You Really Should Be Using Virtual Desktops


Yeah, I’m talking to you, the Big Loser in front of your small or big screen. How do I know you are a Loser? Well, obviously you are not using virtual desktops on your Pandora, if not you wouldn’t be reading this article. Well, rejoice, you can become a little less of a loser after reading this, so come and join me for a trip in Xfce.

If you are true Loser, indeed you probably come from years of using Windows and the concept of Virtual Desktops is probably as familiar to you as the world of Pokemons to a lobotomized Battlefield player. Because Windows has been shipping with a mono-desktop environment for years, and using only the concept of windows to switch in between applications. But hey, you are not on Windows anymore once you have a Pandora. It’s time to become a real Man.


The thing is, virtual desktops act like you have several screens, hence the name, you idiot. What’s good about them is that you can easily jump from one screen to another with complete different applications running in each of them, seamlessly. So, how is that interesting for the Pandora, your slow brain might ask ? Well, instead of going to click on the small icons at the bottom of your task bar, going back and forth every time you need to switch from one window to another, you get to use a key combination to switch to a different application in no time. And you know what they key combination is?

Yeah, you got it.

START + SELECT + RIGHT (or LEFT) on the Dpad.

This is actually a very practical combination on the Pandora itself since the START (i.e. ALT) and SELECT (i.e. CTRL) keys are just position next to each other in a very easily accessible position. Just put your big fat thumb them and squash’em alright.


This means you can switch from one application to the next much faster than on any other mobile machine out. And you can even run an application full screen like SMPlayer while in other desktops your applications are still running in the desktop as it nothing was happening. You don’t believe me? Here’s a video:

It makes you way more productive if you have to switch between a web browser and a IDE for example, where you look for documentation on one side and you write code on the other. On top of that, you can now really exploit the multitasking aspects of the Pandora to the fullest, by having 4 applications running in parallel at all times and still keep your screen readable. And you can switch from one to another faster with this key combination than any of your stupidphones out there.

So there you have it. First thing you need to do is to customize a bit your desktop to show the virtual desktops. You go in Settings > Desktop > Workspaces and you get this:


You can increase the number of desktops, I recommend you get 4. 4 is a good number, except in Japan where people are afraid of it. No kidding. 4 over here has the same pronunciation as the word “death”, and they are highly superstitious of not printing it in kind of sensitive places. Like on a hospital room number, or a car park space, for example. True story. See, on top of learning about virtual desktops, you know more about Japanese culture too. Who knew you’d learn so much in one post, eh?

Next step is to make sure you have your little friend the desktop switcher widget in your task bar at the bottom. And instead of letting it use 2 rows but default, right click on it, go to Properties and make it display a single row, so that you can more easily access it with a stylus if you are so inclined.


Now you are a little less of a loser.

But there’s still much you have to learn.

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In Europe (and I think in the USA too), the number 13 is frighten people (I don’t know the reason).

Tamara Macadam
Tamara Macadam

I personally like using the key combination SHIFT CONTROL Up/Down, and using the shoulder buttons, because my fingers are already there, so it’s nice for laziness.


No need to use different workspaces to switch between programs.

ALT+TAB is as fast as CTRL+ALT+UP/DOWN on the Pandora keyboard 😉


Virtual desktops are cool indeed, too bad some fullscreen applications don’t give a damn about what the user wants to see.


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