Unalign items from grid in Windows 8

Icons on your desktop on Windows 7 and 8 are usually aligned to a grid meaning you can only place them in a certain alignment - which leaves you unable to create adorable desktop structures such as this one:


To remove this restriction simply right-click some free space on your desktop, select View and uncheck Align icons to grid:


Add places icons to the desktop in Linux Mint 13 (Cinnamon)

After installing Linux Mint 13 on your machine for the first time, you will only have few to no icons on the desktop by default. This makes accessing important files fast a chore. However, you can change this just like in the present versions of MS Windows.

To do so, go to Menu > Preferences > Cinnamon Settings > Desktop.

Here, tick all the boxes whose items you want to have on the desktop and close the preferences window again. If you want to remove them again, just repeat the process and untick the boxes again.

Install Cinnamon 1.6 (unstable) on Linux Mint

Cinnamon 1.6 will apparently be the version used in Linux Mint 14 and is already available for testing. Be warned, since it's the first release of 1.6, it will be buggy.

Open Sofware Sources from the main menu and check the Unstable packages (romeo) checkbox to make the packages available to your Update Manager.

Afterwards open the Update Manager and upgrade these four packages:

Afterwards uncheck the romeo repository again! Restart cinnamon and check if the correct version is used using a terminal:

cinnamon --restart
cinnamon --version

Install Mate desktop on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)

The Mate desktop was modeled after the discontinued Gnome 2 desktop because many people didn't like the direction the Gnome and Unity desktops headed towards. To install Mate on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), open a terminal and enter following commands one after another:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu precise main"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-core
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

Afterwards, log out of your current desktop session and select MATE as desktop environment in your login menu. It will be used the next time you log in.

Make Metro apps open links in IE’s desktop version in Windows 8

By default, if you open web content from the Metro UI, it will be opened with the Metro version of Internet Explorer. If you don't like that behavior you can easily change it in the Internet options. Open the charms menu by pointing your mouse to the top or bottom right corner of the screen and click on Settings. Choose Control Panel from the next menu.
In the classic Control Panel, go to Network and Internet > Internet Options and choose the Programs tab. The first section, Opening Internet Explorer holds a drop-down menu where you choose Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop from. Apply your changes and the Internet Explorer should now be opened in the desktop App instead of its Metro version.

Remove Desktop Clutter On Windows 7 With PowerShell

All of us know the habit of using the desktop as temporary working directory for all kinds of tasks, afterwards leaving most of the files there thinking you might still need them the next day. The day you use them again however never comes and so they remain on your desktop, eventually filling it up to the bottom right corner.
But for lazy people, there are lazy solutions to delay the task of cleaning and tidying up your computer! Just create a folder called Desktop on your Desktop and stuff everything you don't need into it! Here comes a PowerShell script that does this for you (replace the path to the desktop with the one to yours):

cd C:\Users\howtoforge\Desktop
$path = "C:\Users\howtoforge\Desktop"
$index = 0
$run = 1
while ($run -eq 1) {
if (test-path ($path + "\Desktop_" + $index)) {
else {
mkdir ($path + "\Desktop_" + $index)
$run = 0
gci $path |
? {$_.Name -notlike "Desktop_*" -and $_.Name -notlike "meta.ps1"} |
Foreach-Object { move-item $_ -destination ($path + "\Desktop_" + $index)}

This script creates a numbered "Desktop_x" folder, takes all the stuff from your desktop except system folders such as the recycle bin, shortcuts and the things you exclude in the script and throws them all inside the created folder.
The only thing you might want to adjust are the items the script excludes - these are given in the line

? {$_.Name -notlike "Desktop_*" -and $_.Name -notlike "meta.ps1"} |

Up to now, the script excludes all the items whose names begin with Desktop_, which is because the script is not supposed to crap its own folders, and the "meta.ps1" file, which is the name I saved the script under on my desktop.
Copy the script into a notepad and save it as .ps1 file - if you get an error message about converting to a different character set, cancel the saving. This happens upon copying the script from the website to notepad - to solve the issue, look through the script in your notepad for double-quotes and replace those that look odd with new ones. You should now be able to save the document without problems.
To add more files to exclude, copy and paste the bold part of the line (including the space character in front of it) right after itself and replace the name (which is meta.ps1) with the file you want to exclude (you may use wildcards (*) to select multiple files).
To run the script, right-click it and select Run with PowerShell.

Infinite Windows 7 Desktop with WindowSlider

WindowSlider is a useful application especially with older non wide-screen monitors since it allows horizontal scrolling of the desktop, as if there were multiple virtual desktops stuck together giving you an infinite work space (the wallpaper and taskbar are static, only the windows move).

It runs as a tray-icon in your taskbar and hast customizable keyboard shortcuts to scroll, but also to jump to active or approximate windows. Furthermore it enables you to scroll by pushing your mouse to one of the side-ends of the screen.
All of the above functions are disengageable.
Download WindowSlider here: http://ficusdev.com/WindowSlider/Description

Free Your Windows 7 Desktop While Drag&Dropping

There is a feature added to the Show Desktop panel in the bottom right corner of the screen that enables you to free the desktop of all windows instantly if you want to drop an item upon it. To do so, just drag the desired item on the panel, hold it a split-second and all open windows will minimize, allowing you to drop the item on the desktop.

Fast Execution Bar (Linux Gnome Desktop)

If you are tired of browsing through your files or the menu to find and open an application you do not use regularly or if you just want to speed up the process of opening a program, there is an application for the Gnome Desktop called GNOME Do which you might like.
Install it as usual with your package manager and start it. To call the execution bar, press SUPER (Windows Key on Windows keyboards) + Space and enter the name or parts of the name of any application, script or executable.

If it is not the desired app that is proposed, you can browse the other possibilties with the Up- and Down- keys. To cancel the bar, hit ESC and to execute the displayed program hit Enter.