Review: Mach Desktop can bring your Mac desktop to 'life'
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Review: Mach Desktop can bring your Mac desktop to 'life'

If you want more than still images on your desktop, Mach Desktop ( for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 spruces up your screen with Quartz Compositions, QuickTime movies or even web pages.

It comes with 20 cool Quartz Compositions and seven QuickTime movies. Mach Desktop -- which is only US$10 -- is customizable so you can choose your own Quartz Composition, QuickTime movie or web page to put on your desktop, as well. In case you're not familiar with them, Quartz Compositions are a Mac OS X-only data type that allows developers to make 3D compositions. Many screen savers are Quartz Compositions.

Mach Desktop also introduces a concept called the Desktop Widget, where you can have commonly used widgets living on your desktop. The widgets themselves are actually already on your system and available via a keystroke or mouse gesture. Mach Desktop uses a Dashboard emulation layer. Several widgets are available, including but not limited to; yellow pages, a calculator, stickies, translation, sports news and scores, movies, stocks, and more.

Another nice touch: if you have two displays, Mach Desktop will automatically detect it and take advantage of that.

Mach Desktop is more resource intensive than simply having a photo or illustration on your desktop. However, if you have a recent Mac and an adequate amount of memory, you probably won't notice a performance hit. Also, Mach Desktop may cause problems with screen sharing, though it can be disable via a toolbar icon.

Also, if you have multiple programs open ALL the time, there's probably little use in a program like Mach Desktop. After all, it cool animations are running on your Mac, but no one can see 'em, what's the point?

Otherwise, Mach Desktop is a fun "eye candy" app and can truly bring your desktop to "life."

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers

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