Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops Desktop
For those people using Panther who have wished for virtual desktops, I recently had a "Duh!" moment. I had set up accounts for my wife and three children on our 17" iMac, and was marvelling at the Fast User Switching feature when it occurred to me that I could simulate virtual desktops by setting up and naming accounts for special purposes, eg email, browsing, editing etc. with specific apps in each Dock, different backgrounds, whatever.

I don't have a use for virtual desktops myself, but maybe those who do will find some value in this.

[robg adds: We've covered the more typical solutions for virtual desktops here before (CodeTek Virtual Desktop, Desktop Manager), but fast user switching is clearly another means of simulating virtual desktops. You'll lose some features, such as the ability to easily cut and paste between desktops, and although it's fast, it's still slower than hitting a hotkey to switch desktops.]
    •    
  • Currently 2.50 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (4 votes cast)
 
[8,257 views]  

Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops | 10 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: seven5 on Feb 17, '04 11:39:33AM

Really, just go get Desktop Manager and you will be much more better off. Using FUS is just silly. Sure, you can do it, but do you need to? no.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Security
Authored by: zedwards on Feb 17, '04 12:33:53PM

If you use the internet you are a sitting duck. It is a security risk to open up accounts w/o passwords.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: spaminacan on Feb 17, '04 12:59:23PM

When I checked into them a month or so ago, it seemed to me that the multiple screen/desktop solutions currently available for Mac are either a bit expensive or a bit buggy for my tastes, though this might change soon. In the meantime, I've been using a feature of Butler (which was previously named Another Launcher) that I love: Hot key activation of fast user switching, along with a smaller (or no) user menu bar icon. I have option-u set to pop-up a contextual menu wherever my pointer is that allows me to instantly switch to any user or even the log in screen (useful for a quick "lock" of the computer when I must step away for a few minutes).



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: Dale Sorel on Feb 17, '04 05:44:08PM

Desktop Manager is neither buggy nor expensive.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: rjw57 on Feb 18, '04 08:13:25AM

You're not the one who keeps getting 20 or so bug-reports daily :). Mind you they /all/ ask for sticky window support.

Rich W, Developer of Desktop Manager



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: gdsimms on Feb 18, '04 11:22:52PM

Gosh, if only it were more expensive!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: asan102 on Feb 17, '04 10:52:24PM

I think people first discovered this the day panther was released – surprised it hasn't been posted here yet.

While it's not a very good way of going about it in the first place, you can make it somewhat easier. It should be trivial to make an applescript to switch to another account and giving it a hotkey. In fact, I think Another Launcher (now Butler) will let you do this quite easily.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Use Fast User Switching to simulate virtual desktops
Authored by: gatorparrots on Feb 18, '04 06:12:38PM

This would be a collassal waste of resources, especially pertaining to virtual memory. Maintaining seperate GUI logins would devour all real memory, then force the system to page out to disk. Not only would this create unnecessary wear on the hard disk, but it could potentially drain a portable's battery life.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Just buy a second monitor
Authored by: Chevron on Jun 11, '04 05:31:14AM

why doesn't anyone who is thinking about extra desktops just buy a 17 inch CRT, for very little. If your mac has video output it will handle it beautifully and give you a significant amount of extra space to work with....



[ Reply to This | # ]
Just buy a second monitor
Authored by: watersb on Jun 11, '04 04:43:55PM

Why not?

Um, because I'm on a laptop computer. I suppose I could carry around that 17" monitor, virtual desktops are easier...



[ Reply to This | # ]