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Windows – Tab

01/19/2010

Compiz-Fusion
Compiz-Fusion

When i’m using the computer i like to frequently switch between windows. Between reading and writing, surfing and more surfing, garageband and itunes. There are a lot of things i switch between.

On my netbook i am running windows 7 and i have been enamored with it. It’s fast, juicy looking, function; but Microsoft has not effectively addressed people like me, with OW-ADD, Open Windows ADD. On a typical windows computer there is one available desktop and you windows are either piled on top of each other on that desktop.

When windows first dropped this was an incredible feature, “multi-tasking” and basking in the pile of windows. But both linux and Apple’s OS X both deal with open windows and desktop management much more effectively.

Earlier today i was opening up some windows for google chrome. I wanted one to be my blog writing and research window, one for some options trading research i wanted to do and itunes. As i’m opening the windows i start using “windos-tab” the little window tool that lets you tab through your windows and select one. I was having trouble figuring out how many windows i opened because the feature cycles the windows. It does not show you all the windows at once so if you have 5 windows that look the same you cannot tell if there are 5 windows or 7 the way they are presented to you one at a time and keep recycling from the back. It looks like an infinite train of windows moving across your desktop.

Linux and Mac OS X both have addressed this kind of desktop management and windows switching MUCH more effectively. Apple computers have 2 features which i use religiously, virtual desktops and expose. Virtual desktops allow you to place windows on different “Desktops” so you can look at all your files in one desktop then switch to another where you are browsing the internet and another where you are using photoshop to edit some photos. You can also zoom out and look at all of your virtual desktops and expose them.

Expose arranges all of your windows so you can see them all at the same time. No flipping through windows one at a time trying to figure out which one is which. IT shows them all, you select one and it pops to the front and you go back to working. I have it set up so when i press the scroll wheel on my mouse i can expose all my windows. Very convenient.

Mac OS X Expose

Most mainstream linux distributions also come with a handy program called compiz-fusion which allows you to manage multiple desktops, make them the sides of a cube which you can spin around and has expose functionality and allows you to move windows between desktops (as does OS X) and both options also give you live views, so your video keeps playing, you can look at something else while hulu shows commercials etc. I find the live view in windows 7 to be lacking.

I have been toying with the idea of going back to dual-booting my acer aspire one netbook. It handled windows 7 RC and LinuxMint really well and i thought i would be on the linux side more but i ended up liking windows 7 a lot. i need to figure out how to set up some kind of file sharing between the two partitions and i will be totally happy dual booting.

Just a quick thought about interfaces…
(i kno there are 3rd party solutions for windows, but i want it to come INSIDE the OS, thats my point)

Linux Mint

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