Apr 4, 2008

A Cool New Toy...Rediscovered

I've been running an optimization checklist on my computer to get the most out of my outdated laptop as I can. I got my Gateway back in 2002 when I graduated high school as a gift from my parents, so you can imagine how backdated some of my cleanup had to be.

Anyway, as I was cleaning out my registry, and doing hard drive defrags I came across a program that I had installed a while back but had closed down and forgotten about. I'm not sure now how I survived without it there. This tool, though many of you may already have it, and I think that Vista now comes with it installed from the factory is...Google Desktop.

This program allows you to put a customizable sidebar onto you desktop that stays there as you work on your other programs. What is really cool about this is that you can download hundreds of "gadgets" to add into the sidebar to help you with everyday life.

Gadgets I currently have installed are:

+Google Calendar: Automatically syncs with your online Google calendar allowing you access with just one click.
+Weather Bug: Give you live weather in your local area, forecasts, live radar, and cameras.
+Google Maps: Allow you quick access to Google Maps from you side bar. When not paused it will throw up satellite photos of famous places from around the world.
+Scratch Pad: Saves notes that you would like to jot down. No more looking for sticky notes.
+To Do: Simple Check list of things to do, allowing you to organize your day.
+Web Clips: RSS reader for all the blogs that you read. Customizable for the number of clips per website, and how you want them displayed.

Google Desktop is designed to run in the background continuously updating your selected gadgets, but it doesn't seem to put a lot of strain on the system. One great thing is that you can minimize the sidebar to a search bar on you windows task bar and regain full screen features whenever you like, then pop it back up when you are done.

Well, enough of my rambling. I'll be back on Tuesday with another post. C ya!!!

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