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Enable A 360 Degree Windows Desktop


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The typical computer screen is limited in size. You can get a bigger monitor and increase your resolution, but it's always the same rectangular box. But you can use the application 360desktop to change things up. 360Desktop really does turn Microsoft Vista into a virtual vista. To be more precise, 360desktop turns the Vista desktop into a panoramic wonder.

It can help to remove the usual clutter on the desktop, making the PC workspace more efficient and organized. With 360desktop you can also create ready-made desktop backgrounds with embedded widgets and Web pages created specifically for one's job or company.

Download the .exe file from the 360desktop download Web site.




When you first run 360desktop you will first be asked if you want 360desktop to be your default desktop. You will notice your desktop background change and two new items will appear. The first (and main) item to appear is the QuickNav bar at the top right of the screen. This is one of the many ways to control 360desktop.

You can add widgets and control the location of the desktop from the QuickNav.

The QuickNav is not where you control the configuration. Instead the QuickNav allows you to navigate around 360desktop and install widgets.

The second new item is located in the system tray. This is where 360desktop is configured. A right click of this icon will bring up the configuration options menu.

From the system tray icon you will find the following: Configure Speed: How fast 360desktop rotates Configure Options: Panning, Show app icons in QuickNav, and Start 360desktop upon startup. Launch 360 Manager and Help

There are a number of ways to pan around the 360desktop. The easiest is to move your mouse to the edge of the screen and "nudge" the desktop around. The "nudging" will stop as soon as you move your cursor away from the edge of the screen. You can do this on either side of the screen. Another means of panning around is by using the QuickNav bar. From the QuickNav bar there are two ways. The first QuickNav panning method is to grab the small 360desktop logo and drag it either to the right or the left. Another way is to click on the QuickNav bar to open up the thumbnail view of the entire desktop. When the desktop thumbnail is open you can click anywhere on the 360desktop and you will instantly be transported to the location.

Along with the panning of the desktop you are able to click and drag an open window and move it around the 360desktop to place it where ever you want. This is certainly a nice addition that allows you to fine-tune your desktop organization by placing an open window anywhere on the 360desktop.

Configuring 360desktop is simple: Right click the system tray icon, select the submenu you want to work with and then select the option. There are very few system configurations available for 360desktop. The main configurations you will want to toy with involve widgets. Widgets allow you to fully customize your 360desktop to suite you (or your company's) needs. To add a widget you only need click on the "gear" icon in the QuickNav bar.

Let's say you want to add your company RSS feed to all employee desktops. You could use the Google Module Multiple RSS feed for this (Google Modules integrate seamlessly with 360desktop). The simplest method is to go to the Google Modules Web page, find the module you want to use (in this case the Multiple RSS Feed), configure it to your specification, click the "Get Code" button, and then click on the Add Widget icon in the QuickNav. You will notice the code for the Google Module is already in place for the widget.

As you scroll around the desktop the widgets remain in their location. This allows you to strategically locate widgets that relate to particular desktop functions (RSS feed widgets in a Web browsing spot on your desktop, net traffic monitors on a desktop location designated for network administration, etc).

You can also add Web clippings to your 360desktop. A Webclip is a small applet that shows a Web site page within its borders. The 360 Webclip does not allow you to navigate within the Web site. Instead, when you click a link within the Webclip, it will open up your default browser to the link. This is a great way to have an Internet site up on the desktop at all times.

Changing the desktop background is not done in the same manner as the standard Vista background configuration. Instead you open the 360 Manager and select the 360 background you want. You can find new 360 backgrounds at the 360desktop Gallery. If you click on the download button of a 360 you like you can just have 360 open the file and it will automatically change the background.



Thanks to Jack Wallen.

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