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  TopDesk Review
  By Pat

  Front > Software > Utilities
  8/23/2005
     Images    

 

Basics

TopDesk is a small program from Otaku Software (as far as I know their, or rather his, only product) that replicates the functionality of Apple’s latest interface innovation, Expose’. Looks pretty too.

There are three modes, corresponding to three hot keys, for TopDesk. Oddly enough, Apple’s Expose has a similar number of options. In fact, TopDesk seems to a direct ripe-off of Apple’s feature (hopefully Otaku doesn’t have a lawyer or if they do they’re busy with Apple’s lawyers). Is this a bad thing though? No, not really, seems more like a trend these days.


Tiling all windows

This is the major feature and works pretty well. You hit the hot key (F9 by default) and all you apps, including minimizes ones, spread themselves out on your desktop and letting you see everything you’ve got open all at once. You can then click on whichever one floats your boat and it is brought into focus with another slick animation. If you have the program setup like I do (see the performance section) then this takes a good second. Maybe you can stand this; maybe it’ll make you want to see how big a dent you can put in a wall with a Microsoft mouse. As for myself, this is way too long for normal use. As I’ve said though, it is pretty, fun to show off and a great way to find a lost window.

Topdesk F9
Topdesk F9 


Tiling application windows

Think everything I said about the tiling all windows feature and limit it to one app (and hit the F10 key be default). Got a lot of Office files open? This could be handy. This is another feature that Expose has and frankly it makes more sense on the Mac. If you are at all familiar with classic Mac applications then you know what I mean, if not then congratulations, you are part of the majority!


Hide visible windows

Now, one would think that this feature would work a lot like Windows Show Desktop feature and it does, for the most part. Instead of simply minimizing all your applications, it does this little slide animation to the bottom of the screen. It also leaves behind the very tops of your applications. Why? I just don’t know. Actually, now I do know. James over at Otaku Software let me know the rational behind this behavior, "that windows aren’t full hidden so they can be recovered if something goes wrong with the system." Hopefully this isn't a situation you run into much, I certainly haven't experienced any problems caused by TopDesk itself, but as a long time Windows user I can see instances where this would be handy.

F11 function
F11 function 




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[ Performance & Conclusion ]
 

 

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