What Applications Do You Keep in Your Taskbar/Dock?
January 29, 2004 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by a screenshot of Crunchland's desktop, I'm curious what programs you keep on your taskbar? (Mo'side)

I've got the standards:
Internet Explorer/Windows Explorer
Mozilla/Mozilla Mail

Plus a couple semi-unique ones:
Dave's Desktop Search Bar
Flowers Find Plus - for doing quick searches of my MP3 collection
Wall Changer - for rotating my desktop wallpaper on a regular basis

Sorry if this question is too "what's your favourite sandwich?" but I'm always looking for cool new programs to try on my machine.
posted by Jaybo to Computers & Internet (55 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The Shinto gate and the beehive lady are folders of shortcuts; great for right-clicking.
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:51 AM on January 29, 2004

I keep the permanently visible items to a minimum: Show Desktop, Firebird, Thunderbird, and Photoshop in the Quicklaunch, and my MP3 folder on the right side.

Clicking on the Quicklaunch chevron brings up all my other commonly-used apps: WS_FTP, mIRC, Putty, AIM, WinSCP, and iTunes. Plus IE5, IE6 and Opera for design testing.
posted by Aaorn at 9:51 AM on January 29, 2004

pc-pine*, xnews, mozilla, firebird (I'm still fooling with both), winEDT, R, Stata, windows explorer.

Desktop icons: Pinky2 (my computer), recycle bin, shortcuts to my \projects and \courses directories.

All else relegated to start menus, which are also pretty rigidly organized. This is funny because, well, you should see the desk I'm sitting at.

*I like pine. It's too stupid to get itself infected, and it doesn't do much without my say-so.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:00 AM on January 29, 2004

Well some stuff I do currently have in the dock is neat toys gleaned from Mefi. I'm still playing with balldroppings, and Meteo is useful.

A recent find is Snapz Pro X, for nice screen/window shots (round edges, drop shadows. etc.).

And the usual MS gubbins, plus Fetch, Terminal (agree about Pine), Safari, Mozilla, printer queue icons, etc. Pretty crowded actually; the icons are reduced to blobs.
posted by carter at 10:12 AM on January 29, 2004

Well, until you mentioned it just the standard Show Desktop, IE, OE and WMP. But you inspired me to experiment and work out how you added icons to the task bar, so now it's the aforementioned plus Firebird, AdAware, Winamp and PSP. Thanks.
posted by squealy at 10:50 AM on January 29, 2004

I may be overdoing a little. But I love the Dock.
[From left to right: Finder, AIM, BBEdit, AudioRecorder, Calculator, Conversation (IRC Client), DropZip, Iconographer, IE, iTunes, Kung Tunes, Mail, Mozilla Firebird, PalmDesktop, Photoshop (oooold), QT, RBrowser (FTP), Safari, Sherlock, SnapNDrag (screenshot app), Solitaire, Stickies, Stuffit Expander, System Prefs, Trash]
posted by Dreama at 11:02 AM on January 29, 2004

Hard to believe this computer is only a few months old... crazy browser, outlook express, photoshop cs, cuteftp, torrentstorm, reveal desktop, spybot search & destroy, windows media, ms frontpage, popfile, ms word, windows explorer, adobe acrobat, adobe illustrator, adaware, quicken, trillian, ulead gif animator, kazaa lite+, rise of nations, notepad, weather pulse, power dvd, easy invoice, remote terminal, calc, foobar 2000, winamp, putty, advanced mp3 converter, Ulead cool 3d, advanced file organizer, php editor, airsnare, tag&rename, gordian knot, handspring install tool, alive mp3 wave converter, express web pictures, bulletproof ftp, and quick delete.
posted by crunchland at 11:03 AM on January 29, 2004

[click for larger image]

Finder, netnewswire, safari, ie, bbedit, mail, word, ichat, photoshop, transmit, acquisition, iphoto, address book, analog, ical, itunes, textedit, system prefs, calculator, terminal, scripts, grabber.

