CNET Editors' review
Although some people are completely satisfied with the default Windows desktop interface, for others, customization is a must. Rainmeter (32-bit) is an attractive way to view system performance and a variety of other useful information--e-mail, weather, RSS feeds, and much more--right on the desktop. Casual users should beware, however; although it's not difficult to get started with Rainmeter, learning to fully utilize its features will take some time and geekery.
The program comes with two different themes, Enigma and Gnometer. Both of these are modular, transparent, and highly customizable. There is a wide variety of other themes around the Internet--an enthusiastic community of Rainmeter fans keeps them coming--so users who aren't crazy about Enigma and Gnometer can easily find other options. Features vary from theme to theme, but some common ones we came across include shortcuts to frequently used programs, clocks, calendars, notes, and news stories. Each theme can be reconfigured in a wide variety of ways, as each individual module can be dragged and dropped anywhere on the screen. All this flexibility is great for the hard-core Rainmeter user, but new users should expect a lot of trial and error, as the program definitely isn't as intuitive as it could be. The program comes with quite a bit of documentation, but even that doesn't really begin to describe what Rainmeter is capable of or how to use it. Overall, we think that Rainmeter is a great choice for users who like to geek out over customizing their desktops, but users who are looking for something that's easy and low maintenance will be frustrated and disappointed.
Rainmeter (32-bit) is free. It installs and uninstalls without issues, and we recommend this program to serious desktop customizers.
Two years ago, an abandoned, virtually unknown piece of open-source software was suddenly embraced by a small team of designers and programmers with a vision of its potential. Since then, Rainmeter has become the premier desktop customizing platform for Windows PCs, and with over 3 million downloads*, its passionate and supportive user community is growing by the day. The result is a gallery of hundreds of creative skins, gadgets and plugins, and an app that just keeps getting better. To commemorate the second anniversary of Rainmeter's "rebirth," we've decided to surprise our users with the big jump to 2.0. Here's the gist: * Adding new skins is easier than ever. Rainmeter can now recognize and install downloaded skins automatically in just a few clicks. It'll even make a backup if you're copying over an old version, while leaving your personal settings untouched. * We've added Illustro, a new set of default skins, which have been specially designed to help new users learn the basics. * You can now do a lot more with skins than just look at them. Skins now support text input, letting you tweet, search Google, jot down a quick note - and whatever else you can think of - directly from Rainmeter. This feature also reduces the need to edit code by hand, making it faster and easier to change your personal settings: colors, fonts, passwords and more. * Rainmeter itself is much lighter. There is now a single installer for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Users can choose which of our featured skins to download during the installing process, or later, if they prefer. Our downloads page can be opened directly from Rainmeter's context menu. * A portable install option has been added. * New plugin integrates Rainmeter with the CPU temperature monitor, CoreTemp. * We've improved support for grouping skins, making it easier to toggle skins' visibility and lock them in place to prevent accidental dragging. * Under the hood, there are plenty of new tools for skin developers. Support for the Lua scripting language is now baked in, as is a template for C# plugins. Expanded styles and modules now behave more like CSS. And we've added some powerful image manipulation tools for automatic cropping, flipping, rotating, tinting and more. We can't wait to see what creative programmers can do with these features. * We've overhauled Rainmeter's online manual, including our in-depth, hands-on tutorial series, Rainmeter 101.
What's new in this version: Adding new skins is easier. Added Illustro, a new set of default skins, which have been specially designed to help new users learn the basics. Rainmeter itself is much lighter. A portable install option has been added.
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All versions:4.2 stars
out of 12 votes
Current version:5.0 stars
out of 2 votes
My rating:Write review
Results 1-2 of 2
Version: Rainmeter 2.0
Unlimited cuztomization n easy to use!!!!!!!!!
No cons so far......
Hey everybody, you should try the ominimo theme, its like no other
"The best I have used."
Version: Rainmeter 2.0
Ease of additions to your desktop, unlimited customization.
None as of yet.
This is a great program.
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