This isn't so much an "improvement"? as a cool trick with the shading function. I got the idea for this after reading about the "On Desktop Terminal"? http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=17473 (Hey, he stole my wallpaper!)
I thought a desktop terminal was interesting, but not really of much use. It stays on the desktop, so getting to it requires clearing the desktop in order to access it. I don't want to minimize of move all my open windows in order to access the terminal. What I wanted was a terminal that would be instantly available, on top of everything else when in use, but out of my way when I'm not using it.
As you can see from the pictures this terminal drops down from the top of the screen when ever the mouse stops on the very top row of pixels. When the mouse moves out of the terminal, it pops back up. Otherwise it is invisible except for a tiny unnoticeable line at the top of the screen.
As you following the instructions to set this up, remember that the exact settings will be different for different screen resolutions and for different window border styles and settings. My screen is 1280x1024 and I use Plastik window borders with normal size settings. Remember: you may have to tweak all the numbers in order to make it work right. The numbers use are the ones that work for ME.
First, run aterm. I use the following settings:
aterm -ls -fg white -sh 60 -fade 100 -tr -sl 1000 -geometry 182x30+0+0 -sb -trsb
You can use other terminal programs, or even other non-terminal programs if you want some other type of program always at your finger tips! (For instace: a drop down media player)
Second, create a Window-Specific Settings entry for this terminal in the Control Center. I created one I called "aterm window"? with the following settings:
-Description: aterm window
-Window class: aterm xterm (match whole window class, exact match)
-Position: Force, -10 -36
-Desktop: Force. All Desktops
-Shaded: Force, X
-Keep above: Force, X
-Skip taskbar: Force, X
-Skip pager, Force X
-Moving/resizing: Force, Transparent