The Orbital Display Windows Desktop

The Orbital Display Windows Desktop

Lifehacker reader Diacero wanted a little sci-fi theme for his desktop. He figured that if someone were floating in orbit or aboard a futuristic space station, this might be the view from one of the windows. Here’s how he put it together.

Diacero uses a Toshiba Satellite U845W laptop, which sports a 21:9 screen, which is why his desktop is so wide. The whole view definitely hits the sweet spot for space lovers, and the translucent windows over the sides leave him with plenty of room in the centre to work if he wants to keep an eye on them simultaneously. You don’t have to have a similarly wide display to make use of this setup though. Here’s what you’ll need to make it work for your system:

  • The wallpaper from 8 Wallpaper
  • The Rainmeter system tweaking and monitoring tool for Windows
  • The Trans-Intelligence HUD for Rainmeter for the circular time/date display, audio controls, and recycler, along with the box windows that display system status
  • The Tech skin for Rainmeter for weather and battery status on the top and bottom of the right side of the screen
  • The Dark Glass theme for Rainmeter for the curved borders on the left and right sides
  • The Enigma theme for Rainmeter for some other minor tweaks
  • RocketDock to replace the Windows taskbar with a dock-style launcher
  • The Tron Light skin for Rocketdock

The nice thing about this is that you can give or take as many components as you choose. Don’t like the sidebars? Just remove them, although I think it might take away from the kind of heads-up feel of the whole thing. You could also move the components closer to the centre to make it a little cleaner.


  • If someone was really in orbit, the terrain underneath and the amount of sunlight would change. That would make for a great wallpaper.
    Instead, there’s a pretty, but static, wallpaper. Shame about that.

    • that would depend on which type of orbit they were in. If they were in a geostationary orbit then then only the amount of sunlight would change.

      • 35,786 kilometres above an object with a diameter of 12,742 kilometres? You’re right, the earth itself wouldn’t move. It would also be so small, you could see the whole Earth through the window, not just part.
        Even so, I’d take it as a wallpaper. Closest I’ve seen is some of the satellite tracking programs, or the old Linux program Xearth. Again, it’s a shame – an updating picture would be nicer. even if it was just from weather satellites.

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