1 What are the advantages?

(if you don’t care or just want to know about the site skip to the next heading)

What one does at one’s own computer is completely dependent on scenario, necessity (some of us) and mood.  The first two aren’t something which you can easily change.  If you need to look up how much that item of clothing costs or if you need to send some emails before 5pm  you can’t change the fact that you are using the computer for that reason.  These factors are inevitably going to affect your mood when you approach and are using your computer so having your computer in a way which is going to help your performance is obviously advantageous.

Ways in which you can improve the experience at your computer are numerous.  It’s speed, how organised your files, how tidy your desktop is.  These are all things which in all likelyhood you arent going to change either.  If your desktop is messy, it will probably stay that way (article on “Fences” coming to help with this issue).

So you can’t change any of these things BUT you can change your wallpaper!  Having a wallpaper that reflects the mood you want to be in or sparks your creativity can be more beneficial than one might initially imagine.  Having a serene lake in the background which is familiar to you or perhaps you are more into abstract wallpapers, whatever it is they are something you see regularly when you use your computer and they can change the way you feel about your computer.  In fact things like this are the kind of factors which can help people to experience the psychological phenomenon of flow which is associated with intrinsic enjoyment and improved performance at whatever task is being carried out.  Most people have experienced flow in one way or another and can be noticed by losing one’s sense of time or becoming less aware of ones surroundings, being “in the zone”.  Flow can be experienced in just about any activity.

I change my wallpaper pretty regularly depending on how I feel and what I’m working on.  For example I can think of one wallpaper which is simply the text “Be Original” in white on a nice soft blue background.  I tend to put this on when I am writing long articles or planning my next drawing.  Sure you don’t have to be as anal as me about it but there are definitely benefits to it on occasion.  Some people have been known to do it to stop themselves snacking.  A pleasant reminder of what happens if you eat too much can work wonders on those wandering hands towards the office snack bowl.

Ok I want a good new wallpaper where do I get it?

There are plenty of places you can get good wallpapers.  Indeed Bing and Google image search are probably the ones which get used the most by the average user.  That is fine if you know what you are looking for and you don’t mind trawling through sites to find one which is the right size and quality.  However lets say you didn’t know exactly what you wanted… or you wanted something which was predominantly a particular colour?  That is when sites like wallbase can really help.

A quick journey around Wallbase.net and back.

Splashpage

On arriving at the wallbase you are met with a simple page with this in the middle click the images for a larger view:

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What you see is a simple search bar with a few buttons around it. For some things may be self explanatory from here but I will still cover everything for those less technically inclined.  The buttons along the bottom do what they say on them when you click them.  If you click the random button then you will get lots of random wallpapers.  The Global Toplist, yes you get the most popular wallpapers with the most downloads.  That’s all fine and dandy if you don’t have anything in mind or you are just browsing the site to procrastinate (I browse wallpapers when procrastinating a lot), however if you have something in mind you should click where my mouse pointer is in the image above – the orange option button.  On clicking the option button you will be shown a page like this:

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Tuning your search

The search options have now been revealed.  Once again most of this is self explanatory except maybe the image board options on the left of the image.  Anyway starting on the right:

  • The purity filter  is used to get rid of any potentially adult material (yes if you don’t disable “Not Safe For Work” (NSFW) then there is quite a bit as this site pulls images from all over the internet.)  You can see that NSFW images will not come up as the button is greyed out in the image above.
    • Just click to toggle the options on and off.
  • Thumbs per page indicates how many pictures to show you per page.
  • The resolution board allows you to choose the resolution or aspect ratio of your monitor. 4
    • Full HD is 1920×1080 but you can go higher than that if you wish.
    • Aspect Ratio is the ratio of the length:height of your monitor.
  • The category/board section on the left allows for you to choose the type of sources the site will pull wallpapers from.
    • The toggle switches work just as the purity filters did on the right.
    • WG = General Wallpapers.
    • W = Anime Themed Wallpapers (although game wallpapers and drawn imagery get into here as well.
    • HR = High resolution – images taken with high resolution cameras or edited at an extremely high quality.
  • Please not that all these settings are also available if you are searching by dominant colour as well if you click the link where it says colour just above the search box.

Results

So lets say you’ve done a search (for my example I searched with the keyword water) after searching you will see something which looks a bit like this:

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The page will continuously list pictures as you scroll down until no more it has found fit your searching criteria allowing you to just scroll until you find a picture you like.  If you mouse over a picture it will show information about itself, most importantly the resolution of the image so you can tell if it’s good quality or not without having to open it up.  When you do find a picture you like clicking on it will open up this page:

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This page shows all sorts of information about the image including it tags (what words are associated with it) and once again its resolution.  It’s here you might become more aware that Wallbase also offers a selection of personal preferences to members.  I personally am not a member but if you want to build collections of wallpapers without having to store them on your own PC or perhaps you just want to get involved in the wallpaper community, liking, sharing or maybe even contributing wallpapers, then this site has a good interface and has got a system which could keep the most anal or aesthetically demanding person happy.

Go check it out and if you have any other suggestions feel free to post them below!

Wallbase.net