Homescreens and Desktops

I think homescreens and desktop layouts can tell you a lot about a person’s workflows. Since I had numerous screenshots of older desktops and homescreens lurking around, I thought I’d upload them here with a few comments.

(My most recent homescreen lives at, along with many other peoples’!)

I used to have an old Windows 98 laptop, which could barely cope with the memory requirements of the OS. A workaround was to use a lightweight shell to replace the standard desktop layer. In this case, I was using LiteStep with a Mac-like theme. (see Footnote #1)
As a student, I didn’t have enough money to buy a Mac. But, that didn’t stop me from making my Windows machine as Mac-like as I could, complete with an inspirational daily photo in the top left and an animated kitten!
Another variant of the skinned Windows XP desktop, this time a bit toned down.
At university, I had a dual-boot Windows / Linux machine, as demonstrated by this split screenshot.
KDE desktop from my uni days. I’ve never really gotten on with the typical Linux GUIs, GNOME et al included.
My first OS X Mac was a Mac Mini. I kept my desktop simple at first.
First iOS device was an iPod Touch. Some of the apps you see here have been resigned to the dustbin of history, but they were good in their day.
For a brief time I was an iPad user with an iPad 2.
The iPhone 4S during the Jailbreak era. One of my favourite tweaks of the time showed you the weather in the statusbar.
iPad 2 on iOS 7, which was really slow. In truth, the iPad never really gelled with me and I decided not to replace it as it didn’t really fit very well into my workflow.
Notice something odd about the badge on one of these items? See Footnote #2 to find out what was going on.
Laptop screenshot of the day. My 2009 MacBook Pro is getting a bit long in the tooth, but faithfully serves up retro gaming, albeit with a battery which lasts barely 30 minutes
How was it possible to do this? Clue, no jailbreak required! See footnote #3 for the secret.
Full-on jailbreak again. Although there were a number of customisable options I loved about having a jailbroken phone, I soon realised the performance hit and security risks were no longer worth it. For a lowdown of all the tweaks you can see, have a look at Footnote #4.
Post jailbreak, and we’re back to dull sanity again.
Moving to gaming devices, Nintendo’s 3DS really excels at having a customised homescreen, thanks to the fact you can theme it and place so-called “badges”.
Bonus photo: A really old iPod Touch I had set up as a mini-arcade cabinet. It had a cool Commodore 64 emulator, which is sadly removed from the app store, even if you had it as a past purchase :(


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