When Windows Vista came out, I scoffed at the Windows Sidebar thingamajig that came with it. I thought it was a completely superfluous waste of space.
I was wrong...
The default gadgets that come at aren't that cool. By default, you get a clock, a picture viewer, CPU/RAM meter (ok, this one is quite nice..) and other stuff like that.
I explored a bit and found some other gadgets that came with Vista. The notes gadget and the calendar gadget aren't so useless to be fair. But nothing too special either.
And then I discovered the Windows Sidebar gallery!
Some of the gadgets available are simply brilliant.
On the left you can see what I have on my Sidebar at the moment.
From the top, I put a battery meter, WiFi meter, the Ministry of Sound internet radio gadget, a dressed up CPU/RAM meter, another internet radio gadget and a digital clock (with date). Ok the clock/date thing isn't very necessary considering that I already have a clock in the task bar.
But it's pretty...
Anyway, the gadgets are very useful and not at all superfluous. I have others that I downloaded but didn't add like the Wiki search and app launcher gadgets.
I haven't finished exploring all the gadgets yet. I'm sure there are other cool ones.
Another interesting thing I found on my new notebook is the MediaDirect feature. It's cool. When you want to do things like watch DVDs or listen to MP3s or make a presentation using Powerpoint or check your contact list you can do so without booting up to Vista. It's a lot quicker to use MediaDirect.
I've configured mine now and it's quite nice. Push the MediaDirect button and the computer will boot up quickly to the MediaDirect screen. From there, you will see a list of things you can do.
We were playing around with it yesterday and my colleague remarked that the Inspiron really is a notebook especially made for media and entertainment.
He's not wrong.
The next things I want to test are the webcam features like motion activated recording and video chat. I've never done the video chat thing but I hear it's quite interesting...
Yes, I'm pleased with my new toy. So people, if you are hunting for a good value and fun notebook computer, I recommend you consider an Inspiron.
It's very nice...