Gadget sidebar for Vista desktop

Track the time, monitor CPU use, use sticky notes, and more with this handy desktop sidebar for Vista gadgets.

Some people's work on the PC immerses them in one or more applications. Other users prefer to think of the desktop as their center of operations. For the latter, this desktop sidebar offers plenty of gadgets to simplify their accessing the tools and info they want.

Thoosje Vista Sidebar installs an unobtrusive icon in the system task bar and a vertical pane along the right side of the monitor. Moving the bar to another spot is simply a matter of dragging it, and changing its skin to suit your fancy is a snap by clicking a button at its top.

This free sidebar performed well during our tests. Although the number of gadgets from which to choose wasn't huge, and the type of gadgets were rather basic, a novice or intermediate user will find them acceptable and appropriate for getting accustomed to the world of desktop gadgets. Many users will probably appreciate the sticky note gadget, which is handy for pasting reminders to the desktop. The clock styles from which to choose varied widely, but the other gadgets had only a single appearance. Again, novices will appreciate this tool far more than experienced users, who will demand more bells and whistles from a competing product, and those novices will probably outgrow this simple sidebar after a few weeks or months.

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