
- Below the xterm icon box is a long row of xruns, one for
machine that I routinely want to create various sorts of windows on.
Each is actually running on the applicable machine with my environment
fully initialized, so a properly set up 9term or xterm is
only a mouse
- I stash general icons in the open space below the xpostit icon
box (and the row of xruns); occupying the space at the time I composed
this are the aforementioned iconified netscape, my always running
tkman session, the SGI cd
player (the untitled icon - shame on you, SGI), and a volume control
panel for the SGI's audio; the latter two would
look like this
were they deiconified, and sit in the lower left hand corner. As a bonus
you can see a rare twm control tab on the audio control panel and
some more of my background.
Why do you need a volume control panel for your SGI's audio anyways?
I'm glad you asked. I need a volume control up while I'm playing CDs
because I'm not playing them through any headphone jack on the CD-ROM
drive itself (it's an SGI one; in the usual SGI fashion it doesn't
have a headphone jack). Instead I'm playing my CDs across the
SCSI bus to the SGI and then out through the SGI's own digital audio
system. I find this spiffy, which may just make me a techno-weenie.
Why do most of your windows not have titlebars?
Well, um. What do I need them for?
That's actually the serious answer. I have almost all the necessary window
manager functions bound to function keys or mouse buttons plus various
modifier keys (the remaining unbound function is window destruction, which
I consider too dangerous to put on a key). I don't need the window title;
applications are either pretty unique looking or have labels inside the
window (observe that my shell prompt contains the hostname). Additionally,
xterms show their title in their icon box and if one has the input
focus its icon box is highlighted.
This means that all window manager titlebars would do for me is eat
up valuable screen real estate. I like to use my screen real estate
for interesting things, not redundant things.