Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hooray Widgets

I'm not pimping anything. These things are free and (assuming you're operating a computer right now) don't require any additional effort. Beyond all of that, I dig them.

Do a search for "yahoo widgets" and check it all out. Widgets are these tiny little programs that load on startup (if you want.) Not hard to explain what they do, but I'll just say that if you have a particular interest in something, there's probably a widget for it that you might want to load up. There are hundreds of them, so the odds are good that maybe a dozen or so are something you might actually find useful. I think the idea is completely stolen from the Mac OS, but the widget engine runs on Mac as well.

Here's what my desktop looks like (except I've probably changed my wallpaper, since this photo is more than five minutes old and that means I already hate it.)

I've loaded up a widget with US satellite weather (the map will animate if you want), one for e-mail notification, wi-fi signal strength, six-day forecast, CPU load, memory usage, a cool-ass calendar, analog-style clock, and one for an online retailer from which I have never purchased a thing but for some reason still like to check.

Sure, some (most) of these widgets are a little geeky, but so are computers, and you have one of those, right? But they're all kind of handy in some way. I have the CPU usage widget up there because every time I close Windows Media Player, it hangs my soundcard. The widget turns solid red, conveniently letting me know that Bill Gates is a cornholer. I mean that in a nice way.

I almost have my computer to the point where I don't really need a web browser to check the stuff I look at every day (I say "almost" because of the porn.) But there's probably a widget for most of the links you have bookmarked. They can show you what's happening with the pages you like to visit, which reduces the need to click around because it's all sitting right there in convenient, individually wrapped slices.

And blah, blah, blah. That's enough pimpin'...


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