Flickr user Wyatt Wellman started experimenting with Rainmeter and came up with this desktop, which includes the basics like time, date and temperature, but keeps them out of the centre and off to the sides of the screen. The end result is a featured desktop that complements his work instead of competing with it.
If you want the same look for your Windows 7 desktop, here's what you'll need to put it all together.
- The "Into the Mist" photo as wallpaper from The Art of Greg Martin
- The Rainmeter system management and configuration tool for Windows
- The Elegance 1.0 Theme for Rainmeter, used to create the time/date/temperature in the upper left and the uptime clock in the lower right
- RocketDock for the dock at the top of the screen, with a mish-mash of custom icons
A couple of points to note: Wyatt also used a Black Windows 7 Aero theme to make his windows and applications blend in with the grey and gloomy feel from the wallpaper, and he also configured the uptime clock at the lower right in Rainmeter to be 90 per cent transparency. It comes in full when you hover over it, but otherwise it fades into the background a bit. Finally, even though they're visible here, both RocketDock and the Windows dock are set to auto-hide to keep the desktop clean when he's working and they're not in use. You can see a version of the desktop with the dock and taskbar hidden here.
Even though this one has some specific customisations, the final product looks great and isn't distracting. If you're a beginner with Rainmeter, this is a great desktop to get started with — you might even add a Google search box in there somewhere. If you need help getting started with Rainmeter, check out our guide to building a great-looking and informative HUD for some tips. Don't forget to drop by Wyatt's Flickr page to let him know how much you like his desktop!