Gadgets, love them or leave them. Microsoft introduced sidebar gadgets in Windows Vista and improved the way they were handled in Windows 7. Gadgets are small programs that run on the computer desktop. They were limited to the sidebar in Vista, a limitation that was removed by Microsoft in Windows 7.
Gadgets can be helpful depending on a user's work situation. Gadgets are available for all kinds of tasks from displaying hardware information to Internet search forms and multimedia players.
This article reviews five desktop gadgets that are hardware related. Their usage as well depends on the user's situation. A desktop computer users will not necessarily run a gadget that is displaying the remaining battery power while a netbook user might not be interested in the a gadget that displays the load of each cpu core.
Notebook Info 2
The name of the gadget already implies that it has been designed for mobile computer systems like netbooks or notebooks. It can display a variety of information including battery level and status, WiFi network status, cpu and ram usage, power-plans, uptime, a clock, alarm and calendar and more.
The settings can be used to display only the relevant items on the computer desktop. It is for instance possible to get rid of the calendar if that is not needed.
All CPU Meter
This gadget displays cpu related information including the used, free and total computer memory and the load on each cpu core. It did however detect eight cores on our quad-core test system.
Can display hard drive information like the number of used, free and total space of each hard drive. A total of six hard drive partitions can be configured in the gadget's options.
Wired Network Meter
This gadget displays many network information like the internal and external IP address or the up and downstream of the selected network adapter.
Wireless Network Meter
From the same developer as the wired network meter but created for wireless connections. It displays the same information as the wired network meter plus information about the connection (secure, not secure) and the signal.
The gadgets should be compatible with both Windows Vista and Windows 7. Interested users can browse the more than 3800 gadgets offered at the Windows Live Gallery for other gadgets.
What's your take on Windows gadgets? Are you using them at all? If so, which are you using?
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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.