March 30, 2005 10:32 PM PST
As promised, here's the Microsoft desktop background changer
. It automatically changes your desktop background on a user-definable period. Scroll down to the "Winter Fun Pack 2004 for Windows XP" and select it. I think you have to be in IE for the validator to work (it validates that your copy of XP is activated).
Since it's from Microsoft, I figured this was the best way to go, given the other sketchy shareware solutions out there. It basically lets you select a directory and cycles through images in that directory. The standard placement options, etc. are there. It runs in the taskbar so you can tell it jump to the next image and stuff. I set my XP taskbar options to "always hide" it, so it's not that intrusive. It does what I need it to do, although there are a few peeves:
- You have to have activated XP, so MS is probably tracking you in some way when you download it.
- The "fun pack" installs themes for MediaPlayer 10 and some other crazy stuff (that you wouldn't run across - it just takes up space). You can disable some in the install, but some of the extras are forced on you.
- Uses something like 4MB of ram just to change backgrounds
- Doesn't have a random image option. Images are cycled in order. And time periods are limited to 30 minute increments for backgrounds. I mitigate this by having a huge amount of potential backgrounds, so I don't typically notice cycles