by David Stone, Technician
Microsoft pulled support for desktop gadgets for Windows 7 a while ago, but they are still available and quite handy for getting real time updates on system performance.
If you are an end user that likes to know up-to-the-minute system information, then these are just what you’ve been looking for.
Below is a list of 5 such gadgets that make accessing information fast and are visually appealing.
Margu Notebook Info 2
Margu Notebook Info 2 is used for laptop and notebook specific information and offers a simple to read layout.
This gadget will give you real-time updates for wireless local area network (WLAN) and local area network (LAN) interfaces, net usage, multicore usage, clock/calendar, central processing unit (CPU), battery, uptime, power management plans, RAM/CPU usage and hard disc drive usage.
The graphical user interface (GUI) allows for you to add/remove any of the information you want to display as well as rearrange the layout. This provides one of the best options for laptops.
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor Gadget
Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor Gadget provides you with very detailed information about wireless connections within range.
It allows you to view the data rate, service set identifier (SSID), the channel, signal strength, IP addresses and even local connection layouts.
Clicking on a wireless network in the map will return a usage history report of the available networks.
You can even change the skin of the gadget and configure the brightness, although it can be a bit distracting with the constant sonar animation.
Drives Meter offers up-to-date status of the health of your hard drives as well as set alarms for low disk space. The alarm will make a sound when remaining space left meets the threshold set by the user.
The display shows disk activity, used space, remaining space and total disk space.
This gadget definitely comes in handy when trying to troubleshoot hard drive issues or for keeping tabs on disk usage.
Network Meter Gadget
Network Meter Gadget is an excellent wireless traffic monitor, if not the best.
On one small display screen you can quickly see the wireless service set ID (SSID), internal and external IP addresses, firewall status, signal strength, upload/download speeds, speed test and connection security status.
If you select the fly-out features and see the name of the network, name of the adapter, the maximum speed, the MAC address, the subnet mask, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) lease details and much more.
System Information is an all-in-one gadget that allows you to view information on the operating system, CPU, uptime, memory, HDD, network drives, optical drives, battery and network.
You can select how much information you would like to display through the following modes: normal (shows all information), compact (shows headers only) or compressed (only one icon is shown).
Just because Microsoft has determined that support for gadgets will no longer be provided, doesn’t mean that you have to do without these tools.
If you’re looking for tools to hand out system information, you can’t go wrong with one of these gems.