This labour day weekend, while all the frosh were moving in, and likely most everyone else was avoiding campus, enjoying patios, relaxing, or whatever, I was sitting in my office plugging away at several different projects. Cuz I’m cool. Clearly.
Don’t fret though. This post isn’t a cry for sympathy. I opted to work this weekend because I wanted to clear up some of my to do list. Having spent the prior 4 weeks in recovery mode, some things had piled up and I really needed to get on top of them. Plus, I needed to cross a few things off my list so that I could devote most of the next 2 weeks to grant writing. Yup – grant writing is about as fun as it sounds. But given that I’m asking several groups for large sums of money, I figure I need to put forth a coherent and well structured argument as to why said groups should give little-ole me said large sums of money.
Anyway, three of the to do items that I was attempting to tackle this weekend were rather computationally intensive. That is, they required a substantial number of hours coding and recoding, error checking, and re-checking, and a substantial amount of time to run. I left my laptop running over night only to find out that it didn’t have the brain power to finish the work I had tasked it to do. My office computer, being the memory roid-monkey of my computers was enlisted, and thankfully completed the task without too much trouble. Of course, having analyzed several large data sets, and creating several hundred summary tables, I didn’t want to lose this information (or have to rerun the analysis). So the three tasks in question also demanded data backup.
What does all this mean? It means that there were several hours where I was sitting in my office waiting. Watching patiently as my computer churned through calculations, generated summaries, and copied them to various locations for backup purposes. Exhilarating! Not so much.
What did you do to entertain yourself? you ask.
Well, I spent part of my time cleaning, part of my time organizing books and course notes, part of my time drinking too much coffee (but it was oh-so-good), and part of my time getting my geek on with a little program called GeekTool. GeekTool is a Mac program that one can use to tweak their desktop. Specifically, one is able to add dynamic text and visuals to their desktop background such as the time, date, etc., or other nerdy things like the CPU usage, memory availability, and such like.
I chose to begin my desktop customization using a very simple background that I obtained from SimpleDesktops.com (a source of some very awesome yet very simple desktop images). Specifically – this desktop:
I then created the necessary geeklets (the little shell/photo tweaks that spruce up the desktop) to update the desktop to look like this:
I’ve attached some of the geeklets here (in zip format) for those that might want to copy this design for their own.
If you like what you see, check out some of the other amazing desktops that other people have made using GeekTool. A Google search will give you a huge selection of pretty slick designs, many that are downloadable. I think my next task will be to reproduce and then improve on this particular design:
- Build an Attractive, Informative Mac Desktop with GeekTool [Customization] (lifehacker.com)
- GeekTool available on the Mac App Store (tuaw.com)