Acorn Computing, February 1994: p57

Larger: Making molehills out of mountains

LARGER is not just another backdrop program, it takes the whole concept of dropping icons on the backdrop and refines it. With Larger the backdrop icons are stacked on plinths (which are optional - just about everything is) in the order you put them there, but when you change mode they're rearranged to stay visible on screen.

Applications and files are dropped to the right and directories are put to the left. However that's also optional because they can be independently pushed left, right, up or down, or left where they're dropped where you can then create heirarchical backdrops.

For example you can have a top-level one where you may put a basic selection of applications, but from there you can create a sub-backdrop which appears as a special icon.

Double clicking opens a new backdrop which can have its own selection of applications, files and directories. You can have a backdrop for programming, one for letter-writing, another for business and so on. Or you could break them down by person - of course, each of these backdrops can have further sub-backdrops and so on. Another problem solved by Larger is the one you get when you start to save something and find you've forgotten to open the Filer window of the place it is supposed to be going. Now you can just drop it onto the Larger backdrop which accepts it, saves it into its own application directory and puts the appropriate icon on the backdrop. You can then open the Filer window and drag it into there.

The feature of Larger that gives it its name is the ability to have a huge virtual desktop with windows off the screen. Larger also provides you with a map window showing the position of all windows in relation to the current visible area.

You can scroll the visible screen across the virtual desktop or move directly by clicking on the map.

The idea is that you can have different task windows in separate areas of the desktop and move to them when you need them, hence giving you more space. Larger also lets you hide all the windows related to a specific application which then become a single iconised icon on the backdrop.

A very competent utilty - which uses 128k [Actually it only uses 96k - the reviewer had a development copy. RJW] - now permanently installed on my machine.

Steve Turnbull