Deb's desktopI love the Vista sidebar. I know many people think it's a waste of space, and Windows 7 does away with it altogether and just lets the gadgets float on your desktop wherever you want them (something you can already do with individual gadgets in Vista by detaching them from the sidebar). But whether they're lined up neatly down the side of my desktop in a bar or scattered around, I think gadgets are cool and useful. In fact, I have 20 of them running on my Vista desktop -- some on the bar and some detached and arranged on my own pseudo-sidebar near the bottom of my 24-inch monitor, as shown here.
Ed Bott recently shared his favorite gadgets with us in his blog, but while I agree with Ed that most (not all) of the gadgets Microsoft included in Vista are not very exciting, my favorites (except for one) are different from his. Of course, your favorites may not be the same as mine or Ed's, depending on how you use your computer and what information you like to have at your fingertips. If you're looking for ideas, you can check out the ones I find myself using most.
Note: This gallery is also available as an entry in our 10 Things blog and as a PDF download.
Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 additional books on subjects such as the Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 MCSE exams, CompTIA Security+ exam, and TruSecure's ICSA certification.