Mosaico is available!


Hi there!

Mosaico is available for download.

This version is a maintenance release and introduces 16 new layout elements to divide your screen 4×4, and minor fixes related to installation and quick guide

You can go to to download the new version for free, or to to get your PRO license and become a Mosaico supporter!.

You can also buy Mosaico on Steam at this URL: . Please remember that you can run your Steam copy without running the Steam client itself. You can also use the license key provided by Steam to register the retail version!

If your trial has already expired, please feel free to contact us to require a trial extension!

Mosaico is available!


Hi there!

Mosaico is available for download.

This version is a maintenance release and introduces minor fixes related to installations over a network. A lot of behind the scenes work has been going on lately, so expect general performance and compatibility improvements now, and a lot of great news very soon.

This version changes the way your license data is stored on disk, by making it tied to the PC, rather than the current user. This allows network installers to install and register once for every user on a PC, rather than repeating registration for every user on each machine.

If you have a “per seat” license (i.e. Standard, Workgroup or Enterprise) please install this version to simplify the deployment process.

You can go to to download the new version, or to to get your PRO license and become a Mosaico supporter!.

You can also buy Mosaico on Steam at this URL: . Please remember that you can run your Steam copy without running the Steam client itself. You can also use the license key provided by Steam to register the retail version!

If your trial has already expired, please feel free to contact us to require a trial extension!

A new version of Mosaico is available at 30% off!

A new version of Mosaico is available for download at

This new 1.6.0 version of our tiling window manager includes several improvements, new features suggested by Mosaico users -thank you!-, better performance and various bug fixes.

Among the others we have:

  • New layouts for windows
  • Hotkeys to browse and restore snapshots
  • New configurable hotkeys selectors
  • A “minimize to tray” button
  • Improved manual windows arrangement
  • Non blocking application exit
  • Improved compatibility
  • Better performance
  • Bug fixes

To celebrate this new version Mosaico will be available at the special discounted price of 13.95 USD! That’s 30% off regular price. This offer will end on April 14 so be quick!

If you already own a license you can upgrade for free. Just uninstall your current version, reboot your computer and install this new 1.6.0 version.

If you have already tried Mosaico in the past but your copy has expired, you can download this new version for an extended 14-days trial period!

Mosaico is also available on Valve’s digital store Steam! You can find it here

Enjoy your copy of Mosaico and please feel free to contact us

A new version of Mosaico released!

Mosaico edit feature

Mosaico edit feature

We just released a new version of Mosaico, our tiling window manager for Windows! This 1.5.0 includes new features such as snapshot editing, full compatibility with Windows 8, a bunch of bug fixing and more. Thank you for your feedback and for being so supportive!
Don’t forget to try the new version here

Here is a list of changes in the latest release:
– Snapshot editing: now it is possible to activate/deactivate/remove an app in each snapshot.
– Windows 8 full compatibility.
– New options: start minimized, disable tray messages etc.
– Bug fixes.

Enjoy your copy of Mosaico and please feel free to drop us a message at

Why Steam Greenlight is a remarkably good failure

Steam Greenlight is a failure?
Attempting to automate a selection process that had showed some shortcomings, Valve decided to launch Greenlight in 2012. Greenlight is a mechanism that allows everyone to vote “yes” or “no” to support a game being published on Steam. Games must be inserted by their own developers.The titles with the highest number of votes are periodically “greenlit” by Valve and put up for sale on Steam. The following is my experience as a developer on Greenlight.

