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March 23, 2004
too many OS X windows

Those aren’t Post-Its. That’s Simon Willison’s Exposé setup. God bless OS X.

Reader Comments

March 24, 01h

As a mac user who is totally addicted to tabs, I can still say that Exposť is a God-send. It may not help you see all the pages in your browser window, but funny, seems like I tend to use more than just browsers when working…

A photoshop, bbedit documents, terminal windows, browser windows (yes, more than one browser window with a dozen tabs loaded in each), mail, ichat, itunes, stickies, ical, net news wire.

A minor note that those who dont use exposť on a regular basis might not know: Exposť doesn’t just show thumbnail images of the windows you have open, but it gives you a live preview of what’s going on in each of the windows - you can watch pages loading, see incoming IMs, etc.

Stephen says:
March 24, 02h

Haha, thanks john! You just destroyed any hope of me getting work done tonight.

And I can see this for a lot more than just browser windows. Think graphics programs, text files with various editors, email windows, and anything I just *want* open at the time.

This is going to help me so much! Thanks! :)

Derek says:
March 24, 02h

I think one problem with doing Exposé on Windows is that Mac OS X uses its system-level Quartz graphics rendering to get Exposé working *fast*. If you had something similar that worked too slowly, it would lose much of its utility. But if you could run it on a hefty WinBox with a good graphics card, it might work.

Oiden says:
March 24, 02h

I set my PC desktop fonts to 72x72 pixels just so I could pretend!

Hasan says:
March 24, 02h

Sorry, completely off topic here,

Dave, regarding your “I broke Google” daily…that’s how I found the Zen Garden, over three months ago!

ak says:
March 24, 03h

what ever happened to tabbed browsing? i love that feature though, and even more so, i love the one to show the desktop.

hmm.. if his pb can do that, i wonder what mine can do (1.25ghz, but less ram). i’m constantly impressed by this machine

Mike P. says:
March 24, 07h

And what is that, exactly? I can recognize some of those designs, but what’s it all about?

Mike P. says:
March 24, 07h

Never mind:

A lowly windows user, I am…

March 24, 08h

There is a point at which Alt+Tab does become useless… My bet is Microsoft takes the idea and adds it to longhorn. But your right about one thing, it does look like Post-Its

Andy Hey says:
March 24, 08h

Microsoft have something similar in the form of a ALT+TAB powertoy that shows a preview of the window your “ALT-TABBING” to.

jon says:
March 24, 08h

ack – this drives me nvts! when in the world will we have OSX ported for intel boxes? ;)

at first, i thought that was a giant wall in a conf room full of html mock-ups. instead, it’s just craziness!


March 24, 08h

Simon takes multitasking to a whole new level.

Is that a 17” PowerBook?

My 12” iBook would slow to a crawl with that many apps running, but I still love it.

beto says:
March 24, 08h

I like cutesy Post-It-like windows on my screen.

I wish I could get used to Exposé more often, but with 90% of my time spent on a Dell and a measly 10% at my home’s Mac, the Alt-Tab approach always wins over. Pity me.

Now, that many windows leave me thinking whether Simon has an overclocked processor on his Powerbook or something.

Stephen says:
March 24, 09h

That’s the first time I’ve seen Exposé and I must say I’m very impressed. If I had the capital I would purchace a Mac of some sort for that feature alone. Wow. The demo - - is amazing.

But out of curiosity, what is stopping somebody from making a windows app to handle this? The scaling+tiling (F9) trick might be a challenge, but the rest should be easy for anyone familiar with Windows programming.

My NEW life plan: finish college, get a good job, buy a Mac. :)

Mike P. says:
March 24, 09h

I had thought the same as jon above in msg #5 - it looks like some sort of presentation or something.

nasu says:
March 24, 09h could help

March 24, 10h

<acronym title=”Apple OS X”>OS X</acronym> ? interesting…

March 24, 10h

Ha! WinPLOSION used to be called WinExposé! Hehehe. Guess Apple got to them :)

John says:
March 24, 10h

There’s a decent free app for this called iEx:

These guys made a wrapper program for the config:

Apparently, the developer is working on version 0.3 which will have all the pretty animation and other features of Exposé.

March 24, 11h

It’s a 15” PowerBook with 768MB of RAM and a 1 GHz processor. I don’t normally run it with quite that many things open as it does slow down a bit, but at SxSW I was opening a new browser window every time a URL came up in a panel or conversation. It took about half an hour to clean everything up when I got back :)

March 24, 11h

I’m mostly a Windows user, having a humble G4 desktop at the house as my only mac. And normally when I’m on windows, I typically have one or two browser windows open (Firefox, of course) with at least 25 tabs. And then there are the requisite SSH sessions – typically about 4 or 5 at a time. If I wanted to make a crazy exposé screenshot like this, I’d have to seriously change the way I do things. I’d have to completely stop using tabs in my browser. To me, that’s just clutter. But it sure does look nice in that picture.

Ethan says:
March 24, 11h

Simon–I said it then, and I’ll say it again: that’s an argument for Tabbrowser Extensions[1] if ever I saw one. ;)