PART 13: Secrets of NeoDesk 4 - by Al Fasoldt
Picture This
17 July, 2019 by
PART 13: Secrets of NeoDesk 4 - by Al Fasoldt
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                                                          PART 13: PICTURE THIS 

                                                          Placing a pretty background on the desktop

                                                          The millions of Microsoft Windows users probably rank one feature of Windows near the top in the category of Neat Things Windows Can Do. (We'll skip the Unneat Things Windows Can Do!) It's the desktop background, which can be a pattern or a picture. Windows uses just one kind of graphic file for this background wallpaper, a "BMP" file. (The name stands for "bitmap," but of course lots of other graphics are bitmapped, too.)

                                                          If this is such a Neat Thing, how come Windows users can't do what NeoDesk 4 users can do? NeoDesk 4 can use any BMP file for a background picture, too, or any IMG file, or Degas graphic, or Tiny-format picture ... you get the point. Desktop pictures are a breeze for NeoDesk 4. It even dithers (creates patterns in) color graphics so they can be viewed passably in monochrome. If you have a Falcon or an ST or TT with a graphics card, you should be able to use any 16-color Windows BMP file easily, and may be able to use 256-color BMPs also.

                                                          If you have a favorite picture in a non-supported format such as GIF or JPEG, you can quickly convert GIF and JPG files (and many others) to a NeoDesk-usable format with either Imagecopy 3.5x or GEM-View 3.x. For display sizes larger than ST High Resolution (640X400), IMG files are better choices than BMPs when you are converting pictures because they are quite a bit smaller. 

                                                          Placing a picture of the desktop on the desktop 

                                                          One of the easiest screen tricks any NeoDesk user can pull is taking a snapshot of a typical desktop, using any of the many snapshot utilities available (Imagecopy is superb) and then selecting that snapshot as the background picture for NeoDesk. By altering THAT desktop, which of course includes the representation of the other desktop as the background, and then taking a snapshot of it, you can create another background that looks quite unusual. It could have, for example, 14 open windows showing (seven for each desktop) even when you have no windows open on the real desktop. As you can see, there is no limit to the number of times you can do this.

                                                          You could also take a snapshot of the original Atari desktop and use that as a NeoDesk background, if you find yourself longing for the bad old days. 

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