Mosaico on Greenlight

As soon as Valve decided to accept software submissions, in addition to games, the moment seemed perfect to put Mosaico’s popularity to the test on Greenlight. I paid the submission fee (90 euros) and started creating the product’s page. I wrote a description, uploaded some screenshots, filled some fields and everything was set. Mosaico’s page on Greenlight went live on December 27th 2012, getting 7 positive and 17 negative votes. The next day the visits were an impressive 101 with 31 positive votes. Initially I was a little bit worried about the 1/2 positive to negative ratio, but then I realized that only positive votes count and, after all, you can’t please everyone. Ultimately I had put Mosaico on Greenlight well aware that it was a long journey, and that the greatest benefit was to have users feedback and a great exposure. Unfortunately the number of voters didn’t raise anymore, on the contrary it started to fall from that moment on, through ups and downs.
Votes for Mosaico on Steam Greenlight
The only thing remaining stable was the 1/2 yes to no ratio. After a couple of terrible days (with 0 and 1 positive votes) I thought that something was necessary in order to shake things up. I spent a couple of hours between Camtasia and AudioJungle and came up with an half-decent catchy short video that I put on Mosaico’s Greenlight page. I started to receive comments from interested users, who liked Mosaico and who clearly understood its core features. I think that users feedback is the best thing a software developer could ask for. So I thought about a way to encourage user to drop as many comments as possible. Greenlight terms and conditions say that once your game/software is published on Steam you can generate as many keys as you want. So I managed to start a “Drop a comment, get a free Steam key” promotion. Each user that writes a comment now and buys Mosaico when it’s released on Steam, will receive an additional free key to gift a friend. The frequency of comments raised from about 1 per week to 4/5 a day. The number of daily voters seemed to be higher too, so maybe Greenlight shows to users a more active title more often. Things started to go well for Mosaico, as it raised in ranking by 10 positions and the yes to no ratio improved to 1/1 and better, after the new video and promotion.

What’s the problem with Greenlight

So, everything is perfect and we just have to wait for an higher and higher ranking until some day Mosaico will be selected for Steam, right? No.
The experience I had with Mosaico brings to light what, in my opinion, is a big shortcoming of Greenlight. Positive votes (hence the chance to be published on Steam) started to increase after I had inserted an engaging video and an interesting promotion. But the software itself didn’t change! In other words the current Greenlight mechanism rewarded my ability in communicating my work, but not the work itself. Every developer who has tried to sell his game/software knows how marketing is a difficult and time-consuming task. I, as a developer, saw in Greenlight the opportunity to be relieved from an hard duty. I saw the hope to focus on developing an excellent software, leaving to Greenlight the big chore of promoting to a vast audience. What I’ve found instead is a very well-built mechanism, which has the same difficulties of other “traditional” promotion means such as building a website or an ad campaign to drive web traffic. The promise of a place rewarding the quality of work, independently of developer’s communication skills, has not been honored. So, in this sense, I believe that Greenlight is a failure.

How to improve Greenlight in three simple steps

But is Greenlight scrap? I don’t think so. A lot of people remember the terrible opinions circulating in internet about the first versions of Steam itself.
Steam did not get much love
If today it is the best platform of videogame digital delivery, we can’t do anything else than trust Valve and their ability in improving their products. There are a lot of viewpoints on how to improve Greenlight. Some say that yes/no ratio should be considered instead of the total number of votes, some say that Steam should be open for all to sell in “stealth” mode, and then Valve could bring the best products to the storefront.
My proposal is maybe more revolutionary, but not without a reason. Basically: why not transform Greenlight in a subscription service, similar to Sony’s Playstation Plus?

  1. Steam users would pay a subscription to gain free access to each and every game/software on Greenlight
  2. Developers would still pay the initial submission fee and agree to provide their product for free until it is greenlit
  3. Valve would collect data on the actual products usage to determine which ones are suitable to be published on Steam
  4. Once the game/software is published on Steam it is removed from Greenlight, but subscribers can purchase it with a good discount.

This kind of mechanism would solve many of the most serious problems Greenlight has now. For example the rushed votes based on few seconds of a video, or the lack of interest by users in going through a dry list of titles.
It’s a win-win situation, here’s why:

  • Users would benefit from a huge selection of titles for a small subscription fee.
  • Developers could focus on development, knowing that the selection process will be based on actual usage and not on purchase intentions.
  • Valve would automate selection process relying on data more solid than a click on a button (and let’s not forget the revenue from subscriptions).

I’m not saying that this method is perfect, but I think that the outcome could be what Valve is trying to achieve from the beginning. A paid subscription may seem an obstacle, but on the other hand the developers submission fee greatly improved the quality of Greenlight titles.

Long live Greenlight!

Reading this, one may infer that my experience with Mosaico on Greenlight is negative. Not at all! First of all it allowed me to have a lot of precious feedback on Mosaico features, on how the users uses it, on pricing etc. It also allowed me to become part of the Steam developers community, incredibly rich in interesting people and ideas. On top of that the traffic towards increased considerably and Mosaico sales increased as well. All in all it’s an extremely positive experience, and I hope that Valve will improve it and change Greenlight into a tool of real videogaming democracy.

