John’s Background Switcher 4.8

I love photos.  I also love making my computer desktop into a photo gallery.  I hate icons on my desktop – I want all the space for photos.  Over the years I’ve tried various desktop background switchers, but the one I’ve stuck to because I love it best is John’s Background Switcher.   Last month John Conners released version 4.8 which added two nifty features, Dropbox support and collages.

If you want to see photos from your collection on a regular basis, then I highly recommend John’s Background Switcher.

This is what my desktop looks like as I write this – my blog editor and the photos around it.


Normally I have John’s Background Switcher pick just one photo at the time, but I’m enchanted by the new collage feature and will stick with it for a while.  By the way, it’s teaching me I need to edit my collection better, and make sure all photos are turned properly.  And it mixes in family photos, with photos I collect and use for this blog.  That makes for some odd combinations.  And it also shows that some photos should be culled from the collection because they’re bad photos.  I have a nasty habit of keeping all shots because I think of them as history, but I need to think of photos as art instead.

This constant bombardment of the senses can be distracting, so sometimes I hide the photos by opening browser windows.  Or it’s easy to turn off JBS.  But usually I love being surprised and reminded by scenes of the past.  It’s like having floating memories on my desktop.  And I have it set to change every minute.  It’s amazing how many faces I recognize, and from any age in people’s lives.


What’s even more fun is setting this up with two monitors.  Sometimes I run the second monitor just for the photos.  The surprise of seeing certain photos can inspire my writing, or remind me I need to reconnect with people, and since I collect historical photos, it reminds me of other times and places.

One of my many retirement projects is organizing my photo collection.  Susan and I inherited her family photos and my family photos when our parents died years ago.  Plus I love to collect photos.  When I see a cool pic on the net, I snag it, and add it to a file called “Wallpapers” – which has sub-folders for many types of images.  I also like to collect images of book and album covers, and I’ve started collecting art pictures too, especially from  Colossal.  I’ll be writing more about my photo organization project in the near future.  I just wanted to promote the new version of John’s Background Switcher for now.

The program is only for Windows – although John has promised a Mac version,  and I’d actually like to see it on Linux too.  The advantage of John’s Background Switcher, besides it’s many configuration features, is it lets you link to many popular photo sites to get random images from other people.  These include Flickr, 500px, Instagram, Facebook, Vladstudio, SmugMug, Picasa, etc.  This is great because there are so many amazing amateur photographers out there.  However, I must warn you, if you use this feature at work, sometimes photos will pop up that might be embarrassing – like some beach babe when the boss is in your office to give you a new task.  People often came to my office would stare at my monitor, and not look at me when they were talking.

JWH – 1/13/14

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