It’s a universal fact that computer wallpapers never stay fun for long. No matter how pretty the picture is, staring at the same desktop each day can get a little tiresome. (Okay, so if you’re anything like me, the desktop is continuously obscured by masses of windows, but we all know that’s irrelevant.)
NASA have for years now run the wonderful Astronomy Picture of the Day website, featuring a new (and almost invariably stunning) image of outer space or some astronomical phenomenon – from our own moon, to neighbouring planets, stars, and galaxies. Even better these days, the pictures are inevitably high-resolution, making them ideal for desktop wallpapers.
As it happens, some clever guy came up with the idea of creating a program to run in the background and automatically update your desktop each day with the latest astronomical picture, published by NASA on their website. The application, called APOD Wallpaper, is available to download and install on your Windows machine, and having used it for roughly a week now, I can already highly recommend this handy little app. As a student of physics (and someone with a particular interest in astrophysics and cosmology), this has quickly become a must-have for my laptop; yet who could not appreciate the beauty of these pictures?
May you never tire of your desktop again!
Having just gotten hold of my lovely new MacBook Pro, I’ve had a chance to play around with getting an automatic APOD wallpaper on OS X too. As it turns out a certain scripting guru (Harold Bakker) has written a script to automatically update the OS X desktop wallpaper with the latest APOD and has kindly put it on his website. It’s slightly less trivial to setup than the Windows app, though he provides clear instructions on how to create a cron job for automatic updates… it’s been working perfectly for me so far!