5 tips for the overworked software developer

Software developer job is interesting because it lets you merge different peculiarities of human knowledge. It’s an activity requiring a formal mathematical accuracy, though it allows creativity to have its role in finding problem solutions. When math and creativity breed, the outcome can be fantastic, or terrible sometimes. Sooner or later every developer learns about (or finds out for herself) the existence of a “law” that could seem like a math rule, but is in reality the paradigm of empiricism. As counterweight of the well-known 80-20 rule (Pareto principle) we find the infamous 90-90 rule.

“The first 90 percent of the code accounts for the first 90 percent of the development time. The remaining 10 percent of the code accounts for the other 90 percent of the development time.”
Tom Cargill, Bell Labs

Basically your project is likely to be late. Maybe it’s this permanent awareness of time scarcity that leads me to constantly search for tricks to optimize my job and make the day less stressful. Below there’s a small list of 5 tips on things I use daily in Windows, and I think they can be useful even for those who are not developers but work using a PC every day .

1. Use Mosaico.

Ok this one is fairly easy :) I’m a software developer and the author of Mosaico (download it here) and optimizing time at work was the inspiration for creating it. Ever since I started to use it I feel I’m using my time better. Mosaico remembers up to 8 different windows layouts (snapshots) on your desktop, and you can easily switch from one to another in a click. This is how I use it. The basic concept is to create various “theme layouts”. I.e. development layout, file management layout, reading layout, and so on. You can save time avoiding the repeated search of the “right” window to use, and just leaving application running in background.

5 tips for the overworked software developer. Mosaico can remember up to 8 different windows layouts

2. Use ClipX.

This small utility (download here) is something essential for the “CTRL+C, CTRL+V” software developer maniac. It’s an advanced clipboard history manager. It can save the latest 25 entries (or a custom amount) instead of only the last one. If you have to copy lines of text disseminated throughout a file, just do the copies altogether and then do all the paste operations. No need to go back and forth through files. ClipX also remembers files and images and supports external plugins. Among them, there’s one that saves the clipboard content to disk, making it available at the next Windows restart. Price is unbeatable: it’s free (you can make a donation).
5 tips for the overworked software developer. ClipX is an advanced clipboard manager

3. Use Unlocker.

It happens often while developing that you terminate a process and some file handles are left “hanging”. Those files can’t be renamed/deleted/moved for a while. The problem is that their handle is “locked” and any action is inaccessible until something “unlocks” it. This also happens in other situations, for example using an USB key. You can force the “unlock” using Unlocker (download here) . It’s a simple and powerful utility that activates when the error message is displayed. It shows all the processes blocking that file and you can unlock them all by pressing a button. It saves us from blindly searching the blocking process. It’s free but you can consider making a donation to the software developer.
5 tips for the overworked software developer. Unlocker.

4. Open command window here.

If you need to use the command line very often it’s useful to know that pressing SHIFT+MOUSEDX on any folder in File Explorer an additional option will appear. The “Open command window here” menu entry opens a command prompt already set on that folder. It’s also possible to enable permanently this option, with no need to press SHIFT.
5 tips for the overworked software developer. Open command window here.

5. Two-rows taskbar.

Windows taskbar is nice to look at, but it seems to take up too much space. To better take advantage of it, it’s possible to organize its tabs on two rows. Just right click on it and select “Properties” and then “Use small icons” and “Ok”. Then right click on it again and deselect “Lock the taskbar”. Drag the upper edge to create an additional row of tabs. Select “Lock the taskbar” again and you’ll have a taskbar with roughly the same size than the default one, but with many more tabs. This avoids searching for tabs when they are grouped.
5 tips for the overworked software developer. 2-rows taskbar

Not only for the software developer

These are only some of the things one can do to streamline his work and better invest his time. Everyone, even without realizing it, develops and uses his own optimizations. In my opinion it’s important to invest 5 minutes searching for a better way to do something, rather than idly repeat the same stressful routines. These are my 5 essential best practices, I hope they can be useful for you too.

