Awesome Desktop

How to get an awesome desktop
Links from PC Plus Magazine Issue 300

Wikimedia Commons

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Free on-line community made up of millions of photos. Check Photo of the day feature - and download the full resolution of the picture you like.

Wallpapers shot for Windows Vista which did not make the cut.

Shot by Hamad Darwish - Hamad Darwish is a Kuwaiti Radiographer, a photography hobbyist, and an adventure enthusiast.
http://hamaddarwish.com/wp/windows-vista/

Dual Monitor Backgrounds

Dual monitor backgrounds (AKA dual screen wallpapers) are backgrounds that span two screens.
For those who have a dual screen monitor or two monitors. All the dual monitor wallpapers on this site are free and many more are added all the time, usually every day. They are obviously panoramic in shape. The site can filter the images according to your screen resolution. Click on the link "Click here to change resolution preferences.
http://www.dualmonitorbackgrounds.com/

Space.com

A mixture of real photos and sci fi mockups
http://www.space.com/php/multimedia/downloads/wallpapers/

National Geographic - Photography section

Loads of wonderful photos here, and a tab for wallpapers. Can download immages from past issues as wallpapers, as well as competition winning shots.
(Photography and HD video enthusiasts take note - this site has an informative section of tips from the pros )

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/?source=NavPhoHome

Gigapixel

http://www.gigapxl.org/
Photos taken in US by custom built Gigapixel cameras:
"It would take a video wall of 10,000 television screens or 600 prints from a professional digital SLR camera to capture as much information as that contained in a single Gigapxl™ exposure."
High resolution means a lot of information in one photo, and you can zoom in a lot. Obviously too big for a computer screen, but they offer wallpaper sized downloads from the image gallery.
Project seems to have died since the last update for the site was 2007

NASA

http://www.nasa.gov/
From main page, click on "View Image Gallery" - flip through the sets (this gives information on the subject of each photo) or choose a thumbnail view. Includes pictures of NASA projects and Hubble space photos.
Can download in different resolutions up to full size

Porsche

Choose a country, then choose a model, then click on Gallery and downloads
Wallpaper and screensavers are available at different resolutions.

Bing

Find photos using the BING search engine. Seems to come out with better quality and more interesting photos than Google search.
http://www.bing.com/?scope=images&FORM=Z9LH
e.g. try searching for images on: "Landscapes" then filter by clicking on "Wallpaper" size on the left.

Automatically change Windows 7 desktop wallpaper each day from a chosen RSS feed.

Instructions on how to do this for NASA are on:
http://www.online-tech-tips.com/windows-7/rotate-windows-7-wallpaper-automatically-via-rss-feed/
Getty images and Flickr are the most popular, though many are not the right resolution

RSS Feed Links to paste into the script provided by on-line tech tips

Recent Editorial pics from Getty

http://feeds.gettyimages.com/channels/RecentEditorialFeatures.rss

General Pics from Flickr

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/photos_public.gne

Wallpapers Pics from Flickr

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=40961104@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200

Javea/Xabia pictures from Flickr

http://api.flickr.com/services/feeds/groups_pool.gne?id=67724856@N00&lang=en-us&format=rss_200
…not sure if these last two work !

Microsoft Official Themes - Windows 7 Personalisation gallery

Right click on Win 7 desktop / Personalise / get more themes on-line

Unofficial Windows 7 themes:

http://windows7themes.net/
Can even make your Windows7 look like a Mac!

Deviant Art

Independent digital art
http://browse.deviantart.com/customization/wallpaper/
Note: By default the "Mature content filter" is set to On

Customise your entire desktop

(For the really bold!)
e.g.Rainmeter
http://rainmeter.net/RainCMS/

Rainmeter is a desktop customization platform. Through Rainmeter, you can enhance your Windows computer at home or work with skins: handy, compact applets which float freely on your desktop, much like Windows Sidebar gadgets, or dashboard widgets for the Mac. Rainmeter skins provide you with useful information at a glance. It's easy to keep an eye on your system resources, like memory and battery power, or your online data streams, including email, RSS feeds, and weather forecasts. Many skins are even functional: they can record your notes and to-do lists, launch your favorite applications, and send your tweets to Twitter - all in a clean, unobtrusive interface that you can rearrange and customize to your liking.

There are three recommended skins: Gnometer, Enigma and APB. You can install them all and switch between them
You can even edit them and create your own skins

Flickr Wallpapers group

http://www.flickr.com/groups/wallpapers/
All at a resolution of 1024 by 768 Minimum
Click on More
Click on a thumbnail
Click on Actions / View all Sizes
Download the size of the image you want
Some really great photos here !

Video wallpapers

These really hog system resources, but they do look nice.

Dreamscene

http://www.dreamscene.org/index.php
You have to install a registry hack first, then download a videoloop file, right-click it and and apply it to the desktop like any other photo.
They have a video preview on their site. Also you can check out You Tube for videos of other wallpapers
You can also use a screensaver as a desktop background.

VLC Media player

This small, brilliant freeware media player can play most types of video file…and play them as a DirectX Wallpaper.
Works with XP, but not Windows 7. Very distracting !
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

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