aloges
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Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:50 am

Good evening all,

long after deciding I don't want icons cluttering up my Windows desktop, I've found something else to do that with - Konfabulator, now known as the "Yahoo! Widget Engine". This neat little software (for Windows and Mac OS X) allows you to choose from a plethora of useful, funny, nonsensical, geekish and/or entertaining little widgets for your desktop. I've been using a calendar and a weather forecast widget for a few months now, and decided to get a few more today: a simple reminder, a WiFi signal display, a CPU and a RAM usage display and a radio stream.

So, if you already use it - what widgets do you have?

If you don't know it yet, give it a try. You might just fall in love with it!  Silly

Cheers,
aloges
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Klaus
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:27 am

OS X since 10.4 Tiger has integrated Dashboard for this purpose, which is rather similar to Konfabulator. Apple - Mac OS X - Dashboard

I currently use the following widgets:
• One "FlipClock" set to NY time, another set to SF time.
• "SunlitEarth" for an overview of current day/night/sunlight
• "Sol" for local sunset/sunrise times
• "iCal Events" showing the next pending calendar events
• The standard "Weather" widget
• Monthly calendar
• "*nix manual" for command-line reference
• "SysStat" for current system status
• "MAMP control" for Apache / MySQL control
• Standard stock market widget
• Standard currency widget
• "Pcalc" calculator
• Standard "Dictionary" widget
 
Airdolomiti
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:34 am

I think I first read about Konfabulator/Yahoo!Widget Engine on this forum a few months ago... I decided to give it a try and now I'm hooked!

On my laptop I currently have:

-Yahoo weather forecast
-Laptop battery status indicator
-RSS news feed from CNN and BBC World
-Google search
-big digital clock
-audio volume control
-calendar

Federico
 
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PipoA380
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:49 am

I personally don't have any spyware  Wink
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aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:01 am

Quoting Airdolomiti (Reply 2):
I think I first read about Konfabulator/Yahoo!Widget Engine on this forum

Speaking of how I foundout about it - I think it was after the umpteenth time of lamenting the lack of a thermometer anywhere near me. Then I remembered a reading by a Russian/German comedian, Vladimir Kaminer, where he referred to the "Harry Potter generation" pulling all kinds of computerised stunts to simplify life - even if the stunts ended up being more complicated than old-fashioned solutions, such as not going online to check the weather but looking out the window. Well, the weather I was able assess - but not the °C, so I looked around for software that could be helpful at that. And I found Konfabulator.  goodvibes 

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 3):
I personally don't have any spyware

Pardon?
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PipoA380
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:16 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 4):
Pardon?

Oh well, do I really need to explain this?
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:34 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 5):
Oh well, do I really need to explain this?

Well, all my firewall alerts me of is the widget engine connecting to yahoo weather. Ad-aware and Spybot don't seem to have a problem with it either... the "offered" installation of additional yahoo software was easy to avoid, and lastly I've looked around a bit (using google) and haven't found anything bad about the widget engine containing spyware. So please, what did I miss?
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
gdodds
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:36 am

I downloaded these a few days back, and have been quite handy telling me time (even though the taskbar already does that), Date and Weather etc.
My Widgets: Weather, Clock, Calendar. Might add more but i'll need to find the folder first
 
aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:39 am

Quoting Gdodds (Reply 7):
Might add more but i'll need to find the folder first

My Documents > My Widgets could be it
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skidmarks
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:43 am

Wots a widget?

Andy  old 
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RichardPrice
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:48 am

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 9):
Wots a widget?

Its a little HTML and Javascript based program that displays helpful information within a very limited scope.

For example, you may have a dictionary widget which looks up the word entered at dictionary.com, parses the result and shows you it, without you having to open up a web browser, visit dictionary.com etc.

Yeah, Ive written a fair few for both Dashboard and Konfab over the past two years.
 
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PipoA380
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:54 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 6):
Ad-aware and Spybot don't seem to have a problem with it either...

SB and AA don't have a problem with a lot of things. That's often a problem to me  Wink

Quoting Aloges (Reply 6):
about the widget engine containing spyware

It doesn't contain spyware. To me, it IS spyware. But that's personal, I just avoid this kind of things, it got me too much trouble.
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
Klaus
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:01 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 11):
To me, it IS spyware.

To qualify as that, it would have to transmit individual information about you or your system into the net.

Does it do that?
 
Timology
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:11 am

I got:

-Random Photo's
-Wheater Forecast
-Memo
-Alarm
-iTunes Remote
-iTunes SleepTimer
"Arm in arm we are the harmless sociopaths"
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:14 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 11):
It doesn't contain spyware. To me, it IS spyware. But that's personal, I just avoid this kind of things, it got me too much trouble.

