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Location: GUIs > Misc GUIs > Real World Desk

Realworld Desk
Screen Shots

Some people visiting my GUI gallery may wonder where the desktop concept came from. Well before Windows, before the Macintosh, or even before the Xerox Alto, there was the Realworld(TM) Desk.

What is this curious "real world" of which I speak? It is a world outside of computers and television. In this world physical objects are used instead of electronic ones. Yes, such a world exists although it seems it is becoming less and less common.

These screen shots show a typical desk as they once commonly appeared.

Real World Desktop
This is a desktop.

There is no fancy boot screen (unless you count the box it came in) as it does not need to be turned on or off, although sometimes turning on a light helps.

The Realworld Desktop comes empty by default. I have placed several common items on the desktop as examples. The Realworld Desktop is totally customizable with probably hundreds of thousands of popular accessories available.

This screen shot shows the following accessories:
Phone - This is an audio device used for communicating with other people around the world.
Clock - A simple device used to keep time.
Paper pad - A flat surface used for writing and drawing.
Pen - One of a number of writing utensils typically used on paper.
Stapler - A device that enables you to to attach loose sheets of paper together.
Inbox - This is where other people can put messages or documents that need your attention.
Outbox - This is where you can put documents that need to be sent to other people. (People used to work in groups and physically interact)

Although this desk does not support it, some desks have a glass cover that you can place background images under.

Desk with paper and graph

This screen shot shows some additional accessories:
Colored markers - Additional writing utensils that enable you to write or draw in different colors or line widths.
Sticky notes - Smaller adhesive pieces of paper designed for small quick notes such as reminders.
Note cards - When researching a subject it can be useful to break up information in to individual pieces of information that can be easily rearranged later. Note cards are designed for this and can do much more as well.
Graph paper - Marked paper that enables easier and more precise drawing of graphs and diagrams than regular paper.
Forms - Paper that has been pre produced with a template for entry of specific data. This is a very simple and cost effective method of organized data entry and storage.

As this example shows, the paper pads allow any variety of graphics and fonts you can come up with.

Desk with cutting tray

Items can be cut from various sources and taped, glued, or pasted, on to other documents.

In this example I am using a cutting tray to hold multiple image and picture documents that I am working with. This cutting tray is small, but could easily be larger.

Note that the graph is in the outbox now and ready to go.

Desk with real world books
You can use the Realworld Desk to read a wide variety of books and magazine that are still available. There are even Realworld road maps.

Note that I moved the cutting tray without the need to move each individual picture.

There is something in the Inbox. Probably junk mail.

Firefox and New York Times
Reading the news with Firefox!

In Realworld no NYT subscription is required - just pick one up for a buck at a store or newsstand.

The letter that was in my Inbox turned out not to be junk after all, but rather a letter from my dear old mother.


The Realworld Desk can be used to play games too! This screen shot shows everyone's favorite - Solitaire!

And as you can see, Firefox is IN and protects your Inbox!

UAC Rockets
You could try playing Doom in Realworld, but I would not recommend it.

Photocopies and Rolodex
With extra add-ons you can make photo copies of documents.

Realworld Desk can have some bugs - that is what the handy dandy bug swatter is for!

One final accessory, the Rolodex circular note card file is very useful for keeping your favorite phone numbers and addresses.

When you are done with documents you can store them in a file cabinet or drawer.

Trash can
Or if you don't like what you created you can put it in the trash.

Note that after being set aside, the cutting tray is back. Again, I only had to move the tray back on the desk without moving each individual image on it.

Computer on desk
Sadly, while Realworld desks are still around this is all you see on them today.