December 15th, 2010 | Published in Google Student Blog
This post is part of the “Teach Your Parents Tech” series where Googlers help provide some tips and tricks you can gift your parents with this Holiday Season.
Last holiday season was the first time that I accumulated enough funds (read: got a “real job” and stopped living on my mother’s account) to purchase a substantial holiday present for the person who gave me life. The gift? A new laptop to replace her archaic machine from the Ninth Circle. Simply gifting someone else’s creation wasn’t enough, though--I wanted to personalize the experience.
My mother’s a hopeless sap: all of her online passwords are variations of her children’s names (please don’t hack her!); she can never find anything in her purse because it’s engorged by our baby pictures; and her visceral reaction to the question “how are you doing?” is “oh, they (my sister and I) are doing quite well!” So to personalize the laptop, my sister engaged her masterful design skills to produce a desktop background of my mother’s Two Wonders of the World: her daughter and son, with a mint green background, no less (her favorite color). When the day arrived, she ecstatically expressed her appreciation for “a real present...finally!”; the real ringer, however, came when she saw the illuminated screen. She was brought to tears.
Your desktop background is more than the tone with which you begin your computing experience; it’s your palate. Make it dynamic and fun, but most importantly, make it you.
I constantly change my desktop background. Here are a few instances:
- Commemorate an important event or holiday, like a birthday or a national day
- Promote or anticipate a major upcoming event, like a new movie or sports event
- Rectify a bad day (or week) with a motivational quote or inspirational figures (a silhouette of Martin Luther King Jr. is a personal favorite)
- Demonstrate loyalty to “your side” if you’re part of a rivalry--from sports teams to mobile phone operating systems (e.g. I’ve had an Android army robot before)
- Mirror seasonal or environmental changes, such as a snowy background for the holidays or a beach during the summer
My mother and I, when I still listened to her attentively