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Gadgets are always cool to have. They add functionality to your desktop and generally make your life easier. Last but not least, they help you express your individuality.
Fortunately, Microsoft got rid of the ugly Vista sidebar in Windows 7, so that your gadgets are allowed to float freely on your desktop. Back in July Matt showed you the 7 Best Windows 7 Gadgets, including useful system meters, Facebook and Twitter explorers, the Skype gadget, and the Doppler RadLoop.
Now lets have a look at some more cool desktop gadgets for Windows 7.
This gadget provides quick access to the clipboard history. You can retrieve images or text you copied previously from the history or create your favorite clips to use in the future. Simply right-click on the entry in the history and select your action.
Need to find a specific piece of information that you copied like an hour ago? Just filter the history for a keyword to find it.
You can manage the entire history and your favorite clips from the Clipboard Manager, by clicking on more. Here, you can also add tools and change the settings. Unfortunately, the manager window is very large, so on my netbook I had to use the [TAB] key to jump to the (for me) invisible OK button and save my changes.
MiniTV is a small TV on your desktop, pretty obvious.
The gadget comes with a large number of stations to choose from plus you can add your own. Full screen mode is supported, but the quality depends on the respective stream. Expect an update with many more internal stations.
Need a short break but don’t want to get lost in time? Go into the configuration and enter a time or amount of minutes after which MiniTV will switch off.
This looks like such a simple tool, but it really hides a myriad of features underneath its hood. It totally deserves the name Ultimate Explorer.
It provides instant access to multiple sites you may want to query for information. The search can be browser or gadget based and you can specify which for each site separately. For example you can view YouTube videos in the flyout, but load the results in your browser when you search Amazon. Just select the respective site and then click the tools icon in the bottom right.
The tool even hosts a little calendar and event system (Home). Access the settings menu for tons of additional options. Unfortunately, you cannot customize the list of sites to search.
NASA TV [No Longer Available]
This is a simple little app streaming NASA TV live to your desktop.
Watch how the astronauts and scientists on the International Space Station float past the space cam doing their work as you enjoy earthly pleasures, such as gravity and a hot coffee from a proper cup.
The gadget streams the video in a tiny window the size of the screenshot provided above. There is no way to zoom in or switch to full screen. However, you can go directly to NASA TV’s website for a better quality stream.
In our modern lives, we are relatively independent of the weather. However, it still helps to know whether or not you need to carry that extra jacket or put on sun screen for your walk in the park.
This desktop gadget from Weather Underground won’t let you neglect the weather in your fashion and lifestyle decisions. It supports cities worldwide.
Clicking the little plus button in the bottom right will fold up the preview and reduce the window to the current weather conditions. Clicking the little arrow in the top left opens the flyout window, which, pending availability, provides access to a radar image, more detailed weather conditions, and webcams.
Colour Picker [No Longer Available]
This color palette gadget is a super cool tool for anyone who works with colors across multiple applications. You can search for online color palettes and save your custom palettes. Once set up you can easily copy&paste the HEX values of your palettes and maintain a uniform color scheme without much hassle
The gadget incorporates the API of COLOURlovers, an online resource that monitors and influences color trends.
The Magic Folder [No Longer Available]
Is your desktop and download folder a hopeless mess? This tool can be your savior! It sorts files into default folders based on the file extension. Just drag and drop your files onto The Magic Folder. You can also define a ‘watched folder’ to be sorted automatically whenever new files arrive, for example your downloads folder.
The tool can’t read your mind, so for optimal results you first have to set it up and add the type of folders and subsequently types of files it should manage. You can edit the path for the folders and hence have the gadget move your files anywhere you want. You can also edit all file extensions separately, for example sort .tiff files into your projects folder, but all other image files into the pictures folder. You can even add additional folders in addition to the standard ones.
Here are three more cool Windows 7 gadgets worth trying:
- Remote Desktop
- Language Translator
Which Windows 7 gadget is your favorite and where did you discover it?