View Full Version : Randomly moving Interactive Desktop

Patrick Snyder
August 17th, 2009, 06:05 PM
Ever since watching Serial Experiments Lain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Experiments_Lain) about 10 years ago, I've wanted a desktop that had 3 characteristics:

The background "flows" randomly, like moving water or plasma. This can't be a movie loop because the same patterns get easy to recognize after a little while. Drempels (http://www.geisswerks.com/drempels/) (for windows) simulates this pretty well actually, and it's been around since 2000.
Icons that also have a random animation around them. Again it can't be a loop. Icons could be recognizable by putting the picture on a sphere with a random animation around it; orbiting, cloud-like lights for example.
Finally, it should be interactive. When the mouse moves over the icon, the pattern could get more excited (similar to the animations of Avant Windows Navigator (http://wiki.awn-project.org/) but for the whole desktop). But also, when the icon moves in the flowing desktop, ripples move around it. The icon should feel like it's in the desktop, interacting with the water or plasma.

Of course all of this would have to be pretty mellow by default or it could get very distracting.

This is partially a wish list, but I also want to know if there are any Linux programs that can help get closer to this ideal interactive, randomly animated desktop. I love Compiz Fusion, but I'm still looking for a practical version of the cool sci-fi desktop that can only be brought about by controlled randomness.

Any thoughts?

August 17th, 2009, 08:12 PM
#1 is possible, at least if you run gnome. If you open up gconf-editor, somewhere under the nautilus settings there should be a "draw desktop" checkbox. If you untick that one you should be able to run a screensaver as "wallpaper" by supplying the screensaver command with the -root parameter.
Some googling should probably turn up a whole howto...