A few of my favorite Widgets

Victor Agreda Jr
V. Jr|11.21.06

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A few of my favorite Widgets
favorite widgetsWhen my machine was a rickety little 800 MHz iBook, crusted with too many hacks, apps and utilities, I just gave up on Widgets. Dashboard was a system hog on an already dog-slow machine, and I just killed it off.

My MacBook Pro is another story. While I've eschewed the volume of Widgets a true power-user may install, I have my fair share. Of course, until we're able to safely and securely swap our sets of Widgets around, I just keep a certain set loaded. Yes, I've tried MultiDash, primarily to swap around when I plug in to my 24" external monitor. I would have included a link to the MultiDash page, but going there today either crashed Firefox or made Safari eat up processor. Gotta love that...Anyway, as a Widget, it was too wonky for production use, so here's what I've settled on for daily use:

  • Apple's own calendar, weather, iTunes, calculator, and search Widgets (Dictionary, White Pages, Yellow Pages, and Address Book). The unit converter is tucked behind the sticky note
  • Google search-- pretty much never use it since Google is built-in to every browser but Flock, although sometimes I use the Blogger one too
  • Radar-in-Motion-- massive kudos to the poor developer who makes this, as NOAA keeps changing the protocols, formats, etc. I love this thing, but I love weather.
  • WeatherBug-- this one has a bunch more features, but ironically doesn't work as well as R-i-M
  • iClipLite-- what would I do without this? Very handy for storing form letters, the very ones I use every day
  • iStat nano-- surely everyone is using this or its older sibling by now, right? Often I use it to check my IP address, but I really wish I could have it quit bugging me about updates, that is really annoying
  • Slothcam-- I have it always tuned to the TGIFriday's camera in Times Square, great for people-watching! (You will see me on there once in a while too)
  • Web Translator widget (uses Google)-- handy for quick language lookups, as my Spanish vocab stinks sometimes
  • Airport Radar-- handy for checking signal strength
  • PackageTracker-- from Monkey Labs, where they make a terrible TV Tracker... only terrible because every week they want me to update it, but it never gets faster or better, yet PackageTracker never bugs me about it
  • iCalEvents-- super-fantastic for glancing at my hard schedule for the day
  • Backpack widget-- from Chipt.com, this Widget has saved me so many times it is scary. If you are a serious GTD nut, you must have a Backpack widget for simple ticklers, and this does the job better than almost anything. Plus, I can access my Backpack reminders from anywhere via web, so I have a constant backup. Combined with floating reminders via Growl, and you can really tame your to-do list.
  • an obligatory digg widget-- because I'm addicted, I'll admit (where's that Netscape widget?)
  • Veronica Belmont-- she's not a Widget, but a spunky tech pundit for CNet
  • and of course, I have a TUAW widget!

So what's in your Dashboard?
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