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Computer Wallpaper

Anybody work for a company where there is a mandated computer wallpaper that everybody must use, and they use technical or managerial means to actively stop people from changing it?

Well, the company I work for has just become one of those.  I wonder how much they expect to save by expending the effort to do this.

anon1
Thursday, September 18, 2003

I agree.

We cannot change Wallpaper etc at our worplace since the terminal server was installed (technically I could change the settings to allow this, however the wallpaper does not render properly over the termServ so it is pointless, hence it being turned off).

Earlier this year as I detailed to the staff the changes that would happen when the terminal server was installed, I knew everyone would be disappointed to lose their wallpaper.

I can't imagine why anyone would want it turned off just to exert some control.

An Aussie Chick
Thursday, September 18, 2003

Dilbert lives on.

It's not the wallpaper itself that would bother me if my company did that; it is the big brother intentions behind it, and the combination of evil and stupidity they would demonstrate if they did things like that.

not.net
Thursday, September 18, 2003

Blame it on the economy. My fear is that they make us wear suits to work next.

Suggestion - be creative and use all the extra time you won't be using deciding on a wall paper to create a mosaic of desktop icons completely covering your screen which becomes a picture. Do the manager police have control on the number of documents on your desktop?

m
Thursday, September 18, 2003

I heard that a government agency (ministry of the environment?) in Denmark required all employees (hundreds) to use the "blank" screen saver to save energy.

Of course, I'm derailing the discussion...

Big B
Thursday, September 18, 2003

Derailed discussion.

Does the blank screensaver actually save energy? I've often come across the recommendation to use it for that reason, and I do, just in case it does, but I would have though it would use the same amount of energy as any other, since the same amount of pixels need to fire.

Mandating turning off the monitor automatically after five minutes, woudl make sense, mind you.

As for mandating one wallpaper the reasons are either control freakery, or a fear of sexuall harrasment law suits if your screensaver is a page 3 spread from the Sun. The original poster will no doubt have sufficient info to decide which.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, September 18, 2003

I worked in a bank as a contracter where you were not allowed to change the wallpaper. As team leader I was taken aside once and told that if one of my coders didn't remove the wallpaper of his girlfriend's portrait there would be trouble.

Can you say "petty"?

Matthew Lock
Thursday, September 18, 2003

Derailed Discussion --> Rant

At least once a year, the bean counters in upper management come up with the brilliant idea that they could save big $$$ if everybody turned their computer off at night and they spam every user in the whole organization asking them to conserve energy in this way.  This is immediately followed by an email from me asking everyone in my department to ignore the message and leave their computers on or I will feel no sympathy for them when their data is lost because their virus pattern files weren't updated automatically and their data wasn't included in the nightly backup or their UNIX workstation's filesystem was completely toasted because they thought they could just power it down like an ordinary PC.  Arrrgh!

anon
Thursday, September 18, 2003

"As team leader I was taken aside once and told that if one of my coders didn't remove the wallpaper of his girlfriend's portrait there would be trouble."

Why didn't he just bring in a good old fashioned print picture and put it aside his monitor? It'd save a MB or two of memory (considering that it is stored in memory uncompressed) used to hold a bloody bitmap to draw on the occasion that a window wasn't maximized.

While it seems needlessly petty, many times such actions are to attempt to keep people as detached from "their" PC as possible, making upgrading, doing swaps, etc, much easier. The minute you let someone start personalizing their desktop is the minute they bitterly complain every time a new patch breaks their swimming fish screensaver, or the computer swap didn't restore their Ransom font and girlfriend bitmaps. Most firms now have policies that basically ensure that your PC can blow up, and tomorrow you will be happily using a new PC (as a tool) with nary a notice.

Dennis Forbes
Thursday, September 18, 2003

A company I once worked for implemented roaming profiles, so your desktop wallpaper and certain other settings would actually follow you if you logged in at another PC.

I can't think of anything less obstructive than wallpaper when it comes to doing upgrades of software or hardware.  Screensavers are another matter, but even those won't cause any technical problems if the user is allowed to choose from the screensavers that already come with Windows.

