Does this sound familiar? You're sitting all alone browsing a few web pages that you'd probably rather keep to yourself

When suddenly you find that you're no longer alone. Before you can hide it, your friends have seen everything, and you can't simply pretend you were doing something else

That's why we invented Pretendtious

What it does

Pretendtious lets you instantly hide the current state of your desktop, and replaces it with a socially acceptable suite of open tabs, saved bookmarks, and a temporary socially acceptable wallpaper.

When the Pretendtious app is clicked, all of these things happen instantly, and are 100% reversible when the user is ready to stop pretending.

The behavior of Pretentious is somewhat random for believability, but can be fully customized using our settings interface. It comes pre-packaged with two different default modes, which can be toggled back and forth. The first default mode is the classic "Pretendtious" mode, which implies that you life a life of luxury, refinement, and leisure to anyone who looks on to your screen. The second mode is the special "workplace" mode, for when you just can't seem to stay off Facebook at the office

How we built it

Pretendtious is built with a hodgepodge of Python, bash scripts, and applescripts. The settings interface was built with PyQt5, which is a GUI library for python. The settings interface interacts with the local cached data for the application to determine the behavior of Pretendtious when it is launched.

The behavior of the application is dictated primarily by a suite of applescripts that we wrote from scratch, along with some bash scripts that are patched into the apple scripts.

Challenges we ran into

We had to forfeit a lot of our originally planned goals for Pretendtious, largely due to time constraints. We had originally wanted to interact with other applications other than Safari to do more things, but simply ran out of time.

Another challenge we ran into was interaction with AWS. We had wanted to use SNS to send fake text messages to the user, adding to the illusion of the pretended state of the computer, but ran into logistical errors with AWS.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Successfully close existing tabs and open new relevant tabs consistent with the theme
  • Successfully change bookmarks and desktop background
  • Ability to revert the desktop to its state before the app was launched
  • High quality presentation graphics and promotional video quality
  • Productive division of labor throughout the duration of the project

What we learned

We learned a lot about how applescripts work, how to build GUIs for Python, general better programming practices, and also how to produce an effective promotional video.

What's next for Pretendtious

We would definitely like to get around to implementing our other desired features soon, such as interacting with other applications, such as music, and adding text messages. There are also some new features we would like to add, such as being able to remotely activate Pretendtious with your phone, in case you are away from home when someone is about to find your embarrassing stuff. Also, it would be nice if the Pretentious app icon were to disappear from the dock after being launched.

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