Monitor CPU cores, check the weather and watch pandas with these fun and useful gadgets.
A vertical bar running up the right side of the desktop, the Sidebar can display a varying number of graphical gadget interfaces, depending on the size of the gadgets. If you cram too many gadgets into the Sidebar, itll automatically create another page to which you can flip with a single click.
A gadgets usefulness and intuitiveness are limited only by its inventors imagination. If you browse through Microsofts Gadget Gallery (which you can invoke through Vista by right-clicking on the Sidebar, clicking Add Gadgets, and, in the resulting window, clicking Get More Gadgets Online), youll encounter an intimidating number of gadgets—it would take dozens of Sidebar pages to contain them all.
Which ones do you truly need? The list is rife with search tools for niche Web sites, single-channel Web radio feeds, single-channel RSS feeds, commercial tie-ins, and other non-necessities. We blew through the chaff to put together a list of ten gadgets we found either indispensable or just too fun to pass up. All of the gadgets contained in this article are available in the aforementioned Gallery.
Read the full story on PCMag.com: Ten Must-Have Gadgets for Windows Vista Sidebar
Joel Durham Jr. has loved computers, technology, and gaming since he was a kid, first enjoying the wonders of the Atari 2600 and later indulging in the fabulous graphics of the Commodore 64. His lust for all things technical drove him to eventually seek employment: he landed a job at Computer Concepts, a Rochester-based PC consulting and repair firm, where the company president took Joel on as his apprentice. Within a year, Joel was running the service shop, installing networks for clients, and building systems with glee.
A writer at heart, Joel longed for the glory of seeing his words in print, so in 1997 he left his shop to take a job as PC Gamer's first Technical Editor. After leaving that post to flee the ridiculous cost of living in northern California, Joel worked mostly as a freelance tech writer, taking a year-long break from the mercenary life to telecommute to CNET as the Senior Technical Editor of the now-sadly-defunct Gamecenter. Residing in Upstate New York with his family, Joel repeatedly flung himself at ExtremeTech (which often used his freelance services over the years) until he convinced them to hire him.