Tag Archives: system

VirtuaWin – Run multiple desktops on one system

Ever had that problem when you’ve got loads of programs open at one time – so many that you can’t remember which one you need to be using?

Here’s a solution – its called VirtuaWin. It means you can basically have more than one desktop running at one time. It’s actually very similar to a system in Linux which allows you to run multiple desktops, but it looks like somebody wanted to have this ability in Windows.

Anyway, it runs on most versions of Windows (although its a little bit buggy in Windows 7 at this time – the site doesn’t claim it works in Windows 7 anyway) and installation is very simple.

Once you’ve got it set up, it’ll start you off with four desktops. If you want more than that you simply double click the icon in the notification area (a green window like icon with one yellow square). and play with the desktop configuration (see here).

To switch desktops, you can simply use the hotkeys automatically assigned by the program. Use the Winkey (windows logo key on your keyboard) and whatever letter that corresponds. For example, to go to the desktop on the left, simply do Winkey + L. For right, Winkey + R. To go down a dekstop its Winkey + D, and to go up a desktop its Winkey + U. You can customize these hotkeys in the configuration (see here).

It’s actually a very handy program if you use lots of programs at one time. Once you’ve used it, you’ll see why it is so useful.

If you’d like to try it, you can get it free from the official VirtuaWin sourceforge page.

Why is Vista’s disk defragmentation system so bad?

Ever since Microsoft released Windows Vista in 2007, I’ve absolutely hated the Disk Defragmenter in the operating system. It was fine in 98, 2000, and XP, but in Vista it is absolutely stupid.

For some reason, it automatically decides that you want to defragment all of your disk drives by default – and most of the time this is not the case for me. It spends absolutely ages “analysing” drives – to the point when I just give up and cancel it before it’s even started defragmenting.

It’s just such a failure – what happened Microsoft?

A lot of people say defragmentation is a total waste of time, but I think it does work now and then and it can improve hard disk performance (even if it’s just a little).

If you agree with me that defragmentation is a good idea, I’ve found a solution to the Vista defragmentation issues. It’s a little freeware program called Auslogics Disk Defrag. It works in all versions of Windows from 2000 up, so if you like it you can run it on some of your older systems too.

It’s much better than Vista’s defragmentation system because:

  • It let’s you choose which drives you want to defrag.
  • It doesn’t waste your time by trying to defragment files that don’t need to be defragmented.
  • You can set it to clear temporary files before defragmenting so you don’t waste time defragmenting files that are about to be deleted.
  • It shows you a graph of what’s being defragmented (this was in earlier versions of Windows and it was really helpful so why did Microsoft scrap it?)
  • It’s relatively quick.

So yes, if you do think defragging is good but you hate Vista’s system, this is the answer.