Of particular note is the handy "show desktop" app for OSX that lives up in the corner. on the desktop itself are my website shortcut, some flash "where am I" app that I keep threatening to learn, the backup of my old PC before I switched, and my writing projects. I use the shell for most of my email [go elm!] which is 60% of what I do with this machine anyhow.
posted by jessamyn at 11:05 AM on January 29, 2004

At work, I also try to keep it to a minimum: Show Desktop, Outlook, Firebird, PageMaker, Photoshop. Clicking on the chevron gives me WS_FTP, Notepad, Word, Excel, WordPerfect, Winamp, Netscape, IE, Thunderbird. And the desktop toolbar shoved over to the right.
posted by rhapsodie at 11:20 AM on January 29, 2004

Mozilla, putty, SecureFX, TextPad, command prompt, emacs, cygwin, Nero, CDex, OpenOffice, Winamp, Photoshop, FlashMX, Fireworks, SciTEFlash, NovaTorrent, Trillian, SequoiaView, iTunes, Escape Velocity Nova.
posted by majcher at 11:20 AM on January 29, 2004

IE, Explorer, Winamp, Semagic, FlashFXP, Opera, EvilLyrics, Age of Mythology, Diablo 2, Etherlords 2, Multi Theft Auto, Star Wars Jedi Academy, Spellforce, Acid Pro, Wavelab, Fruity Loops, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, OneNote, Word The Bat!, Trillian, mIRC, SoulSeek.
posted by Jairus at 11:25 AM on January 29, 2004

Jairus, how did you create that background?
posted by mhaw at 11:37 AM on January 29, 2004

I used tsDesk! It is full of leetness.
posted by Jairus at 11:42 AM on January 29, 2004

Win2k: Show Desktop, My Computer, Firebird, IE, Notes, Visual Studio, Command, Visual Source Safe, Alien Brain, Test Track Pro, ProDG Debugger, Maya, w.bloggar
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:47 AM on January 29, 2004

What's that thing in the upper-right corner of crunchland's desktop? A virtual cell phone?
posted by mecran01 at 11:48 AM on January 29, 2004

winamp, opera, zempt, and reveal desktop. all you ever need.
posted by lotsofno at 11:50 AM on January 29, 2004

Okay, color me stupid, but where are you guys getting a calculator for OS X? I keep having to load up an Appleworks spreadsheet, which is way tedious.

Wait: google is my friend. I'll go see what it has to say...
posted by jdroth at 12:03 PM on January 29, 2004

AIM and volume control always shown. Daemontools, Semagic, Stickies and Quicktime on Autohide. On left, AIM start, Outlook Express (I wish I could use Thunderbird, but their folder interface kills me.) and Firebird. On dock-like programs bar: After Effects, Illustrator, BSPlayer, CuteFTP, Macromedia MX, mkw .shn tool, My Computer, Nero, Power DVD, Quicktime, MP3pro, Vegas, iTunes, snapGallery, Daemontools Start.
posted by amandaudoff at 12:10 PM on January 29, 2004

it's trillian pro with the aikon skin. it's an im client that can access lots of services.
posted by crunchland at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2004

They're going to have to pry pine from my cold, carpel-tunnel riddled hands when I get my new email account for my new job.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 12:25 PM on January 29, 2004

where are you guys getting a calculator for OS X?

A calculator comes with OS X. It's under Applications > Utilities.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:30 PM on January 29, 2004

Damn that utilities folder — I always forget about it. I should really take a closer look to see what's inside, eh? Probably all sorts of little widgets and goodies...
posted by jdroth at 12:42 PM on January 29, 2004

Show desktop, Thunderbird, Firebird, Outlook, Visual Studio, SSH Secure Transfer, Perforce, Trillian, Winamp.

I need to find or write a XP utility that lets one have categories in the quickstart bar.
posted by rudyfink at 12:43 PM on January 29, 2004

On Linux: a tiny little GNOME panel at the top with a load of virtual desktops, very much like the Ximian Desktop model.

