Multiple Desktops Patent Idea

[I never got around to submitting this as a pending patent, as it turned out that someone had probably done something quite similar in the past. At any rate, here’s a formalized idea that deals in the electronics business.]

One monitor, multiple desktops


Kenneth Burchfiel


The present invention is directed to the field of computer desktops, and more specifically to the creation of multiple desktops for one user in the same user base.

Summary of the invention


Today’s computer interfaces are based on a ‘desktop’ computer area which works as the homepage for a user and his or her computer. The desktop contains links to icons, which redirect the user to programs or documents that are opened in windows.

Such desktops have icons ordered in a specific way, but all icons are put on one desktop only, limiting users from putting a certain number of icons on the desktop without cluttering the screen and making it difficult to both organize and/or find certain icons, regardless of sorting of said icons. In some cases, the screen itself and the resolution of that screen does not permit more than a certain amount of icon space on the desktop without having to overlap icons.

Flash and Java are two programming mediums in which sound, images and video can be put directly on a certain area such as an internet browser or a computer desktop. These programs are able to be visible without opening in a prescribed window, unlike programs such as Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word which are opened and then manipulated in by windows. Flash and Java-based programs are not hindered by the need to maximize or minimize the stated programs and thus can be viewable while a user is working on other areas of the computer.


The present invention calls for a Flash or Java-based computer application in which the user of the computer may select multiple desktops with each having the ability to hold a unique set of icons. The implied use of such an application will be to sort the icons of a user by various categories and having each category relating to one of the desktop screens.

The desktop selector will be placed at either the bottom or the top half of the computer screen, suggested placement being directly above the taskbar, positioned and colored in such a way that while the user is able to rapidly select a desktop, the selector does not distract a user from attending to his or her computer. An option to hide the desktop selector so that it is obscured except for a small box, such as a maximization box on the top left of a page opened in a computer to maximize the desktop selector to its standard image, will be present and easily viewable. The style will be easily customizable with a default skin relating to the current version of the computer of the user, with additional skins present on the function and additional downloadable skins should a website for such a program be created. A custom skin creator will also be present and available with easy-to-follow instructions and the option to add images to such a customizable desktop included. The actual desktop selector, although customizable in dimensions as well, will consist of a long, thin rectangular bar with aforementioned options positioned to the left side. A total of five desktops may be created; unused desktops will be shown in a small, gray square in which clicking on one will present the opportunity to create and customize the new desktop. A created desktop will be marked by a colored square. The colored square can either be the default color assigned by the position of the desktop in the entire menu, a customizable color selected in the skins creator, or an image thumbnail either of the desktop or of an unrelated picture selected by the user. When the mouse is run over such a square, it will magnify the square so that it pops out over the bar and lets the viewer see what the desktop is. Upon clicking the square, the viewer is transported to that desktop, and if a new desktop is not chosen within the default 10 seconds or a time set by the user, the square will minimize and the bar will retain it’s default appearance.

After the program is downloaded or uploaded into the computer, depending on the medium the desktop selector will originally be stored on, whether the internet, a compact disc, or another way to store the program information, the program will instantly recognize the current desktop as the default desktop and program it into the selector. If all desktops are deleted by the user, this default desktop, which cannot be removed or changed by the user, will retain it’s position as the default and will once again be marked as the first desktop. Thus, until a user creates a new desktop with new icons, this desktop cannot be deleted from it’s current position. If a user is to click once on a gray square, the following message will pop up: “Desktop not in use. Double-click on the gray square to create a new desktop.” By double-clicking, the user is taken to a full-screen page which, if minimized, will be represented by a small red box in the corner of the desktop selector bar. From here, the user is asked to select which icons to put on the desktop; actual choice of the desktop screen, screensaver and other options will be chosen as normal on the user’s computer as default. Icons will then be dragged around the screen or sorted by name, size, type, or modification date either vertically or horizontally, and spacing between sorted icons will be selectable as well. When the user is satisfied with the icons and their arrangement, they will click ‘ok’ on a box in the lower right-hand corner, which will then take them to their newly formed desktop. The desktop background will be gray, and the user will be prompted to go to their computer menu and change the desktop. Once they do that, an animation will show the new desktop be added to the desktop selector grid in either red, yellow, green, blue or violet depending on it’s placement in the grid, red is assigned to the first desktop, yellow to the second, green to the third, blue to the fourth and purple to the fifth. If the user wishes to do an image preview of the desktop as their default box appearance, the animation will play out with that instead; such options may be edited in the options tab on the left hand side of the desktop selector.

Depending on the computer software and the version of the computer, it may not be possible to alter the computer configuration so that the computer will accept a multiple desktop. This can be solved by one of two ways. First, the program would not tell the computer to create a new desktop, rather, it would cover up the icons that do not relate to the icon choice. For example, if a desktop was to consist of only the blue icons, and the current desktop had red and blue icons, the desktop would simply cover up the red icons so that a certain type of ‘camouflage’ screen, either java or flash based depending on the program settings, would cover up the icons. Another option would simply be to keep the original desktop and have the new desktops arranged in windows that could be open or shut like browser windows, with copies of the icon pictures linking to the original icon shortcuts replacing the actual icons. Either way, a computer will not need to have any extra programming to accept the new desktops, whether they are actually new desktops or methods of covering icons to create different patterns. Thus, this program could run on any computer that accepts java or flash and would support links to the original icons and their corresponding programs


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