I don’t really change my wallpaper – mostly because if I’m preparing stuff for lectures or labs I think the wallpaper should be as generic as possible. This means students aren’t distracted, and that as long as the content is still appropriate the same material can be used year on year without becoming too dated.

However I still have found a definite decision, and it’s more to do with my computer setup than anything else. A few years ago I got dual monitors at work. At the time I saw it as a bit of an indulgence, but they really changed the way I work and it soon became obvious that I had to have two monitors at home too. It’s just so much easier to have one document for reference (reading) and one for writing at the same time, or have your code in one monitor and the output in the other.

Given my dual monitor setup this is my gaming wallpaper of choice:

Portal Wallpaper – perfect for dual display

I’m not really bothered about the wallpaper, but if you’ve not discovered the joys of a dual display I highly recommend it. If you can’t do that, or you have a widescreen monitor then Windows & allows you do dock a window in half of the screen for a similar effect. Two monitors still wins out though because if you have two monitors you can dock a document into one half of both screens by holding the windows key down and pressing the cursor keys to dock the currently selected window.

Try it out – but be warned – sooner or later you’ll be shelling out for another display!