Dress Up Your Windows Sidebar with Samurize

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I’ve always been the type of person who’s pretty concerned about how their desktop looks. I want my desktop to look perfect, especially since I’ll be staring at it for hours on end. I’m also the type of person who loves to customize and get the latest stats on my computer.

I used to use the old Vista sidebar for this task, but that wasn’t nearly as meaty as I had hoped. I tried the sidebar in Google Desktop for a while, but it looked a bit ugly to me . After browsing around for a little bit, I discovered an extremely cool app called Samurize that could make my desktop look freaking amazing while telling me computer stats and many other things.

What is it?

While I myself consider Samurize to be more of a sidebar program than anything else; it’s so flexible that it can take on many different jobs and execute them perfectly. Samurize can do whatever you want it to do. Here is how the makers of Samurize describe their product:

“Samurize is an advanced system monitoring and desktop enhancement engine for Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista. IT professionals, overclockers, gamers and desktop modders alike use Samurize for system information, weather reports, news headlines and much much more. And best of all, Samurize is 100% free!”

That’s probably the best description of the program you’ll find, but once you go to the website and see some example of what you can create, you’ll be blown away and see just what you can do with this program.

Features

As mentioned above, Samurize is a tool that can do many different tasks, but here are a list of things that I’ve used it for so you can get a better idea of how you can customize it to suit yourself.

You can use Samurize to:

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  • Make your desktop look cooler
  • Monitor very precise usage of RAM and CPU
  • Get your latest News/Weather/To-Do List updates
  • Monitor useless but cool information about your computer usage
  • Control your music player
  • Lots more

How to use it:

After you download Samurize, you’re going to have to customize it to make it look good. To do this, you can either find a pre-configured package to download or make one yourself. If you feel like making one yourself, you’ll want to head over to the tutorials so you don’t mess anything up. My recommendation is for you to download a pre-configured package that you like, and then configure things using the included ‘Config Editor’. Just right click on the icon after you’ve installed Samurize, and you should see something like this:

Click it to open up the Config Editor.

I know it’s really scary when you first see it, but the concepts are very easy to understand if you’re just doing basic editing. It’s a WYSIWYG editor, so all you need to do is to drag things where you want them and they’ll show up on your desktop at the place you wanted.

To customize things even more, you can install plugins. It’s really a great app that you can customize to your desires. If you need help, you can even go on their IRC and get tips from the pros.

Examples:

Instead of ranting on about how cool Samurize is, I think it would be better if I showed a few examples of the customizations people have created and have you decide on your own. Here are three of my favorite pre-made packages.

Falcone’s Desktop: Download

Glass: Download

Axiom: Download

Dego: Download

Hopefully that should give you guys all an idea of what an awesome program Samurize is. Download it, play around with it, and then post back here. I’d love to hear your thoughts and see your designs. Also, are there any other sidebar programs you use instead of the one provided in Windows Vista?

Post your comments below!

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