I have been doing a lot of updating to my computer lately, and found some pretty cool upgrades. I'm sure most of you know about them, but I didn't, so I'm loving that I found some new stuff to play with. Right now I am using Rainmeter and ObjectDock. In case you don't know what these are, here is some information and site links:
Here is the site's description of Rainmeter:
"With Rainmeter, there are no secrets. Our bundled library of open-source skins covers a wide range of functions, but if you want your desktop to do something new, you don't have to wait for us. Every inch of a skin is completely customizable. Rainmeter skins are written in a simple, elegant language that's easy to learn for anyone who's willing to put in the effort. Skins call upon measures, a set of powerful built-in modules that do all the heavy lifting, and create interactive meters to display that information however you decide. In this way, Rainmeter brings productive innovation together with creative artistry like no other platform of its kind. Rainmeter is built by people like you. In the span of just a few months, a thriving community has built up around Rainmeter, as average users freely contribute their own original skins, their generous knowledge and support, and their inspirational ideas to a project whose scope and capabilities are constantly expanding. We can't wait to see where it goes from here. Will you join us?"
I love Rainmeter!!! I have about 10 different skins and using pieces of each one to get different things on my desktop that I use. I have CPU, RAM, and harddisk space meters, a network activity meter, a Google search, a wall calendar, and an events calendar that links to my Google calender. I also have a cool reminders box that replaced the ugly Sticky Notes program that Windows came with. Lastly, there is a clock and date app at the bottom of my screen. All of these individual apps I can customize completely, and I have been playing with them to get them just right. Because of the cool transparency of all the apps, I don't feel like my desktop is covered in crap and I can enjoy the backgrounds that I take so long to find. I'm very picky about things and love the new seamless feel of my computer. What's even better is that the ObjectDock I have melds perfectly with the new look of my desktop.
The ObjectDock is pretty self explanatory when you see it. It is basically the Apple taskbar for Windows. I have always loved the Apple dock and love using it for my Windows programs. There are skins available, and the one I have matches the Rainmeter pretty well. There is a "plus" version of the ObjectDock that I would never pay for, simply because the basic is enough for me. It automatically grabbed all the programs I had pined to the taskbar and integrated them. It picked up icons for everything except the snipping tool that I use a lot, and the sticky notes program I spoke of earlier. Having replaced the sticky notes, I don't mind losing it. I am in search of an icon to use for my snipping tool so I can have it back on my dock without the ugly question mark that is the default. The dock also came with its own weather program through Accuweather, which is pretty accurate and does a cool expand when you hover over it. The calendar program that the dock has also syncs seamlessly with my Google calendar. All I do is click it, and it goes straight to Firefox and to my calendar. The whole set up is pretty awesome.
I love my new desktop and recommend the Rainmeter and the ObjectDock to anyone who wants to try something different. Here is a screenshot of what my desktop looks like today: