Free desktop backgrounds

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The terms wallpaper, desktop picture and desktop background refer to an image used as a background on a computer screen, usually for the desktop of a graphical user interface. Many screen resolutions are proportional in a 4:3 ratio, so an image scaled to fit in a different-sized screen will still be the correct shape, although that scaling may impact quality. Common wallpaper resolutions are connected to common desktop resolutions: 800×600, 1024×768, 1280×1024 and 1600×1200.

Most display systems are capable of specifying a single colour to use as the background in place of wallpaper, and some (such as KDE or GNOME) allow colour-gradients to be specified. Early versions of Mac OS and Microsoft Windows allowed for small repeating patterns to tile the desktop.

Desktop backgrounds that are used usually fall into one of the following categories: automobiles, models and celebrities, scenery, abstract art, movies, pets, family, symmetry, and personal photos. It is common to corporate logos or plain backgrounds on business computers, as such guidelines that are often specified by the company.

Some operating environments (e.g. KDE, Mac OS X, and Windows 7) allow a number of different desktop backgrounds to be used, and changed from a set of selected images to display different backgrounds at different times. In environments where this is not possible off-hand, third-party tools may be able to have this be done.

To create nice desktop backgrounds, Adobe Flash can be used. By using this tool, dynamic or interactive backgrounds can be designed. Microsoft Windows 98 through XP allowed WebPages to be set as frames on the desktop which may be dynamic pages. Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate also has the ability to use a video as a desktop background. Users can choose to use their own home videos which loop continuously, or use one already installed.

Some media players, like VLC, can redirect video playback to the desktop, allowing any video to be used as a background. Programs such as Xplanet and EarthDesk use Internet connections and graphics calculations to change the desktop background with real data, such as a shadowed view of the earth, the latest cloud or weather map, or various events.

Desktop backgrounds, in general, aid in the user’s creative mind’s workshop. It is a tool that can make a difference in the individual’s attitude and behaviour. Creating a background that caters to a person’s needs helps in encouraging his or her work environment and also in the personal life.

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