RSS Feed

Please wait while my feed loads

See more posts...

Newsletter

Subscribe to either one of our two newsletters for regular updates and information

Downloads newsletter

This is a weekly newsletter with download news, updates and other information

This is a monthly newsletter with software store information, offers and deals

Rainmeter 3.2.1 FINAL

Transform your desktop with this customisation tool 

by Nick Peers

Our Rating:
Your Rating:
Login to rate
Based on 2 ratings
License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows 8, Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 24 March 2015
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 21937
Developer: Rainmeter.net
RSS News Feed: http://rainmeter.net/forum/feed.php
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/rainmeter
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rainmeter/357447427748
Back in stock! Buy Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Premium v2 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $24.95, from store.downloadcrew.com
Rainmeter 3.2.1 FINAL
Display all kinds of useful information on your desktop with Rainmeter.

Customising your Windows desktop can be as simple or as complicated as you like. For most people, the options provided by Windows itself are often sufficient, while others want to push the envelope further. One way in which your desktop can be made to work harder is by using it to display all kinds of useful information – in Vista and Windows 7, there are specific gadgets that perform this function, but they’re limited and a little clunky to implement, while XP users are left completely in the cold.

This is where Rainmeter comes in: this desktop customisation tool works on the assumption that the desktop is yours to do with as you see fit. It offers an alternative platform to the Sidebar used in later versions of Windows, offering a wide variety of customisable “skins” (Rainmeter’s rather confusing term for gadgets) that allow you to pretty much cover the desktop with your choice of information, tools and shortcuts.

These skins can act as simple information portals – giving you access to system information, favoured RSS feeds or the latest email count in your inbox, for example. They can also be developed further to provide interactive functionality, such as skins that record notes or let you tweet direct from your desktop. You can also use skins to serve as a panel containing shortcuts to all your favourite programs, allowing you to banish the taskbar or clean up the desktop.

Skins can be developed by hand – they’re open-source, so widely available – or you can download packages known as “themes”. You’ll be prompted to download additional themes after installation, although a basic “illustro” is provided to give you an idea of what’s available. Rainmeter will launch with a selection of skins pre-loaded, such as date/time, disk information, a Lifehacker RSS feed and a Google search box, enabling you to launch web searches direct from the desktop. There’s also a welcome panel with links to articles helping you familiarise yourself with the program.

Edit skin settings by right-clicking the skin itself – this opens a .ini file in Notepad where you can tweak settings by hand. You can also configure the program from its icon in the Notification area of the Taskbar.

Version 3 is here. New features include migrating from an older GDI+ graphics/text rendering system to the newer and more powerful Direct2D system found in Windows 7 and 8. The initial fruit of these labours is to implement vastly improved font rendering in string-based meters, particularly those with smaller font sizes and using anti-aliasing. The feature is currently disabled by default – users must add UseD2D=1 to the [Rainmeter] section of the Rainmeter.ini configuration file to enable it.

Other changes are minor, and subject to change – one new feature adding icons to the context menu were removed after issues with XP were discovered, for example.

What's new in 3.2.1? See the changelog for more info.

Verdict:

Transform your desktop from simple wallpaper to something more functional and useful with this powerful customisation tool - albeit one less suited to novices. 

Your Comments & Opinion
 
Related Download Articles
 
Rainmeter 3.2 Beta

Rainmeter 3.2 Beta

Open Source

Transform your desktop with this customisation tool 

Aero Lite with Glass

Aero Lite with Glass 1.0.1

Freeware

A Windows 8 inspired desktop theme to give your computer a new look

Zetro VS

Zetro VS 1.3

Freeware

Give your copy of Windows a facelift with a Metro interface overhaul

GeekTool 3.0

Geek Tool 3.0

Open Source

Display all kinds of useful information on your desktop with this tool delivered straight from geek heaven 

Other Download Articles From This Category
Free Hex Editor Neo

Free Hex Editor Neo 6.12.00.5406

Freeware

Explore even the largest files in seconds with this powerful hex editor

Directory Monitor (32-bit)

Directory Monitor 2.10.0.2

Freeware

Watch file creations, changes and deletions on your PC in real time

Driver Detective

Driver Detective 10.1.1.4

Trial Software

Quickly locate the latest drivers for your hardware

FolderChangesView

FolderChangesView 1.75

Freeware

Monitor the files being created, modified or deleted on your PC in real time

From Softwarecrew

Please wait while my feed loads

See more posts...

Our Price: $22.95
RRP: $29.95
Saving 23%
Buy Now
 

Spotlight: Free Full Software

Unreal Engine 4.8

Free Full Commercial Software

Unreal Engine is Epic Games' game engine, a powerful suite of tools for developing anything from basic 2D games to professional RPGs, first person shooters and whatever else you like.

Wide standards support - DirectX, OpenGL, JavaScript/ WebGL - means your projects can be targeted to almost any platform: consoles, iOS, Android, Windows, OS X, Linux, HTML5 browsers and more.

There's a vast amount to learn, of course, and that's even before you start building your game. But there's plenty of documentation, tutorials, demos and sample projects to point you in the right direction.

The package is now entirely free, too - no annoying limitations, nag screens or anything else. Epic now only requires that you pay a 5% royalty after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter. And even then, you "pay no royalty for film projects, contracting and consulting projects such as architecture, simulation and visualization."

8.48 brings:
    - Optimized grass rendering and procedural foliage system preview
    - Plugins available in Marketplace
    - Improved accuracy for motion blur
    - New Tone Mapper
    - Support for all the latest VR hardware including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Steam VR and HTC Vive, Leap Motion, and Sony's Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4
    - "Scrubbable" network replays with rewind support and live time scrubbing
    - Visualize the memory footprint of game assets in an interactive tree map UI

[...]
Value:
Free
Rating: