I have talked to several Windows Vista users and all told me that they did not use the Vista sidebar because of the lack of good gadgets that one could add to it.
Sure, some are really nice but the majority is utterly useless. Why would I want another clock displayed on the desktop for instance if I have access to a clock in the system tray?
The Amnesty Generator (Windows, Macintosh) tries to fill this gap by providing a clever way to convert thousands of web widgets to Vista gadgets that can be placed in the sidebar. The program is free and absolutely easy to use.
All it needs is the html code of the widget to automatically convert it into a Vista sidebar gadget. The html code is displayed when you select a widget from a databases that offers them (linked by the application)
It is for instance possible to add Google Gadgets, feed from Grazr, Youtube videos or games from several arcades to the Vista sidebar.
The Amnesty Generator offers a large list of websites that offer web widgets which can be accessed by visiting them in your default browser.
All you need to do is find the code to embed the widget into your own website and copy that code from the website into the program on your desktop to add it to your copy of Vista.
Paste it into Step 2 of the Generator and customize the Sidebar gadget further by assigning a name and width & height for it. Those values are filled out automatically but you can change them if you want. Last but not least you can add an image which can be used to recognize the vista gadget in the gadget browser.
If you want to display web widgets on Vista's desktop, then you may find the program useful for that purpose. It may take some time to find appropriate widgets though that you want to display permanently on your desktop. A radio player would be nice for example, as would be other interactive widgets that you plan to use regularly.
Update: The Amnesty Generator for Vista is still available as freeware. Vista users may still find it useful, even though many may have moved on by now to newer versions of the Windows operating system. The application requires Windows Vista obviously, and the developers recommend that Adobe's Flash Player is installed on the system as well.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.