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Glass Tabs Sidebar

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By MerlinTheRed   |   
Published:
My Samurize sidebar. My desktop is not visible 98% of the time I spend at my computer. That's the reason why I find it kind of useless to create one of these screen-filling kickass configs that do everything you can possibly do with Samurize. It's sure fun to create these but I couldn't actually appreciate them when they are always covered by the browser window.
Fortunately I own a 1680x1050 widescreen display. Most applications I use don't actually need that much screen width. So the optimal Samurize config for me just resides at the right of my screen and does something useful with the extra screen space that a widescreen display provides.
These are the things I found most useful for my personal use (top to bottom):
Date and time (with SleepTimer plugin available on click at the clock).
Weather forecast and current conditions (icons designed by me [link] ; click on weather icon launches forecast for that day in browser). <-- weather.2004 plugin
RSS feed reader for german news website (tooltip displays full title and summary of article; click launches full article in browser) <-- pNews2 plugin
RSS feed reader for german IT news website (tooltip displays full title - unfortunately no summary available here; click launches full article in browser). <-- pNews2 plugin
Field for notes with motivational quote of the day (click on quote launches Wikipedia search for quoted person) <-- NoteTaker plugin
Field for Google, Wikipedia and Leo.org search (Leo.org is a website providing German-English German-French etc. dictionaries; entering a phrase and hitting enter launches search on the respective web site) <-- CommandBox plugin
Winamp controls with album art, working track progress seeker and volume slider. If Winamp is not active, the controls are hidden (left). The default album art is the Winamp logo (center).
The album art even gets a shadow behind it (right). Click on the small Winamp icon on the tab starts Winamp. <-- AdvancedMediaPlayerInfo, Wampctrl, CustomProgress plugins

The config uses a dark semi-transparent background so the wallpaper is partly visible through it. The colors are deliberately chosen very plain and unobtrusive so they don't catch the eye when I'm working on other things. That is also the reason there is almost no movement in the config. I experimented with scrolling text for the RSS feeds and with the SpectrumVis plugin for Winamp but as pretty-looking as these may be, they are also very distracting.

To reserve screen space for the config so it is not covered by maximized windows I use the handy little program "DesktopCoral" from DonationCoder.com:
[link]
The program is automatically started when the config is launched. Unfortunately I have yet to discover a way of killing the program when the config is hidden. But that's not much of a problem.

For the shadow behind the album art to display only when an album art is being displayed, I needed to copy the AdvancedMediaPlayerInfo.dll and create a second AdvancedMediaPlayerInfo2.dll. Somehow the plugin doesn't support two meters requesting the current cover at the same time. So I had to make it two plugins. The Winamp controls are hidden via alerts when Winamp is not active.
I'm playing with the thought to use the space of the winamp controls for something different when the player is not active. Perhaps I'll display a random deviantArt image there or something.

The weather icons are also available on deviantart: [link]

The wallpaper is 'Flavoured' by ~Digitalshiva [link]

I currently don't have much time to package this into something you can port to your system easily (including instructions on how to customize the settings for your personal use). Perhaps I'll make it available in the future.
Image size
960x1050px 390.49 KB
Comments4
anonymous's avatar
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brbk's avatar
looks sweet, u think u might bring it over to rainmeteR?
MerlinTheRed's avatar
MerlinTheRedHobbyist General Artist
No,
unfortunately I don't know Rainmeter very well. But I'm pretty sure there are some features in this skin that aren't possible in Rainmeter.
Sorry.
vapn's avatar
looks fantstic but i can not download config file. just screen shot available.
does anyone knows download link?
MerlinTheRed's avatar
MerlinTheRedHobbyist General Artist
I'm glad you like it :)

I didn't provide the config since there is much stuff in there that has to be adapted to your system and I didn't have the time to include a suitable readme for this.

Also I'm currently working to extend the config even more so I don't even have the original files any more. Perhaps I'll release the final product when I have more time.