Windows Sidebar on XP

by fwhagen Thu, 15 October 2009

 

Dashboard-40 One of my favorite features in Vista is the Sidebar.  I have been using precursors of it since Windows 3.11.  Anyone remember HP’s Dashboard?  I bought and used that app every day on every system I used until Windows 98.  Since then, I’ve used Konfabulator, Stardock’s DesktopX and many others.  When Microsoft came out with Vista’s sidebar, it quickly became one of my favorite features.  In fact, it remains my sole disappointment with 7 so far; it just doesn’t work quite as well.

At work, I am forced to use a 32-bit XP system.  I miss many of the sidebar elements while working.  CPU, memory and network metering are part of my dev cycle.  And there are decent enough widgets that come close.  Clocks, calendars and other items are very useful.  But the sidebar wasn’t portable to XP.

Until, that is, I found a patched/hacked version on DeviantART that seems to work very well.  Called simply Windows Sidebar, Real One, Pack, it comes bundled with the Alky for Windows library that allows it to run within XP (you don’t need to supply a Vista key when it asks, by the way).  So with a couple of useful gadgets, especially the ones from Orb2k, I can have all of my monitoring loaded in one extensible process.  Very nice, and thanks to ~joshoon of DeviantART.com.

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