Top 5 things that really matter in a new PC

When it comes to buy a new PC, the ample range of configurations, dealers, and prices can challenge the most geek among us. For those who have few technical knowledge or no time to keep up with the rapid evolution of technologies, it’s hard to make a choice. The feeling of having wasted money will inevitably arise a couple of hours after the purchase. What can be done there? Selecting the cheapest components around will prove to be a short-sighted choice (i.e. PC is already obsolete at the time of purchase). Buying only the most expensive components to have a time-proof computer is not an option for 99% of us. The trick is to focus our budget on those components which offer the most cost-effective alternative, based on the user experience we are going to have.

The new PC they want you to buy.

More often than not, surprise!, the features pushed by marketing departments have little or no impact at all on our user experience. Spending $50 more to have a 2.5GHz CPU instead of a 2.2GHz CPU is not going to make any difference, trust me. Marketing guys like to focus your attention on features that can be easily compared to each other, even if you have no clue of them. For example it is intuitive that an Intel i5 CPU is better than an Intel i3 CPU, but come on! treat yourself and buy an Intel i7! It’s like this in many many market segments. You can buy two identical cameras that differ from each other only for the number of megapixels. Similarly you can buy the same exact music player with different storage size. The reason is this: they can be easily compared to each other, by everyone, and by doing this, you have the feeling to be choosing something.

The new PC you should be buying

So, what can we focus on? My experience led me to compile a top-five chart I use when I have to build a new PC. If your goal is to have a reasonably fast computer, that will still be a good one in three years, doing what 95% of people do with a computer, then check this out.

5. A solid state drive.

Solid state drives (SSD) are still quite expensive, but if you can afford it, treat yourself and buy one. They really are visibly faster than a regular hard drive. If you don’t need huge amount of data storage this can be a very smart choice.

4. A good case/power supply.

A soundproof case, in conjunction with a silent power supply will greatly improve your user experience. And the experience of your coworkers/spouse/roommate too. It’s really worth it spending the $100 that separate a cheap solution from a soundproof one. Also be sure not to oversize the new PC power supply , you would waste energy and money.

3. Mouse and keyboard.

The physical means that allow us to interact with the computer are mouse and keyboard. It’s good to choose a good quality for them. The perfect match is, in my opinion, the Logitech Illuminated Keyboard in conjunction with the Logitech Performance Mouse MX. This ultra-flat keyboard has back illumination and short travel keys. This works unbelievably well against eyestrain and hands fatigue. There’s a wireless version, but I don’t think it’s worth it. The mouse, even though is a wireless one (usually more a gimmick than other), is probably the only mouse who gets it right when it comes to charge the battery. Simply, when the battery is low, you plug the USB recharging cable in and you can continue working (no awful docks or interruptions). Plus it uses a common AA rechargeable battery. Included in the box. Buy it.

2. Monitor.

Interacting with your hands is important, but interacting with the eyes is maybe even more important. And this applies also to your new PC other than relationships. Visual interaction is achieved by a monitor. There are few simple rules:

  • A. No glossy screens.
  • B. Search for panels with an ample viewing angle. I.e. the ones with IPS technology. There are expensive monitors that become unreadable once you move your head a bit. Avoid them.
  • C. The only thing better than a good monitor is TWO good monitors. If you can afford it, buy a multi-screen setup. Using tiling window managers like Mosaico (download here) you can get the best out of them. Screen real-estate is something you will love.
  • D. A good plus is having a monitor that can be rotated to vertical. This is the best way to surf the web, use a word processor, and many other things.

Also keep in mind that a new monitor will almost certainly outlive your new PC. So consider it an investment.

Consider using Mosaico Tiling Window Manager on your new PC

1. Ram.

Ram is probably the most cost effective thing to buy for a new PC. As rule of thumb to determine how much Ram you need, just read the best configuration offered by your preferred dealer, and double that number. If it is 8 Gb, buy 16. It is good to exaggerate with Ram. More Ram means more applications running at once (no need to close and reopen) and less swapping to disk (= faster PC). Again, you can use Mosaico to organize your running applications to get the best results. Please note: there are a lot of Ram types (different speeds, error correction etc.), buy a lot of Ram without chasing the highest clock speed.

