Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Top 10 Best and Most Useful Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets for an Average Joe

For the computer geeks out there this is not for you. That means, if you go on the computer at 6 AM in the morning to check your email, 9 AM to check Facebook and spend all day working on Microsoft Word then come home to play Warcraft, leave. Now. However, if not, you're welcome to take a look at the 10 applications that I personally find most appealing:

10. Blogger Buddy

Simply enter an account username and password and you'll be off and running. Direct links to all the blogs correlated with that account will be provided. Plus, you can compose full posts with many of the necessary formatting accessories including emphasis, hyperlinks and pictures. In fact, you can even preview the post right from the gadget before you publish. The one flaw that I've found is that you can't insert labels into the posts from this gadget.

9. Dictionary/Thesaurus

I don't care what you do for a living, there are those times when you just need a definition, spelling or synonym that you can't seem to find in your head. That's when this very simple but useful application will come in handy. It's dictionary is definitely useful although it has its flaws, with most of its entries originating from the Webster's 1913 dictionary and an odd interface but the thesaurus is surely adequate and sure is better than the few words that Microsoft Office's thesaurus provides.

8. Desk Essentials

Like a pizza, this is a lot of good stuff crammed into one thing. A detailed to-do list that features organization by priority and due date, an easily accessible notepad as well as a decent calculator that will solve small equations. In addition, it's nice to be able to print out the to-do list and notes too.

7. SportsAlert

This gadget has a ton of versatility listing scores to every NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB and NCAA basketball game. It's reliable with occasional updates but there's not much more to say; it's just a good application.

6. News

It doesn't really matter what you want here. I'm just throwing this search term out there. Most versions already have a news reader installed but you might prefer a particular brand of news, perhaps the USA Today.

5. WeatherBug

Although I don't personally like this particularly, it's consider a basic essential that you just have to have. You can set your location very easily and this gadget will retrieve temperatures, satellites, photos, wind gusts, precipitation and HI/LO reports daily.

4. Facebook Sidebar

At this point, pretty much everyone has a Facebook account. Well with this application, you can satisfy your craving for a constant view of Facebook updates. This displays messages, pokes and all invitations as well as friend requests. Moreover, you can update your status as long as you authorize this action.

3. zCalendar

This is a very cool gadget, which, along with showing the date (my favorite part), lets you add events, which you can customize with your own notes. To add, this application will play a little chime as an alert if you enable it at a set time before the event starts.

2. All Search

Type in any search term, select a search engine from the list that includes Google, Yahoo!, Live, eBay, Amazon, the weather, dictionary, Youtube and Wikipedia. This will instantly open your Internet Explorer taking you to the search results page for the particular engine. Really easy, really convenient.

1. Email

Ah, email. How can you forget this. I can't pinpoint you to the exact gadget because I don't know what service you use. But you need this. Trust me.

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