Your browser sends out the following to each and every website you download stuff from:

1. your operating system version and patch level
2. what browser you are using
3. if you have .net installed
4. the page address that contained the link you just clicked
5. a timestamp

So I guess it would fit your definition of spyware.
 
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PipoA380
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:23 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 12):
it would have to transmit individual information about you or your system into the net.

Don't be naive. They don't offer you this service cause you have beautiful eyes or whatever! That's called push&pull marketing action. They take some info on you, and then they can target advertisement better.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 14):
Your browser sends out the following to each and every website you download stuff from:

I'm sorry I don't really get the link between the two?
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 15):
That's called push&pull marketing action. They take some info on you, and then they can target advertisement better.

As for push & pull: You can easily deny installation of all yahoo software. The rest isn't true either, I have not received a single spam e-mail due to installing Konfabulator/YWE - and I even have an e-mail account at yahoo.

Sometimes, freeware may just be freeware.

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 15):
I'm sorry I don't really get the link between the two?

I think he was referring to YWE not necessraily transmitting more than the average browser, after you've registered.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Klaus
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:34 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 15):
Don't be naive. They don't offer you this service cause you have beautiful eyes or whatever! That's called push&pull marketing action. They take some info on you, and then they can target advertisement better.

Even under Windows you would see such unauthorized communication with your firewall. And five minutes after someone noticing it would be all over the net. I can't vouch for Konfabulator, but I'd say it is rather unlikely that it was spyware.

Dashboard is an integral component of MacOS X, so there would be no point in spying either.

A certain level of paranoia is quite sensible, but a bit of evidence would be nice before starting to make accusations.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:39 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 15):
I'm sorry I don't really get the link between the two?

You download and install SPECIFICALLY the Yahoo! Desktop Widget engine, and then you install the widgets. These widgets then go and get information from wherever they are programmed to get it from, its exactly the same as if you had opened up your browser and gone to that website - hell, Konfab uses the IE rendering engine for it!

The link is - how is a widget doing it for you any different to you doing it manually? It isnt.

Widgets and the widget engine are no more spyware than anything else you run.
 
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PipoA380
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:46 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 16):
You can easily deny installation of all yahoo software

I've denied a lot of installations that got through on my computer... that's what I meant

Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):

A certain level of paranoia is quite sensible, but a bit of evidence would be nice before starting to make accusations.

I'm not paranoiac, but spyware has caused so big problems I take nothing that looks or smells like it. I'm not making any accusation, just saying this goes in the kinda thing I personally wouldn't install.

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 18):
its exactly the same as if you had opened up your browser and gone to that website

I don't know, somehow I just don't trust this kinda things. I'd rather do it myself than have it done wrong Big grin

Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying what you guys do is wrong, just saying that you gotta be careful with these things, it can be great, and a second later, it can be a total mess....
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
RichardPrice
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:51 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 19):
I don't know, somehow I just don't trust this kinda things. I'd rather do it myself than have it done wrong

What are you relying on a computer for then?
 
aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:53 am

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 19):
I've denied a lot of installations that got through on my computer... that's what I meant

Not in this case - no yahoo software to be found anywhere on it. Just good old Konfabulator with its new, bland name.

Quoting PipoA380 (Reply 19):
you gotta be careful with these things, it can be great, and a second later, it can be a total mess....

Certainly - but you must have had one very bad spyware experience to avoid downloaded programmes like the plague.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
searpqx
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:55 am

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 9):
Wots a widget?

Doesn't ACME make them?
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
mhodgson
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:05 am

What effect to these widgets have on RAM etc? Noticeable?
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RichardPrice
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:07 am

Quoting Mhodgson (Reply 23):
What effect to these widgets have on RAM etc? Noticeable?

Depends on the widget, the skill of the programmer who made it, and the task the widget is doing.

I personally turned off Dashboard because it was too memory hungry and I found i didnt use it.
 
skidmarks
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:58 pm

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 22):
Doesn't ACME make them?

Hmmmmmm, so they explode on impact and have devastating effects on coyotes and piigs? Big grin

Andy  old 
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andz
Posts: 7624
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 6:10 pm

I hate icons cluttering my desktop too, I just use the quick launch toolbar:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/andzz/desktop290106.jpg
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
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PipoA380
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:24 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 20):
What are you relying on a computer for then?

How else could I visit a.net with no computer?  Wink
It's not about AIRBUS. it's not about BOEING. It's all about the beauty of FLYING.
 
Brendan03
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Sun Jan 29, 2006 8:30 pm

Hmm... This sounds like a cool little contraption... Too bad I only have 224mb of ram to spare... Got dual monitor operations happening here and the spare monitor has nothing on it other than a.net chat and my MSN stuff atm...
Maybe I might look into this my indepth when I get more ram happening on this little funk box
Coolier than thou.
 
centrair
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 5:12 pm

Quoting RichardPrice (Reply 24):
I personally turned off Dashboard because it was too memory hungry and I found i didnt use it.

