Something Beautiful

21 Nov
Cactus Cooler, anyone?

Cactus Cooler, anyone?

The release of Gmail themes today is as good a spur as any to do a little spring cleaning on your computer. After a hard week of moralizing, it’s time for some eye candy.

If you haven’t checked your mail today, Google’s released 30 skins to customize Gmail, and while they can’t all be winners, it’s a nice change of pace. There’s been third-party scripts to change the kind of bland look of Gmail before, but they don’t always integrate with the system perfectly. To have one supported by the monolithic all-owning corporation is a giant step up. Above is an example of 70s-Sports-Team-Uniform, skinning your inbox in rust and failure. All last names have been redacted.

Once your inbox is looking refreshed, it’s time to tackle the desktop. Not to be all Martha Stewart here, but you don’t still leave dirty socks on your floor (right)? At least not when you’re having company over. Before you do anything else, get rid of the unnecessary files and icons on your desktop. It’s ugly and it slows down your computer. If you must, create a temp folder to act as a repository for your orphaned files.

Now that you’ve deleted the 20 .zip files that you’ve long since unzipped, you can get to the fun part: the wallpaper. Although there’s plenty of websites out there that have attractive wallpaper, Bobby Solomon’s been making an artform out of it lately. Solomon, a Los Angeles-based graphic designer, has been featuring the Desktop Wallpaper Project on his blog (Kitsune Noir). In it, he’s gotten his friends in the design field to contribute desktop wallpaper to create a repository of wallpaper that goes beyond cityscapes and trees. Kitsune Noir in general is an interesting read- Solomon’s able to rail against the injustice of California’s bigoted Proposition 8 and push a homemade mixtape with equal passion. Ultimately, though, it’s the Desktop Wallpaper Project that’s really put Kitsune Noir on the map, and Solomon’s ability to consistently get people in his field to contribute has made it a treasure.

Stop gawking here and start beautifying your computer!

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