Friday, 15 June 2007

My Vista Sidebar


So I’ve been using Windows Vista for a while now since it was released and the Sidebar has to be one of my favorite features. I have it enabled all the time on my third screen so I can always see the gadgets as I'm one of those people who likes to know the status of everything. Gadgets are a good way of giving me lots of information at a glance.

I don't have any opacity set and the sidebar is always on top as I rarely have anything on the third screen (a 19" Widescreen)

The blue glow around the edge is

Windows Sidebar Styler which allows you to set custom backgrounds and buttons etc.

Here are some of the Sidebar Gadgets that I use.


Twenty Four Clock - This is just a nice compact clock that, I like it because the numbers really stand out unlike some of the other clocks or analogue ones which choose form over function.


CPU Utilization - This is quite a good gadget by Jonathan Abbot, it gives you a bar graph for each core which you can change the refresh speeds for as well as a bar to tell you how much the cores are currently being used. You can drag it off the sidebar to enlarge it too


Network Utilization - Similar to above this shows you network usage from a network adapter you specify

sidebar2Azureus Stats - This is one of my gadgets, it interfaces with the torrent client Azureus through the plugin Web UI. I can quickly see my total torrents download speed and individual speeds. Its handy as sometimes they leech the connection so I need to slow them down.


My T-Mobile - Another one my gadgets, this simply shows the current details for my T-Mobile Flext mobile account - telling me how much of my allowance I have left to spend


Recycle bin - This gadget is really useful, it shows you how many items are in the recycle bin and their size, it lets you drop trash onto it and also has links to empty it or open the control panel. I use this all the time and don't have the recycle bin icon on my desktop anymore.


Presto's Hard Drive Monitor - This gadget shows you your hard drive usage without being un-necessarily large like some. I modified it to support 7 drives (I think it supports 3 normally). You can set the drive letters manually in the options and it supports network drives too.


Image Gadget - This simply displays the image from a URL to specify and you can set it to auto update at a rate you want. I have it setup to show the CCTV camera on the front of my house. I don't have a link to this as I found it on the AeroXP forums a while ago.


Now Playing Gadget - Chances are if you're on this blog you already know what this gadget does. It shows you what you're listening to in most media players + a tone of other features. If you don't have it, get it!


Skins.Be Gadget - This is a custom feed viewer I just released today that takes the newest uploads from and puts them in your sidebar. Great for anyone who regularly visits


Unknown said...

Could you post the 7 hard drive gadget that you modified?

Anonymous said...

I noticed you use the 24 clock gadget. I updated the original version and added a couple of features. You now have the option to display the time in 12-hour or 24-hour format.

I also added the ability to play the "ticking" sound at user configurable intervals.

You can check out the online version at