On OS X as little as I can get away with.
posted by nedrichards at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2004

Kottke thread and magazine article. Both Mac-centric. I know there was a web site that collected captures of system trays. I've been searching desperately but haven't been able to find it. Can someone point me in the right direction?
posted by stuart_s at 12:46 PM on January 29, 2004

OT: Y'know, what I really want when I mouse over the dock side of the screen, is for an OS 9-style Apple Menu with text to pop out. I always navigated by the black-on-white text rather than the icons in OS 9; scanning the icons in OS X as they bulge out and the floating names appear and disappear is a pain for my poor, aging eyes.
posted by carter at 12:59 PM on January 29, 2004

A calculator comes with OS X. It's under Applications > Utilities.

If you're feeling geeky, open up a terminal window and type "dc". It's a stack calculator. 'p' prints the top level. "man dc" for more info.
posted by weston at 1:06 PM on January 29, 2004

As long as we're doing this... the stuff in the right-hand side are the virus scanner and an email signature randomizer.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:07 PM on January 29, 2004

The terminal emulator is the One True Interface. I MOCK your frivolous taskbars! Just think of all the extra lines you are wasting by taking up all that precious screen real estate.
posted by Galvatron at 1:16 PM on January 29, 2004

yes, those icons are organized.

currently just running: Photoshop 7.0, Appleworks, BBEdit, Fetch 4, IE, MacSSH, MacWrite Pro 1.5 (old skool fun), OE, PictureViewer, Stickies. And a taskbar at the bottom.
posted by gluechunk at 1:27 PM on January 29, 2004

Dave's Desktop Search Bar plus anything and everything I use with any regularity and can't be launched by right-click context menu on my quicklaunch bar. I loathe the start->programs etc. drill down.
posted by juv3nal at 1:46 PM on January 29, 2004

I just arrange my icons around the perimeter of my desktop, like a windowframe (heh), but everyone that sees it oohs and aahs like it's the neatest thing. Go figure.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:21 PM on January 29, 2004

Oh, and BeyondTV is recording Kids in the Hall right now for me. That's about it for the taskbar. I'm minimalist.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:22 PM on January 29, 2004

click for larger image
I hate having icons all over my desktop and prefer to have the applications I use regularly directly in the start menu. The screenshot is my work computer, but my home machine is very similar except for a different image across two monitors. I find it Interesting that at least half of the applications on the task bar itself are ones that I found out about on MeFi.
posted by dg at 2:34 PM on January 29, 2004

I've got two monitors, which gives me more space to play around with. Two monitors are really, really awesome for programming, web design, etc. And since I have more space, I put a sidebar on the left side of my desktop. It mimics the sidebar that will ship with Longhorn. It's a really awesome, solid program.
posted by Khalad at 3:01 PM on January 29, 2004

I'm both a virtual and real life slob - thank goodness for multiple monitors (in this case three of 'em - mwuah ha ha ha!). I'd tell you about my toolbar, but I can't remember half the stuff I rotate in and out.

posted by jalexei at 3:04 PM on January 29, 2004

I tend to keep everything in my system tray rather than Quicklaunch toolbars:

Kerio Personal Firewall, with everything disabled except application network control. My Cisco 678 does all the firewalling and routing I need. (Thanks, gen!)

MirandaIM, a streamlined (and GPL'd) multi-protocol messaging program. I hate ICQ, AIM, and MSN clients, but Miranda has me using instant messaging for the first time in years.

WinAmp 2.91: I'd use WinAmp5, but my archaic 800MHz machine still takes several seconds to open it, whereas 2.91 opens everything instantly.

PenguiNet: An excellent (albeit commercial) terminal program, with integrated support for telnet, SSH, and SCP functionality.

WatchCat is no longer available from its now-defunct official site, but googling around will find several downloads of this outstanding program. With it, you can hide windows entirely or minimize them to the system tray by right-clicking on the window's minimize button. It can also be configured to auto-sort your tray icons (such that all of your apps are always in the same order), show and hide desktop icons, make shortcut text on your desktop transparent, execute custom shortcut commands, make windows Always on Top, and so on.

