Been a really really long time since I customized my desktop. And when I say customize I mean not just change wallpaper & the theme (I’ve been doing that a lot). BTW, Sorry for the gay title but I spent more than an hour after finishing the whole guide to think but couldn’t find anything better. Windows 7 release is clogging my thinking. OK, enough of blabbering, so that is what I came up with & here is what I did:
Windows 7 (not necessarily, but Vista’s behavior with all this I don’t know & XP is too old. Win 7 FTW!)
Some free time
Good sense of aesthetics (this is a must.)
Internet connection (duh!)
All of this started with #1 & hence it is #1 (I think I’m still sleepy). What is it? It’s a Vista gadget.
1. SysInfo (Vista Gadget)
This is a full fledged System Information gadget & probably the best looking out there when it comes to gadgets, why? Because it has NO background. A lot of options to show/hide. I chose the following:
Gadget size: Small
Gadget mode: Normal
Only the uptime information section with continuous uptime checked.
You can definitely play around to add more properties.
2. Bing Gadget
Yes. I. Use. Bing. Anyway, here is the good looking & useful Bing gadget for your desktop.
Note: You might want to read how to add Bing to other parts of your OS.
3. Weather Gadget
This is the gadget that comes bundled with Windows 7, unlike the one in Vista, this one does work & shows my city’s weather. Enable it from your Gadgets directory. :)
NOTE: For the other three, you first need to download Rainmeter. Bloody brilliant piece of software, how it eluded me thus far baffles me. Once you have it, follow the rest of the steps.
Once download, simply run the program. In your task bar you’ll get new icon:
Right click* –> Configs –> Skins folder
*You can right click on the icon in the task bar or any open skin.
The latest build I downloaded came with the Enigma skin. Hopefully yours will too, if it doesn’t get it here. Once you have Enigma:
Right click (you know where) –> Configs –> Enigma –> Sidebar –> Music
Note: If you’re using iTunes on Windows, Rainmeter will crash when you try to extend your desktop. Disable this skin & it won’t. I’ve contacted the developer about this.
5. System Performance
To get this simple set of System Performance monitors:
Right click (you know where) –> Configs –> Enigma –> Taskbar –> Combos –> Tray Systems –> TraySystems.ini
6. The Clock
This is probably the best. And hence kept for the last. The original script was found on lifehacker, but then this one had a lot of issues, properties kept overlapping & I didn’t like the color. So, I modded it & as you can see I’ve got different colors in both screenshots. Here are the 2 config files:
To install these:
Download & extract the file on the desktop
Right click (you know where) –> Configs –> Open Skins’ folder
Paste the folder in the Skins’ folder
Right click (you know where) –> Refresh All
Right click (you know where) –> Configs –> minimal config files –> Choose the one you want
Now, editing this to suit your wallpaper is pretty darn easy and here is how you do it:
Right click (you know where) –> Configs –> Open Skins’ folder –> minimal config files
Open the file you want to edit in Notepad
Find & edit the following properties to suit yourself:
To edit the positioning of a certain property like hour, minutes, date, month, title, parameter:
MeasureName=<whatever you want to edit>
Edit the X & Y values.
To edit the text color:
MeasureName=<whatever you want to edit>
FontColor=255, 255, 255
Edit the FontColor values (255, 255, 255 = White; 0, 0, 0 = Black)
Note: To see the effects:
Change the particular value
Right click (you know where)
You can find some more Rainmeter skins here.
Oh and here is the beautiful Windows 7 Box Art wallpaper set:
Created by someone, if you read this article, let me know & I’ll give you a link back. (I’ve edited the Ultimate wallpaper to center the Win 7 logo.)
There you go, a rather good looking desktop & certainly a lot of customizability to be explored :)