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We wanted something that looked businesslike enough to be appropriate for those people who use the Pi desktop for serious work, but with just a touch of playfulness, and Sam and Alex did a great job.(Some of the icons you don’t see immediately are even nicer; it’s almost worth installing some education or engineering applications just so those categories appear in the menu…) Speaking of icons, the default is now not to show icons in individual application menus.
The old window design always looked a bit dated compared to what Apple and Microsoft are now shipping, so I was keen to update it.
Well, that was two years ago, and I’ve learnt an awful lot since then.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to hack about with the LXDE desktop once you get your head around what all the bits do, and since then I’ve been slowly chipping away at the bits that I felt would most benefit from tweaking.
It was a nice reminder of my days learning to program in BASIC on the Sinclair ZX81; nowadays, everything from your TV to your phone has pixels on it, but back then it was a uniquely “computer-y” word and concept.
I also like crosswords and word games, and once it occurred to me that “pixel” could be made up from the initials of words like Pi and Xwindows, the name stuck in my head and never quite went away.
Stuff has slowly been becoming more and more like my original concept for the desktop; with the latest changes, I think the desktop has reached the point where it’s a complete product in its own right and should have its own name.
So today, we’re announcing the release of the PIXEL desktop, which will ship with the Foundation’s Raspbian image from now on. One of the things I said (at least partly in jest) to my colleagues in those first few weeks was that I’d quite like to rename the desktop environment once it was a bit more Pi-specific, and I had the name “pixel” in my mind about two weeks in.
To get all the fixes, open a terminal and enter: It was just over two years ago when I walked into Pi Towers for the first time.
I only had the vaguest idea of what I was going to be doing, but on the first day Eben and I sat down and played with the Raspbian desktop for half an hour, then he asked me “do you think you can make it better?
But I had no idea where to start in terms of changing Raspbian.
I clearly had a bit of a learning curve in front of me…
We’re very fortunate in that Greg Annandale, one of the Foundation’s developers, is also a very talented (and very well-travelled) photographer, and he has kindly allowed us to use some of his work as desktop pictures for PIXEL.