Fast, free, and streamlined software is a passion, and I've posted a list of my favorite such utilities here.
posted by Danelope at 7:00 PM on January 29, 2004

Of course, having seen Jairus's link, my desktop now looks very different - at least until a new shiny thing comes along ;-). tsDesk is indeed "full of leetness".
posted by dg at 7:00 PM on January 29, 2004

You and your shiny things, dg. Need more wallpapers?

inserts moan coz tsDesk is too l337 for my seven year old computer
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:04 PM on January 29, 2004

How do you all live without NEO? I just can't rave about this program enough. It makes even Outlook worth keeping.

Other than that, it's just Opera, Show Desktop, and Aggie on my taskbar.
posted by gd779 at 8:42 PM on January 29, 2004

Thanks, WolfDaddy, but I am going to play the doting father for a while and drop some photos of the rug-rats in the folder. I will keep you in mind next time I am in a fractally mood, though.
posted by dg at 9:49 PM on January 29, 2004

mwuah ha ha ha!

I'm envious, jalexei. Are they flat screens, too? And does that mean you're using more than one video card, or does your vid card support more than 2 monitors? And how do you get it so that each window has a different wallpaper? I have 2 monitors, and the second one just repeats what's on the main one.
posted by crunchland at 10:40 PM on January 29, 2004

Click for larger view.

GNOME 2.4.1:
Metacity window manager - Mist theme
GTK controls and desktop icons - BlueCurve theme
GKrellM2 - Invisible theme
XPlanet generated wallpaper (updates every 15 minutes)
RythmBox and GAim running in the task bar
posted by PenDevil at 12:12 AM on January 30, 2004

Wow...at least I now know I have a superior Dock to most of MeFi ;-)

And you don't deserve to see it...
posted by i_cola at 12:14 AM on January 30, 2004

While we are touching upon multiple monitors and whatnot, has anyone found a good AND cheap KVM that supports DVI? Both my ShuttleXP and my Powerbook support DVI, as does my Samsung TFT/LCD. I'd love to be able to switch between the two...
If it could also support one USB keyboard between both machines, that would be nirvana, but I realize I may be asking for the impossible.
posted by gen at 12:36 AM on January 30, 2004

posted by seanyboy at 2:35 AM on January 30, 2004

I want tsDesk! Duzzit work on Mac OS X or is there anything like it?
posted by bonaldi at 3:04 AM on January 30, 2004

I'm envious, jalexei. Are they flat screens, too? And does that mean you're using more than one video card, or does your vid card support more than 2 monitors?

Sadly, no flat screens, just 19" Sony CRTs - I'm using two ATI Radeon cards, one AGP and the second in one of the PCI slots. Each card supports two monitors, so I could theoretically go to four, but in addition to being too show-offy, I'm out of deskspace.

As to background images, Macs allow you to set the background image for each monitor individually - not sure how that works in PC land, but there must be a way(?)
posted by jalexei at 7:48 AM on January 30, 2004

Yeah, Sony CRTs are nothin' to sneeze at, that's for sure. Three of 'em?... welly welly well. That's nice, man. Wow. Yep. No offense, but I kinda hate you jalexei.
posted by DenOfSizer at 8:01 AM on January 30, 2004

None taken - though if it softens your assessment a bit, know that I have terribly dry skin and much of the rest of my life is dreary and dull...
posted by jalexei at 8:21 AM on January 30, 2004

From left to right:
current files
Windows Media Player
Video LAN
CPU monitor
show desktop (right click swich wallpaper)
posted by Nothing at 8:28 AM on January 30, 2004

Hmm, should have done that in rows. Sorry.
posted by Nothing at 8:33 AM on January 30, 2004

Nothing - Love that wallpaper!
posted by jalexei at 8:48 AM on January 30, 2004

Nothing - What skin or whatever are you using to get that effect in XP. I have a righteous desire to be that cool.
posted by rudyfink at 3:35 PM on January 30, 2004

The weather is Samurize and the desktop weather script for the same. The skin is Milk Redux, but really all the skin is responsible for in that screenshot is the taskbar. The dock is YZ dock, which has been taken down due to a cease and desist from Apple. The MP3 player (with controls in the taskbar) is foobar2000 with FooRemote.

Have fun!
posted by Nothing at 6:13 PM on January 30, 2004

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