The view from here

As long as there have been computers, there have been desktop background images. Quite frankly, I’ve always kind of thought that it’s dumb because if you’re doing anything with your computer, you shouldn’t be seeing the desktop anyway.

And yet, it’s the very first thing that I do when I get a new computer and something that I change periodically. I guess there’s something impressive when someone looks over your shoulder and is impressed with the image.

With the advent of Apple’s Mojave upgrade, they’ve added the ability to have dynamic images as your background. Now, rotating images isn’t new but it was worth experimenting with anyway. This implementation is different.

Out of the box, Apple gives you a couple to get started. I tried them and they do work and are kind of neat. I’m assuming that it reads your computer clock and adjusts accordingly. But, there has to be more!

Look at my desktop now. This is the image as of 7:00am.

I had to learn about the “High Efficiency Image File Format” in the process but learning is good.


And later at about 8:30, you can see lightness working its way across the planet. (That’s twice in one morning that I’ve looked at my desktop!)

This is part of a collection offered for free – in addition to Earth above, look for HEIFFs of Jupiter, Moon, International Space Station, a City and New Orleans. Instructions about how to make this work are at the bottom of the page.

The page? Well, it’s right here.

Have you upgraded to Mojave and played around with this feature? Do you have a favourite? Please let me know via comment.

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One thought on “The view from here

  1. Windows had dynamic images as backgrounds a bunch of years ago. I played around with them for a while but as you say, if you are using the computer you don’t see the background. And besides they did take up cycles on some part of the computer. The GPU perhaps? Regardless I have other things I want my computer working on.

    This did remind me of a story, actually two, from way back. You may remember that when computers were large, room-sized even, they had light panels. The OS of most would run some sort of idle loop pattern. At Digital Equipment each operating system had their own pattern. You could look at a room full of idle PDP-11s and easily see what OS was running on each one.

    One company was selling a very large mainframe, it was Burroughs I believe, and when it was idle it displayed a Burroughs B in the lights. One customer wanted their own logo in the lights. The sales rep tried to explain that for the money they were spending on the computer they never ever wanted to see the computer idle long enough to show the logo. Nevertheless, the customer insisted and some programmer was assigned to write the code.

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