In conclusion

As you can see there are almost no indications of specific components (market evolves too fast to keep track of them all). There are also no indications about CPU, video cards and so on. In my opinion a good mid-range video card is good enough to run most videogames in three years from now. And the last time I have seen a faster CPU making a visible difference over a slower one in everyday job, I was comparing a Pentium 90 to a Pentium II 266 and it was 1997.
Maybe this chart does not suit everyone’s needs, but I’m sure it will help a lot of people to have a different perspective about the priorities to consider when buying a new PC.

How I save a work hour a day using a tiling window manager

Tiling window manager: an overlooked tool

Being a software developer, I spent most of my work day with a monitor (well, two actually) in front of me. Very often I have several applications running simultaneously. And by “several” I mean “plenty of them”. There are, among them, a development environment, a command window, an FTP client, a couple of PDF documents, Process Explorer, at least four file explorers, a text editor, and a variable number of browser windows with around 40 tabs open.
Switching from a window to another when you have 4 or 5 running application can be tedious. Doing it when you have 15 or 20 of them can be a serious waste of time. In my job (and in everybody else’s, I suppose) keeping focus is fundamental to work out a problem. You can achieve way much more results in a half hour of perfectly focused work, than an entire day diluted in a sea of micro-distractions. An incoming phone call or just a word from a coworker make you lose concentration, and the task you were just about to complete, has to be reworked from scratch. Even who (like me) works with no phone and with silent colleagues, has his share of distractions. Clicking again and again the taskbar searching for the “right” explorer window, or wearing out ALT+TAB to come back to “that” file are horrible distractions. And distractions correspond to wasted time. Not so much for the two seconds spent doing a given action, rather because of missing and finding the focus again.

How to use it

It is essential therefore, in my opinion, to keep everything you use handy. Over the years, I’ve developed some “best practices” in order to achieve this result. And this inspired me to create a tiling window manager like Mosaico (click here to download) . The idea is simple: just organize the most used application windows so that they cover the entire screen.

Mosaico Tiling Window Manager

For example we can assign 1/4 screen to explorer, 1/4 to email client and half screen to the word processor. There are many layouts like this, you can easily come up with one of them that suits your needs better. These layouts are easy to create and arrange using the tiling window manager capabilities of Mosaico. Nevertheless, as big as your monitor can be, it can hardly display more than 3 or 4 application at once, in a reasonably usable way. A second monitor can help for sure, but when you have 10 or more applications it’s difficult anyways. Mosaico can assist us, with its ability to save these layouts (called snapshots) and to restore them immediately with a click. We can, for example, create two snapshots:

Snapshot 1: 1/4 explorer, 1/4 email client, 1/2 word processor
Snapshot 2: 1/2 pdf reader, 1/2 browser

(looks like a cocktail recipe). Using Mosaico you can switch from Snapshot 1 to Snapshot 2 just by selecting it (forward/backward buttons or mouse wheel) and clicking the “screen” button (or double-click the snapshot itself). This is, in fact, like having two monitors. If you consider that Mosaico can save up to 8 snapshots, you can see that customization possibilities are numerous.

A real world example

My personal setup, for example, always has three fixed snapshots spanning two monitors.

  • The first one is this:Snapshot 1. Main: Visual Studio, Secondary: 1/3 Chrome, 2/3 Chrome. Mosaico Tiling Window Manager

    (Main: Visual Studio, Secondary: 1/3 Chrome, 2/3 Chrome). It allows me to work full screen on the main monitor, while I keep an eye on real time analytics for and my emails + instant messaging.

  • The second snapshot is fully dedicated to File Explorer. It allows me to keep eight paths handy, no need to search through endless folders and copy/paste is much faster.Snapshot 2. 8 file explorers. Mosaico Tiling Window Manager.
  • The third one is for surfing/relax. Secondary monitor is set up like in the first snapshot, while main monitor is half browser and half pdf reader (or just two browsers sometimes).Snapshot 3. For surfing/relax. Mosaico Tiling Window Manager

Some applications like Process Explorer or the text editor are always minimized and used occasionally.
Since I have refined this work method with a tiling window manager I can keep focus for longer periods, I produce more and I work relaxed. I estimate in one hour the amount of time saved. It’s not a statistic measure (hard to do), it’s more the awareness that now I can easily do in a day what a couple years ago used to require much more time.