May 25, 2005
Widgets I Like
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With Apple's Tiger, comes Dashboard, and with Dashboard, a horde of Widgets to choose from. Apple's initial set has a few good ones--the Weather widget is good, the translation widget is fun, the Dictionary widget is excellent, and the calendar isn't bad. But there's a wealth of new widgets coming out on a daily basis, and from that you can pick and choose the dozen or two that you can use on a daily basis. Here's what my own dashboard looks like now:
Two sites which have most of them are Apple's own widget download page, but even better is the Dashboard Widget Showcase. New widgets are added all the time, and they have a pretty good collection so far.
Among my favorites:
Reversi: a simple game, but it works well. Which is more than I can say for the solitaire game that came out early as a widget--that one was hard to operate, and just kinda sucked. But Reversi works as advertised, and can be quite distracting. At the medium setting, I can usually beat the computer--but the widget allows for two humans to play as well. A very well-execusted widget here.
iCal Events: recently updated so that it displays the events in all your calendars at once, this widget will alert you to all of your coming appointments in the next day without having to open the actual iCal app in which you set the appointments. Not a huge convenience, but it is a convenience--especially for someone like me, who often forgets to check his calendar....
Then there are a few Timer widgets:
the one on the left is iChrono, and provides a service I've lacked on my Mac for some time: a simple stopwatch function. This comes in handy when my students do their PowerPoint presentation projects, and one of the grading elements is timing.
The other widget, on the right, is the Countdown Calendar, which does what it says, though it also counts up, as I use it to count how many days of consecutive blogging I've done.
Others I have include widgets that search sites like Amazon, the Internet Movie Database, Wikipedia and song lyric databases; "This Day in History," a metric/currency conversion tool, a word/quote/joke-of-the-day widget, and a simple digital clock are also nice. But you'll find the ones that you like, and will build your own custom dashboard.
There are a lot more, and I suggest that you regularly visit the download pages I've linked to above--new, interesting widgets are coming out all the time.
Posted by: anonymous email at May 26, 2005 12:59 PM