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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding Desktop
I don't like the distraction that comes with having a lot of stuff on the desktop There are lots of apps out there to hide the desktop, but some of them consume about 40MB of memory just to hide the desktop. So here's my easy, free, and RAM-conserving solution:

In the Finder, create a new folder somewhere on your hard drive. Size it to fill the screen, set the view to Icons, set the View Options to use a background color of your choice, and hide the toolbar. Close the folder. Now, whenever you need the background hidden, just open your maximized folder.

[robg adds: I use either Backdrop or Desktop Cutain to hide the desktop -- they take anywhere from 10MB to 20MB of real RAM. I used to use the folder method, but found that I wanted the added features of the application solution (it's simpler to toggle between colors and images; set the level at which the hiding occurs; etc.). To me, that's worth the 15MB or so of real RAM it requires.]
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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: JoolsG4 on Apr 12, '07 08:35:06AM
I use the basic version of Desktopple:

http://foggynoggin.com/desktopple/basic

Uses a similar amount of RAM as the other two apps mentioned (why is it such a memory hog to simply hide the dekstop?). There's a pro version with many more features too.

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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: skigil on Apr 12, '07 09:12:37AM
I use Think. It's awesome. It's Free. It consumes about the same amount of RAM as what is mentioned above, if not less. http://www.freeverse.com/think/

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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: ars on Apr 12, '07 09:32:48AM
One can find other suggestions, such as Desktopsweeper, in the previous discussion:
http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060310174234350&lsrc=osxh

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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: craigw on Apr 12, '07 10:25:08AM
I just use a simple shell script:
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop FALSE ; killall Finder

If you create 2 files called "HideDesktop.sh" and "ShowDesktop.sh" in your Scripts folder and make them executable, you can run them from the Script Menu, or give them keyboard shortcuts by your favorite method.

HideDesktop.sh:
#!/bin/sh
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop FALSE ; killall Finder

ShowDesktop.sh:
#!/bin/sh
defaults write com.apple.finder CreateDesktop TRUE ; killall Finder


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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: Dale Sorel on Apr 12, '07 11:26:08AM
This is what I use to hide desktop icons: [link:]http://www.smartsoft.com/products/dotfiles/dotfiles.html

Simple to use, and you can use it to show hidden files in the Finder.

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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: boredzo on Apr 12, '07 01:34:47PM

The most RAM-frugal method for this that I know of is to quit the Finder outright. Then you have only your desktop picture, not the icons on the desktop. (Obviously, this won't work so well if you plan on using the Finder while your desktop icons are hidden. That's when the CreateDesktop default that craigw mentioned is useful.)

You can use TinkerTool to turn on the Finder's Quit command.



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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: zpjet on Apr 13, '07 01:35:23AM

i so much agree.i use this method all the time. quitting finder is the first "defaults" i usually do on a newly installed machine. i understand apple didn't make finder quittable not to confuse average users (hallo? i had my stuff on my desktop but now it's all gone!) but it could be somewhere in advanced finder preferences, however i'm happy with unix way:

defaults write com.apple.Finder QuitMenuItem -boolean YES
killall Finder



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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: kchrist on Apr 12, '07 05:56:39PM

My RAM-frugal method of keeping my desktop clear is to not put stuff on my desktop and disable showing hard drive icons.

Maybe I'm missing something here but if you don't want to see all kinds of crap on your desktop, why do you put it there to begin with?



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Why do you people keep rating things so low?
Authored by: itistoday on Apr 12, '07 09:02:02PM

Almost every hint on OS X hints is either 3 stars or below. The average of 7 people's votes on this hint was 1 star. Did this hint offend you? How do you rationalize giving this hint 1 star? Actually, let me rephrase that, why would you go out of your way to give this hint a 1 star rating? Did it offend you or something??



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Why do you people keep rating things so low?
Authored by: scottdb on Apr 12, '07 11:02:18PM

Some hints just beg me to question the reason for them in the first place. I give this hint three stars. Why?

How about just addressing the cause of the clutter on the desktop. If you have a good filing system, you won't have this problem in the first place. Don't store everything on the desktop.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or whatever the expression is...)

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Why do you people keep rating things so low?
Authored by: palsyboy on Apr 13, '07 08:32:57AM

I'm with kchrist and scottdb; that's why I gave it one star. All of my apps save or download to either /Users/palsyboy/Downloads or /Users/palsyboy/Documents. It takes fives minutes to set that up, and after saving or downloading something, it takes all of ten seconds to move it to a proper place. Or even if a user prefers to use Spotlight to access all files, they can still just make a folder such as /Users/palsyboy/Archive or something, and still keep everything off the desktop.

The desktop is a metaphor, and it should be treated as such. Keep necessary tools there and nothing more.



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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: bauldrywc on Apr 13, '07 03:36:06PM

I just make a large, blank pdf in whatever colour, etc., that strikes my fancy, open it in Preview, hide the toolbar, and -presto- whatever background I want is sitting there...

Preview will take less than 10 meg of ram for this.



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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Apr 15, '07 02:43:40PM

I don't understand how the desktop can bother people.. unless you have no apps or windows open, when do you see it? I don't.

I'm using a 19" monitor set to 1280 X 960, and all I see at the moment is this window, a little of Entourage behind it, and a small sliver of my desktop on the right. Keep your app windows large and you don't see the desktop. maximize your screen real-estate!

When ever I have people ask how to hind the desktop, because they are distracted by it, I have to ask them if the stuff around them in the room where the computer is distracts them? :) My desk is pretty messy at the moment... but I'm not looking at the desk, I'm looking at the screen. It's all about where and how you direct your attention. A lot of ADD going on out there!

There's really no need to ever get to your desktop either, as all you have to do is open a new Finder window, and navigate to the desktop in that window. Much easier than trying to get things out of the way.

That brings us to the point about not having a messy desktop. I have a downloads folder at the root level of my home folder, and that's where things go. I can get to that in the sidebar of any Finder window. Now I do have a slew of folders on my desktop for current projects or things I either go to frequently or have there before they are moved.

You really don't need anything on your desktop. Don't put anything on there, and then hide your drive icons.

That's my take on the subject.

---
G4/Digital Audio/1GHz, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.4.9 • www.david-schwab.com • www.myspace/davidschwab • www.imanicoppola.net



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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: gostcoder on Apr 18, '07 11:04:27AM
Or you could just quit the Finder and save even more RMA. Use the AppleScript:
Tell application "Finder" to quit
Better yet, use TinkerTool and TransparentDock to add the "Quit" menu item to the Finder and the Dock. When you want your desktop back, just click the Finder in the Dock and it will start up again.

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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: mahakali on Apr 19, '07 02:23:33AM

Agree. If you want to hide your desktop picture and set it to display a certain color, customize your current setting's desktop background color then use this script:

tell application "Finder"
	set desktop picture to alias "path:to:transparent.png"
	quit
end tell

To revert

tell application "Finder"
	activate
	set desktop picture to alias "path:to:original:desktop:picture"
end tell


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Cheap and RAM-frugal desktop hiding
Authored by: mahakali on Apr 19, '07 02:25:37AM

Of course, you need to have a transparent icon (png or gif).



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