One of the longest computer wallpaper image programs, and probably the most underrated today, is Webshots. I remember seeing it on computers as far back as 1998, which drove IT people crazy at the hospital because anyone could load it, but no one was supposed to.
The program initially comes with a photo package that loads automatically when you install the program. You get to decide up front if you want to use it as a screensaver, wallpaper, or both. Most people choose both, aas I did. Then, if you want more images, all you have to do is go back to the site. They allow you a small number of new photos you can download from tens of thousands, probably millions by this time, each day, from all sorts of categories. Or you can pay a small yearly fee and have unlimited downloads whenever you’re in the mood.
What most people don’t know, which surprises me, is that you can also add your own images to Webshots. That’s actually the thing I like to do the most. Any time I see cool images on the net, I download them, then add them en masse to my Webshots program on both my main computer and my laptop. All you have to do is open the program, which is sitting on your taskbar, and select Photo Manager. To the far right is a selection that says “add more photos”. Select that, and it then gives you the option of selecting a folder that’s already there, if you have some (there’s always the main folder by default), set up categories if you choose, then you hit Next and you can search your computer for your photos.
I know there are other programs that do the same thing, but I think this one is perfect, and it’s free. What you can’t do is alter images with the program, but what you can do is alter images using another program while they’re sitting in a Webshots folder and it will accept the changes. You might have to search for your folders to do that, however. What I did was moved where the Webshots folders were stored so I could have full access to them through my C drive.
One minor caveat here. Though it works well with Vista, if your computer goes into hibernation mode sometimes the program will mess up and stop working properly as a wallpaper. All you have to do then, when you come out of it, is shut down the program and restart it again. That’s a really minor inconvenience if you ask me.