Ten Must-Have Gadgets for Windows Vista Sidebar

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.

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