PART 19: Secrets of NeoDesk 4 - by Al Fasoldt
Desktop Tricks
17 July, 2019 by
PART 19: Secrets of NeoDesk 4 - by Al Fasoldt
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                                                          PART 19: DESKTOP TRICKS   

                                                          What, no icons?

                                                          Among your alternative NeoDesk configurations can be one that presents a blank desktop or one that shows nothing but a desktop background picture. The only item visible on such a desktop is the main GEM menu bar. This is a neat little trick, one that you will not see on many computers under Windows, OS/2 or the Macintosh Finder -- nor, of course, on other Ataris.

                                                          Every experienced Atari user knows the apparent drawback of a desktop with absolutely no icons. Because no device icons are installed, there is no way to access any files.

                                                          Actually, this is not the case. The only thing you can't do is click on a drive icon. You CAN drop down the "Options" menu and load another configuration, however, and you can run any macro.

                                                          So the way to do this is to create an alternative desktop that has no icons on it. Delete all of them by selecting them in a group, pressing Control-D and then clicking on the "Remove" box, and then saving that desktop under a unique name. I suggest NEOBLNK3.INF for an ST high-resolution desktop, for example. (The "3" indicates ST hi-res, following official Atari practice for GDOS device names.) Then record a macro that loads that desktop information file. Make sure you have another macro that restores your standard desktop. 

                                                          Where's my trash can?

                                                          Another nifty trick is to take the trash can out of the desktop for those times when inexperienced users are going to work or play at your Atari. NeoDesk 4 still provides a way of deleting files without dragging them to the trash can (through a keyboard combination and by dragging files to the trash can icon within each window), but your data will be safer if your desktop trash can is stowed away. Again, make sure you have a macro that will reload the standard desktop. 

                                                          Just a couple of choices

                                                          Another trick is to create an alternative desktop that has only a few icons in it, perhaps just the icons for a basic word processor, a spelling checker and a telecommunications program. New users who become confused by too many choices will find such a desktop very friendly. 

                                                          It's up to you

                                                          Perhaps the best neat trick of all is to use your imagination to set up your NeoDesk 4 desktop in a way that suits you best. You're the judge of what you want; do it your way, and by all means make it fun.

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