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Like the little train that chugs along as their motto, Thought I Could doesn't give up. To judge from president Linda Kaplan's postings on CompuServe, a small company like Thought I Could faces innumerable obstacles in creating a successful mass market utility. But Linda and company have held on to release the first follow-up products for Wallpaper: More Wallpaper, Wallpaper/Zebra edition, and Wallpaper Wraptures Two.

Wallpaper, Thought I Could's flagship product, offers hundreds of desktop patterns, which can be configured in various ways to dress up your screen. You can also make your own patterns. To judge from some of Thought I Could's promotional material, Steve Wozniak is perhaps Wallpaper's most ardent fan, and says he finds it indispensable to his enjoyment of his Mac. Hard to beat Steve for a celebrity endorsement. Now only if he read TidBITS too. :-)

More Wallpaper, shipping now for $39.99, consists of over 590 patterns from the Subscription One and Bonus disks previously available to existing Wallpaper owners. In other words, if you subscribed to the pattern disk service Thought I Could offers, don't bother buying More Wallpaper unless you feel like donating money to Thought I Could. Having seen most of those patterns at one time or another, I must say that if you're a pattern freak, you won't be able to live without More Wallpaper. I keep Wallpaper in Randomize mode, and even after months of use I see new patterns. I appreciate the way Wallpaper keeps my Mac fresh and occasionally surprising.

Wallpaper/Zebra Edition should ship in March, and it should be welcome when it appears. As you might expect, it contains only black-and-white patterns for people using monochrome monitors on color-capable Macs. Wallpaper/Zebra Edition includes the Wallpaper Control Panel and will retail for $59.99. If you own Wallpaper, you can buy the new black-and-white patterns for $15.

Wallpaper Wraptures Two contains Wallpaper versions of the patterns contained on the Wraptures Two CD-ROM disk. These patterns are originally high-resolution photographic scanned images intended for desktop publishing backgrounds and they are impressive. Wallpaper Wraptures Two concentrates on natural patterns like stone, wood, granite, marble, paper, brick, crystal, glass, ice, and food. Food? As Linda said when I asked, "uh... chocolate icing and jelly beans." I could deal with food on my screen. Wallpaper Wraptures Two sells for $19.95 and is currently shipping, although you must order it direct from Thought I Could at this time.

My only complaint with Wallpaper is that Thought I Could doesn't provide a way to easily manage the thousands of patterns that you can easily accumulate. Thought I Could makes available online a HyperCard stack called Wallpaper Cataloger that catalogs patterns, but it can't move files in and out of folders or delete them. With over 1,100 patterns in a single folder for randomizing, the Finder slows to a crawl and may not display all the files. I'd like to see a program that catalogued all patterns in a folder, displayed each one in a relatively large window along with the name, and then let me move or delete that pattern. That would simplify managing patterns and add value to the otherwise excellent randomizing feature. Thought I Could plans to create such a program for the next release, and I'm eagerly awaiting it.

Now if only I could run Wallpaper on these boring white walls in our apartment!

Thought I Could -- 212/673-9724

Information from:
Thought I Could propaganda
Linda Kaplan, Thought I Could --


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