How To: Trick Out Your Desktop with Rainmeter

Sample Desktop…Mine

Download Rainmeter

So let's run down a sample desktop. I'll use mine as the test subject. I chose a black background image and white text for all of the skins. Skins tend to come with both black and white text and you can decide which ones you want to use. This makes using rotating desktops a bit of a challenge. You can't really have a mix of dark- and light-colored desktops because the text won't change color, so it will be unreadable at times.

Back to my desktop. Let's go clockwise from the top right. That's a clock. Pretty easy.

Below it is the memory and CPU meter. It shows free and used memory and CPU load and uptime.

Below that are meters for the C: and D: drives. Under that is a similar network meter that monitors network traffic, down and up, and then a measure of my wireless signal strength.Below that is slide show. I pointed it to a directory of wallpapers and every 10 seconds it switches to another photo. You can point to any directory of photos and it will cycle through as well, just like those digital photo frames people like to put on their desk.

Under that is a skin for iTunes. It displays information on the song when music plays.

At the bottom right is the calendar, and a rather stylish one at that. The day, date, month, and year are in the center of the wheel and are displayed in red.

On the bottom left is a five-day weather forecast, complete with wind, humidity, sunrise, sunset, and the moon's phase. Above that is a four-way RSS feed that cycles between four different feeds. Clicking on a headline will open it in a browser.

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  • ssddx
    Quote:
    Sample Destop...Mine

    Hah! I see you use ObjectDock Plus! as well. Awsome program.

    This looks interesting; I will have to check it out. Is that circle in the bottom right a working calendar?
  • house70
    Hey, tom's, how come we are still getting swamped with spam? Here's an idea: mark as spam any message that has more than 2 links in it and any message that has more than twice the symbol $ in it. That should help out for a while until you come up with even better filters.
  • shoelessinsight
    I downloaded Rainmeter after reading this article and have been experimenting with it for a few hours. Though I am having a hard time getting reliable readings of my system temperatures and my current wireless bandwidth, most of the skins are surprisingly easy to customize.

    Thanks for the article! =)
  • gdroland
    Awesome article. I've got alot of Rainmeter desktops setup over on DeviantArt.com / With all the files you need to create them on your own computer. Check them out and don't hesitate to ask in the comments if you have questions/difficulties.

    http://gdroland.deviantart.com/
  • cosmie
    Which weather skin is being used on the sample desktop?
  • ecnovaec
    I love your desktop! can you please tell us what clock/etc you are using??
  • tgandy
    Cosmie,

    I use the Felix weather widget. It comes with the Rainmeter install.
  • tgandy
    ssddxHah! I see you use ObjectDock Plus! as well. Awsome program.This looks interesting; I will have to check it out. Is that circle in the bottom right a working calendar?


    Yes it is. I've been on the computer at midnight and watched it update the day and date.
  • scottman777
    I've also downloaded Rainmeter after reading your article - awesome! Where'd you get that calendar?
  • scottman777
    n/m I found it! Thanks for the article!
  • toolinthemist
    the advent of widescreen monitors did not bring about more desktop real estate. in fact, they have hampered it. The 4:3 square monitors provide more screen real estate then similarly diagonal dimensioned 16:9 widescreen monitors. the advent of larger screens and higher resolution monitors has led to more screen real estate.
  • surfer1337dude
    Does anyone know the link for this? It doesnt seem to be working from the article and a couple different sites came up on google
  • xazin1102x
    So..is this only for desktop??
  • One thing this article doesn't cover is how to skin the taskbar as it is in the first picture.

    This can be acheived in a few ways.

    The first and most simplest is to autohide the taskbar and place it on an unused side. Then just use Rainmeter as an alternate.

    Secondly you can attempt to hotkey the taskbar. There are a few programs that allow this... taskbar hide comes to mind (shareware).

    The third option, and my personal choice is to hack the Windows shell so you can reskin it. While I don't have a link handy I'm sure you can search deviantART for it (probably the best resource for windows customization).
  • If you're looking for wallpapers, but can't handle certain 4chan posters (or just don't feel like looking through), Yotoon created a great wallpaper site that scrapes the images off /wg/ and people on there tag them under various tag filters. It also has a very simple yet pleasing interface.

    http://wallbase.net/

    Say you're looking for a Nintendo wallpaper, you can type in Nintendo, and you'll see alot of Nintendo wallpapers.
    Or say you're at work and want to view only SFW images, you can set the filter to only show SFW images, and all the images that have been tagged as NSFW or Edgy (questionable ones) won't be shown.
  • kgbboy
    how did you get the aero peek to work with objectdock?? when i mouseover the dock icons...it doesnt show anything :( and is there a way to make the system tray icons high res?! tks in advance!
  • woodscrews
    am i reading this right, did you guys really just recommend browsing 4chan?
  • woodscrews
    am i reading this right, did you guys really just recommend browsing 4chan?