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ATPM 8.04
April 2002




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Extras: Desktop Pictures



This month’s desktop pictures were taken by longtime ATPM reader Dalis VanderYacht (a.k.a DrTekNik), between November 2000 and September 2001.

All pictures were taken with a Canon Sure Shot 76 Zoom and 35 mm color negative film. Some film was 200 ASA, and some was 400 ASA, mixed between Kodak Gold and Fuji Color.

Although I prefer manual settings at least some of the time, this camera has none, as there were no cameras available with manual-anything in this price range.

I use Photoshop version 2.5.1 (it was really cheap) and these are the actions I took, in sequence, to edit the original files from my CDs:

  • Open the file (at 1536 x 1024) and, using the zoom magnifying glass, inspect the original for defects (hairs, developing spots, etc.).
  • Retouch those using the stamp tool and/or the smudge tool.
  • Adjust the Saturation to +20.
  • Change the image size to 1152 x 768.
  • Apply the Unsharp Mask, set to 150-175%, 0.5 pixels, 2 levels.
  • Apply my copyright.
  • Save as JPEG, set to a high value of picture quality and a low value of compression (7 out of 9).


CorteMaderaCreek: I took this from a bridge crossing the creek near Marin General Hospital, looking West. On the right there is a path following the shoreline.

DirtRoad: This road is out in the salt marshes and pastures adjoining the local sewage treatment plant’s extensive flood pans, in the middle of nowhere. You can see my bicycle leaning against a fence post. Mount Tamalpais is in the background to the right.

HouseFloat: This house is along the canal that drains the Santa Venetia Marshlands. It’s one of a few that are located along this particular canal. Note the Cormorant sitting on the piling to the right of the house.

MudCracks: These mudcracks were along a dirt path that runs along the top of the levees that keep the Santa Venetia Marsh from flooding Santa Venetia, an unincorporated area east of Marin Civic Center.

ShadyLane: This road is a side road that parallels Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, a busy two-lane highway that is the main artery from near the Larkspur Ferry Building all the way out to West Marin. Shady Lane is its real name.

Wood: This was taken of a wooden table top in San Francisco’s Golden Gate park.

CaliforniaStreetSF: This was taken on the famous California Street of San Francisco, California, looking up and West from downtown. I used to bicycle up this hill at least once a day during the course of my job as a bicycle courier back in the 80s.

BirdsSA: This was taken in downtown San Anselmo, Marin County, California. I thought it was unusual to see pigeons roosting on wires.

CenturyPlant: This Century Plant was way out towards San Pedro Bay, far from populated areas, and was in full bloom at the time, which, if I remember correctly, was around July.

68KSetup: This is my 68K Mac setup. The Quadra 650 is on the right, with an Apple Multiscan 15" AV Display. The middle unit is my Performa 460 with an Apple Performa Plus 14" monitor, and on the lower left, you can see my Macintosh IIci, which serves as my Ethernet file server and runs ‘headless’ (without a monitor) most of the time. Above the IIci is my AppleTalk ImageWriter II and the Apple Extended keyboard for the IIci. To the immediate right of the Quadra 650 is my External Apple 300e CD ROM, and an external case for a 20 MB PowerBook 2.5" HD, which serves as my backup startup disk (when things go wrong with the Quadra). In between the 650 and 460 is my Ethernet Hub, my EZ-135 External drive, and two Global Village 33.6 modems, one for the Quadra and one for the Performa 460. Since it gets very warm where I live, I keep the table fan blowing on the equipment to moderate the heat build-up. You’ll notice an aquarium thermometer sitting on the Quadra’s case to keep an eye on the temp.

South Coast Massachusetts (Winter 2000-2001)

Dartmouth: Dartmouth is a semi-rural town, west of New Bedford.

LampPostNB: A lamp post near downtown New Bedford.

SnowScene1: Right after a snow, near Fort Phoenix, looking towards the New Bedford fishing fleet.

SnowScene2: Another snowy scene near Fort Phoenix, this time looking North.

StandardTimesNB: Downtown New Bedford, looking toward the Standard Times building. You can see the Library with its statue of the harpooner in the bow of a whaleboat to the right. New Bedford at its peak was the Whaling Capital of the World. Moby Dick was written about a New Bedford whaling ship.

FortPhoenix: This is the stone marker to the entrance of Fort Phoenix, a seaside fort equipped with muzzle-loading cannon (now inoperative) to fend off attacks from the sea.

CoffinBldgNB: During the extensive renovation of downtown New Bedford, Massachusetts, I happened to see this doorway.

FairhavenBeach: This beach is on the East coast of Fairhaven overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. This shot was taken near Fort Phoenix.


DarkClouds: These clouds were taken from a moving car somewhere in Oklahoma.

StormClouds: These clouds were taken from a moving car, and soon burst into a heavy rain.

Route66Museum: This shot was taken across Highway I-40/US 66 in Clinton, Oklahoma. This is the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum, to distinguish it from the National Route 66 Museum, which is located in Elk City, down the road apiece.

Previous Months’ Desktop Pictures

Pictures from previous months are listed in the desktop pictures archives.

Downloading all the Pictures at Once

iCab and Interarchy (formerly Anarchie) can download an entire set of desktop pictures at once. In iCab, use the Download command to download “Get all files in same path.” In Interarchy, use HTTP Mirror feature.

Contributing Your Own Desktop Pictures

If you have a picture, whether a small series or just one fabulous or funny shot, feel free to send it to and we’ll consider publishing it in next month’s issue. Have a regular print but no scanner? Don’t worry. E-mail us, and we tell you where to send it so we can scan it for you. Note that we cannot return the original print, so send us a copy.

Placing Desktop Pictures

Mac OS X 10.1.x

Choose “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu and click the Desktop button. With the pop-up menu, select the desktop pictures folder you want to use.

You can also use the pictures with Mac OS X’s built-in screen saver. Choose “System Preferences…” from the Apple menu. Click the screen saver button. Then click on Custom Slide Show in the list of screen savers. If you put the ATPM pictures in your Pictures folder, you’re all set. Otherwise, click Configure to tell the screen saver which pictures to use.

Mac OS X 10.0.x

Switch to the Finder. Choose “Preferences…” from the “Finder” menu. Click on the “Select Picture…” button on the right. In the Open Panel, select the desktop picture you want to use. The panel defaults to your “~/Library/Desktop Pictures” folder. Close the “Finder Preferences” window when you are done.

Mac OS 8.5-9.x

Go to the Appearance control panel. Click on the “Desktop” tab at the top of the window. Press the “Place Picture…” button in the bottom right corner, then select the desired image. By default, it will show you the images in the “Desktop Pictures” subfolder of your “Appearance” folder in the System Folder, however you can select images from anywhere on your hard disk.

After you select the desired image file and press “Choose,” a preview will appear in the Appearance window. The “Position Automatically” selection is usually fine. You can play with the settings to see if you like the others better. You will see the result in the little preview screen.

Once you are satisfied with the selection, click on “Set Desktop” in the lower right corner of the window. That’s it! Should you ever want to get rid of it, just go to the desktop settings again and press “Remove Picture.”

Mac OS 8.0 and 8.1

Go to the “Desktop Patterns” control panel. Click on “Desktop Pictures” in the list on the left of the window, and follow steps similar to the ones above.

Random Desktop Pictures

If you drag a folder of pictures onto the miniature desktop in the Appearance or Desktop Pictures control panel, your Mac will choose one from the folder at random when it starts up.


An alternative to Mac OS’s Appearance control panel is Pierce Software’s DeskPicture, reviewed in issue 5.10 and available for download.


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