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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Desktop Customization - Rainmeter

So in this post, we look at a handy tool called Rainmeter.

 First, check out some random guy’s desktop…

        Nice, right? Now you want one too? This desktop was created using a desktop customization software called Rainmeter. Simply put, Rainmeter creates a transparent layer (called an overlay) over your desktop, on which you can put all sorts of widgets, like clocks, disk usage statistics, weather, etc.      

        These widgets are essentially program scripts run via Rainmeter. Writing your own scripts isn’t easy. Instead, you can download various themes for Rainmeter, which come with all sorts of preloaded widgets.

        You can mix and match these widgets to suit your tastes, and you can modify the script code for these preloaded widgets, as you like. This is actually pretty simple. Just right click the widget, click modify, and a notepad with the code pops up. Most widgets have comments by the author on how to edit the code, in order to change the widget accordingly. Then save, and you have your modified widget.

        Rainmeter is actually a pretty useful customizing tool, and you could spend a lot of time with it getting your ideal desktop. Be warned though, too many widgets could slow down your computer, or potentially crash it, and Rainmeter may interfere with your actual desktop.

        For beginners, I recommend the Enigma skin (easy to customize) and the Omnio 7 theme (for a Windows 8 like experience, even easier to customize). Just Google around for ‘Rainmeter themes’ if you’re looking for something else. 

        This works well in combination with Rocketdock, Fences. You can modify and tweak for desired effects. For those with Macs, no Rainmeter for you. Instead, you have an alternative called GeekTool, which can be used in a similar manner.

Download Rainmeter from here.


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