I doubt it has anything to do with memory utilization, as the original poster said they have to use a wallpaper anyway, they just don't get to choose it.

NoName
Friday, September 19, 2003

God forbid a user should become attached and comfortable with their main tool at work.

m
Friday, September 19, 2003

Woops - forget my last post. I forgot this is the era of the disposal employee. Plug and play!

m
Friday, September 19, 2003

>The minute you let someone start personalizing their >desktop is the minute they bitterly complain every time a >new patch breaks their swimming fish screensaver.

While not an advocate (who really is?) of such methods, I can relate to this. User opinion is so important. Heck, it is their machine on their desk on their day. Everything is important. Being able to customise is important from their point of view, but I know I spend a portion of time having to plan upgrades etc depending on the 'moods' of the users.

I need them to like their computers, they don't have to love them, but it makes my job a lot harder if they don't like them.

An Aussie Chick
Friday, September 19, 2003

>"Woops - forget my last post. I forgot this is the era of the disposal employee. Plug and play!"

More like "Flush and play".

NoName
Friday, September 19, 2003

this is my wallpaper...  http://www.wrightsville.com/bchcam.htm

I can sit back and watch and listen to the waves, waiting for 5:00p

apw
Friday, September 19, 2003

And I use http://www.objective2k.com/Gallery/Poppies/File0012.jpg

However, I rarely ever see it as there are open windows in front of it....


Sheesh.

Simon Lucy
Friday, September 19, 2003

I wonder if LCD screens (as opposed to CRTs) would actually use less energy if you used a "blank white" screen saver instead of the standard black one.

Martin Dittus
Friday, September 19, 2003

Martin,

I doubt it.  It's the back light that is using most of the power.  When I turn my laptop's back light off I can just barely see that the LCD is still working it's magic.  The time left indicator for the battery shoots up abut 50%. 

D
Friday, September 19, 2003

Random thoughts:
1) Screensavers don't save energy. Any of them. If the gun be movin', it's burning trons. For management that stupid, may I recommend they learn something about Windows. Let's start with the "Power" options, one of which is to actually turn the monitor off.

2) We're not talking screensavers, we're talking wallpaper.

3) The only wallpaper I could imagine mandating would be "none" simply to save bytes. But that's pretty petty.

4) If your employees are looking at wallpaper, you've got issues. Shouldnt' they be working? (admittedly manymany "normal" employees actually work on something besides the PC from time to time)

5) Those same managers should have the pictures on their desk mandated.  Then they should be fired, since they obviously aren't working on building revenues for the company.

Philo

Philo
Friday, September 19, 2003

At one time, screensavers were needed because if you left the same thing on your screen all day, it woud "burn in" to the phosphors. I haven't seen this happen since the days of the green screens.

It was a problem for Space Invaders arcade games...

pdq
Friday, September 19, 2003

Passport protected screensavers are necessary for security reasons.

for energy saving th monitor should turn itiself off after 15 minutes or even less, but you still need the screen saver to prevent access.

Stephen Jones
Friday, September 19, 2003

Get your new wallpaper at
http://www.deviantart.com/

A lot of cool stuff there..

Fredrik Svensson
Friday, September 19, 2003

Burn-in is still possible with CRT-based projectors, which is why you shouldn't play videogames with static backgrounds on such devices (which includes not only front projectors, but also any CRT-based rear projection TV, which is most all of them). Ditto if you run a PC to such a device. So even though it's not really an issue for normal displays, it could be an issue with a home theater PC.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Friday, September 19, 2003

Be careful how you type Fredrik's URL in, there is also a devianttart.com and, although I haven't looked, it is unlikely to be the same type of thing...


Monday, September 22, 2003

>> Screensavers don't save energy. Any of them. If the gun be movin', it's burning trons.

It's wrong. Connect a watt-meter to your screen and you'll see. It costs more energy to make a pixel shine bright white as more electrons are shot out of the cathode than to leave it dark, so using the blank screen screen-saver on a CRT will save energy. Of course turning the monitor off automatically will save more, but some old-fashioned ones might not support this.

dat
Monday, September 22, 2003

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