In lectures and conferences, I tend to find that I concentrate better if I’m sitting in the front row. I also tend to take notes on my laptop.
Because I usually type in transparent or translucent terminals, I tend to look at my desktop backgrounds a lot. In the front row of conferences at lectures, so does the rest of the room.
I realized this when someone came up to me at DebConf2 to ask for one the background images I was using.
Since DebConf2, I make a point of using backgrounds hand-picked for their effectiveness as conference backgrounds: this usually means images which manage to combine extreme distractability and inoffensiveness. The following is one from my standard arsenal (click the image for the full size copy):