I use Dashboard a whole lot. No RAM problems at all. The first time your run it (after turning on), it is slow but then it updates regularly. F12 and they all come forward. F12 again and they all go hidden.
For those who can't image what dashboard looks like.


Quoting Andz (Reply 26):
I hate icons cluttering my desktop too, I just use the quick launch toolbar:

Me too but on a mac its called the dock.
In addition, I also like a clean organized file structure.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
Klaus
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 6:30 pm

I agree, the Dock is an excellent tool once you know what it can do.

Plus, under Tiger you can find many things faster by using the integrated Spotlight search engine than manually looking through large Icon sets.
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:05 pm

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 25):
Hmmmmmm, so they explode on impact and have devastating effects on coyotes and piigs?

Lame, Skidz, really lame !! But what's even worse is that I didn't have to read it twice to know what you were talking about!!

AE733
It's nice to fly with friends
 
skidmarks
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:23 pm

Quoting AirEuropeUK733 (Reply 31):
Lame, Skidz, really lame !! But what's even worse is that I didn't have to read it twice to know what you were talking about!!

Lame? 10 o'clock Sunday morning and you want acerbic wit? No chance!!!!!

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:41 pm

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 32):
Lame? 10 o'clock Sunday morning and you want acerbic wit? No chance!!!!!

More to the point, what were you doing on a.net on a Sunday??? Were you supposed to be working??!!

AE733
It's nice to fly with friends
 
skidmarks
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:43 pm

Quoting AirEuropeUK733 (Reply 33):
More to the point, what were you doing on a.net on a Sunday??? Were you supposed to be working??!!

Oh do be brief! I only work 9-5 weekdays (and then only in between posting on A.net Big grin)

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:51 pm

Quoting Skidmarks (Reply 34):
Quoting AirEuropeUK733 (Reply 33):
More to the point, what were you doing on a.net on a Sunday??? Were you supposed to be working??!!

Oh do be brief! I only work 9-5 weekdays (and then only in between posting on A.net )

Repeat after me...

'My Name Is Skidz and I Really Ought to Stop Posting on A.net and Get a Life'...  biggrin 

AE733
It's nice to fly with friends
 
Brendan03
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:56 pm

Can someone post a screenshot of these Widgets running on a Windows? I'm tempted to give it a try, Got a heapa unused desktop space on the spare Monit0r
Coolier than thou.
 
skidmarks
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:13 am

Quoting AirEuropeUK733 (Reply 35):
'My Name Is Skidz and I Really Ought to Stop Posting on A.net and Get a Life'...

At the risk of getting banned - bugger orf!  tongue   hissyfit 

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
cornish
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:14 am

Quoting AirEuropeUK733 (Reply 35):
Repeat after me...

'My Name Is Skidz and I Really Ought to Stop Posting on A.net and Get a Life'...

Pot.



Kettle........:D
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
aireuropeuk733
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:38 am

Quoting Cornish (Reply 38):
Pot.



Kettle........:D

You can talk Mr C - it wasn't me who was in the top 10 last week  Wow!

AE733
It's nice to fly with friends
 
aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:03 am

Quoting Brendan03 (Reply 36):
Can someone post a screenshot of these Widgets running on a Windows?

Sure, here you go: #1 is just the desktop, #2 is after hitting F8 so the widgets appear in front of all running applications.





Quoting Brendan03 (Reply 36):
I'm tempted to give it a try, Got a heapa unused desktop space on the spare Monit0r

There's nothing better than a few widgets to use it for - unlike icons which can just as easily be accessed via "QuickLaunch", widgets can be highly useful.
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
andz
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 3:19 am

Quoting Centrair (Reply 29):
In addition, I also like a clean organized file structure.

I learned about file and directory structures many moons ago on a Unix course, since then I am pretty finicky about them, even in Outlook, it amazes me to see people with ALL their mail under "Inbox"
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
 
racko
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:01 am

I have yet to find a widget software that can make widgets behave exactly like a desktop background, i.e. I can put icons over it, it stays when i you the "Minimize all windows" function etc.
 
skidmarks
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:03 am

Quoting Andz (Reply 41):
it amazes me to see people with ALL their mail under "Inbox"

Whats wrong with that then? Big grin

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
aloges
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RE: Desktop Widgets

Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:38 am

One widget I'd like to recommend is this one: http://widgets.yahoo.com/gallery/view.php?widget=38449 I'm finishing a short presentation I'm giving tomorrow, and to be honest, my level of motivation could be higher. But good commercial-free (I haven't heard one yet) music makes things so much easier!
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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