Amar Sagoo

15 November 2007

Neutech desktop background redux

There was once an appearance theme for Mac OS 8 and 9 called Neutech, by Flanksteak Design. I don't think I particular liked the theme as a whole, but it included a desktop background that has been my favourite background for the last eight years or so since I discovered it:

Neutech desktop

Here's a detail:

Neutech desktop detail

I have made sure I that I always have a copy, which has survived across all the different Macs I've used since. However, the image is only 1024 × 768 pixels, which wasn't small at the time, but makes the image look rather pixelated and blurry on modern displays. I have made several attempts in the past to reproduce it in Photoshop, but never got very far. Today, I sat down again with renewed determination and finally found the secret recipe to emulate the look of the original:

Neutech desktop revived
Neutech desktop revived detail

One thing that really helped here was Photoshop CS3's Smart Filters, because I could experiment and keep tweaking the many effects I had to apply. This also means that I can easily produce updated versions in the future as screen resolutions increase.

For the time being, here's a 2560 × 1600 version.

Update: I've changed the grid to look more like dried earth and less like reptile skin, and made minor changes to shading.


  1. Hello Mr. Amar Sagoo,

    today I tested your application Tofu, - my mother didn't like to read on the screen before, and now -thanks to your application - she really loves it. She reads her big classic novells now on my old powerbook, the whole day long, and even at night in bed. - Good new job for my old hardware... ;-)

    Your theory about reading on screen is right, it is much better with columns.

    Many many thanks to you

    (and please excuse my bad english, I am german, so: "Vielen Dank" to you again.)

  2. Mind making a 1280x800 version for us MacBook users? Thanks