October 18, 2001

Survey! II

Things have calmed down long enough for me to compile the survey results.
Thanks to all who replied.

There are two more links to add to the list of those who responded in their journals:

And unfortunately, Sasha's answers aren't included in the summary, as by the time I got around to collecting them, they had cycled out of her weblog.
Procrastination will get me every time.

Here are the questions, with my responses and a summary of my readers' answers:

Desktop Wallpaper: What image and/or colour?

Desktop Computer:

Monet Water Lilies, which has been the wallpaper on that computer for almost three years.


Water Penguins

Readers' Answers:

Two have "none";
The rest have:

  • Halloween pumpkin (changes weekly)
  • deserted beach on a gray day
  • A picture of the blue ridge mountains in silhouette - very calming.
  • Webshots: city scenes
  • A photograph of the Mir space station in orbit silhoueted against the earth
  • picture of the inside of a bus
  • boring beige pinstripe
  • Picture of my dog Patty...he's part Lab and part Pit Bull, but he's all lap dog
  • a hilly "sound of music" type of scene on the opening page

Screen Saver: Describe, and if possible specify where you got it from

Desktop: THINK program for cancer research

Laptop: Photos of penguins which rotate (the photos, not the penguins). Got it from the Penguin Page which doesn't seem to have it available any more.


  • 5 have none or a blank screen
  • four have webshots, two of whom specified space photos, and surfing and storm photos
  • one vote for the wonderful owl of Owl Post fame from the Warner Brother's Harry Potter site
  • one SETI@home
  • two have scrolling texts, customized to "You can only make a difference when you care" and "blahhh".

Colour scheme: default or otherwise?

Desktop: "Desert" - dark greens and light browns. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Laptop: "Slate" - a variety of blues.


  • four defaults
  • two defaults with minor changes
  • gray and navy
  • gray and green
  • "ocean"

Sound scheme:

Desktop: Usually off; a few default sounds for ICQ.

Laptop: as above except for the windows start sound, which is a really cool .wav of penguins screeching and splashing.


  • 3 with no sounds
  • 3 default
  • one crumpling paper sound for emptying the recycling bin;
  • one sound file from Wallace & Gromit. It says "Windows are our speciality."
  • one "bababooey" for IRC
  • one jungle sounds
  • and two readers who took the trouble to elaborate in more detail:
“Welcome Mistress,” on start up…and then “ It’s been a pleasure serving you Mistress,” on shut down.
I also hear with each email, “There is a private message for you Mistress,” all spoken in the same damn sexy male subservient voice.


When I log on the net: Welcome to the Internet my friend how can I help you?
or: The Internet… is that thing still around? – Homer Simpson
Exclamation prompt: Kiss my ass - Homer Simpson.
Critical Stop: I didn’t think this was physically possible but this both sucks and blows- Bart Simpson.
Mail Notification: There is a message for you- Hal: from the film 2001
Windows log off: Good night captain, sleep well. Computer voice from Star Trek

Does all or some of the above come from a pre-set theme? If so, which?

No. Never met a theme I could live with.

Nobody else admitted to having one either but several supplied amusing comments:

  • Nope, all pieced together with my own sick twisted pleasure seeking mind.
  • Not any more. I have loaded, in my time, a German Shepherd theme and an Irish theme, and both involved animation, so both got on my nerves in short order. I do keep the German Shepherd wallpaper - that dog is the Cary Grant of German Shepherds.
  • No actually I lay awake at night trying to figure all this shit out in place of having a live sex partner.

How many icons on your desktop?

24 on the laptop; probably a few more than that on the desktop. Readers counts ranged from four to forty.
Forty icons.. that must slow things up!

How many items in your recycle bin and what's the oldest "date deleted"?

11 objects, one week on the desktop; laptop is empty!

Most had none or very few; the highest (admitted to) was 265 since August 21, 2001.

When was the last time your virus definitions were updated?

Every two weeks or sooner.

Most replies were variations on daily to weekly; there were however some dissenters:

  • Virus? What virus? ;-)
  • Umm..actually, I havent a clue
  • I won't even admit to a date.......guess I'd better go do that now.

So what does it all mean?

First of all, my readers are WEIRD.
I mean that in the best possible way, of course.

People are good about emptying the trash but not always as good about updating their virus programs;

Themes and colour schemes are out;

Scenic wallpaper and screen savers are in.

Sounds are something you either love or hate and the amount of effort is put into them accordingly.

You can tell a lot about a person from his desktop wallpaper and screensaver; reading the journal itself helps, too.

I was hoping to use this as a jumping off point for a rant about form vs. function but considering my own replies don't fit with my vision of myself as utilitarian, I guess some rethinking is in order.

When I get around to it, of course.

Linque Du Jour:   Tourism - Montreal:

Self-proclaimed "Montreal's Official Tourist Information Web Site";

For any of you contemplating a visit in the near (or distant) future.

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