A glowing night city and a rare astronomical event lay the groundwork for Flickr user Tasha Ward's desktop, on top of which she's built an informative, intelligent and useful HUD thanks to a little Rainmeter wizardry.
The end product features news in the centre where she can check it when she's not working, application shortcuts on the bottom of the screen for quick access and searches when she is.
If you want to bring this look to your Windows desktop, here's what you'll need to make it happen:
- The Wallpaper from NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, or from Wallbase, whichever you prefer
- The Rainmeter system management and monitoring utility
- The Vark theme for Rainmeter to create the dock at the bottom of the screen
- The Nova theme for Rainmeter to create the weather bar across the centre of the screen
- The Google Bar plugin for Rainmeter for the Google Search bar at the bottom of the screen
- The Elementary theme for Rainmeter for the date and time display in the centre
- The SimpleSentenceThree plugin for Rainmeter for the RSS feeds, new email indicator and "now playing" music widgets in the centre of the screen.
- The Appows2010 theme for Windows 7 to replace the Start Button orb.
- The Placebo (Cold Light) theme for Windows 7 for the grey taskbar and to complete the overall dark grey visual theme.
That's all there is to it. There are definitely a few components this week, but the core elements are simple: Rainmeter, a Windows theme and a great wallpaper. The end result looks pretty sharp, it's informative, and it's useful when you have those windows minimised and you're doing something else. If you're trying to bring the same look to your desktop and run into trouble, check out Tasha's Flickr page to let her know how much you liked the desktop and ask your questions!
If you have a Mac, you can get the same feel on your desktop with GeekTool and our getting started guide to GeekTool. If you're a Linux user, the Conky system utility is your best bet to get a similar look.