I am searching for a way to have multiple Desktops (AKA Workspaces on Linux/Ubunto) on my Windows7 machine.
I often keep my computer up and running for several days without shut down, and I have at least 4 working jobs at a time. I hate to close all programs and folders relating to a job, and then open the other set of folders/programs for the second job, and so on. I am also used to switched between multiple jobs multiple times every day, and this comsumes lots of my time.
What I have tried:
I downloaded several software and utilities which seemed to work just fine loading multiple Desktops, but the problem mainly is that most of the programs will be shared among these Desktops, so when I switch to Desktop #2 and open up Photoshop for example, in case that software was already open on Desktop #1 then Photoshop will load with the files in it as seen on all other shared Desktops. I have the same problems with Dreamweaver and many other programs that I use.
What I am thinking:
I do need a way to switch between Desktops as being seperate computers. I am thinking about creating 3 other users on my computer and switch between them and keep each project files & programs open on every instance/user. I can then simply click "Start -> Switch User" and select the user which contains the other project. I know this will exhaust the computer resources and specifically RAMs, so I will be purchasing additional memory and attach that to my computer.
I need your advice on this. Thanks a lot.
Thanks for the detailed question!
Have you already tried using Virtual PC?
Instead of having a shared OS/session between the "desktops" that you mention, Virtual PC actually treats the application itself as a separate operating system independent of the host (your actual computer). This of course is resource intensive but it would not cause the problems that you experienced so far.
Try it and let me know how it goes! Thanks,
Thanks for your reply. The only problem with Virtual PC is that I need to install the programs again on all instances of the Virtual Machines. So I will need to install Microsoft office, Creative Cloud programs, Visual Studio, and many other programs on each instance and this is time consuming.
Beside the above problem, I will have licensing issues because programs like Adobe CC will allow me to install the programs on two computers only, and the Virtual Machines are considered different computers and I don't want to purchase additional subscriptions for this.
What you can do is make a clean image with all programs installed and use the 1 image in VMWare (or whatever VM tool you have). And then you don't have to install everything each time.
OK, I will look into this now.
Question: What's the problem with creating multiple users from Windows and switch between these users from Start -> Switch User ?
So every user will have the prorgams installed by default, and I can open each project's relating files/programs on every user and just switch back and forth between them. This seems much easier and straight forward to me. Any thoughts?
There wouldn't be a problem, but I thought your goal was to keep multiple projects opened without screenshots being captured between different projects. With a VM, you can have all your projects on separate windows, screenshots would be only for the VM, and you can have multiple projects open simultaneously in their own environment. I think that's what you want to do?
If you switched users, you'd still only have 1 project opened at a time.
Sorry about the confusion. No that wasn't what I wanted to do. I cannot do multi-tasking! I heard some people can do it but my little brain can't handle all this!
I will work on one single project at a time, but I switch between projects every 1-2 hours. I want a way to keep all the files and programs open for each project, so when I go to it I can just begin working and when I finish I don't need to close the files & software accompanied with a project.
I do switch-tasking but not multi-tasking if that helps. Sometimes I finish a task on a project and need to take a break from it so I go to project #2 to work on another task, and so on. I feel bored to work on the same project for a very long time, and it takes so much time for me to close/open all files/programs for every project when I need to work on it again.
Do you think multiple users is the way to go? So basically I will load a project's files & programs to user, and do the same the other projects, each on their own user. This seems the most logical one. I know this feature existed since ever on Windows but this is the first time I think about using it due to my recent work load.
Ah, OK! I totally misunderstood you! What I suggested then is for multitasking and is probably not what you want.
I think your idea with switching users is the better option to keep yourself focused. I'm on the other side of the spectrum where I just want everything open at all times so I can switch around.
So, yes you have a good idea. See how you like it.
I will see how it works tomorrow. Do you have any ideas if keeping 3 users running in the background with 1 active working user for a period of 1-2 days hurts the computer before a shut down? Or is it just the RAM that counts in this forumla, so it all depends on what I have open in these 4 instances.
Sad to say but I don't remember if Win7 keeps applications open if you just switch users. I always just have 1 user active.
There are some who argue that shutting off a PC is actually worse than leaving it on, since you are consistently starting/stopping the hard drive.
I leave my PC on until I'm forced to shut it down. So it stays on for months. The only time it's bad is if you just shut off power like if you lose power or just click the power off button without letting it shut down. So there is no problem leaving users active in the background and leaving your PC powered on. The only thing that I could say is bad is you're using up electricity and your bill is higher.
If you leave the PC on, you can also get a UPS. That's what I have, so it keeps the PC powered during a power flicker and you can manually shut it down. Florida is not known for it's electric company, so we get surges a lot. I keep my PC on a UPS just in case. Everything else is on a surge protector.