Ajit Monteiro

How To Use Google Widgets On The Vista Sidebar

Posted in Gadget, Microsoft, Vista by amonteiro on February 7, 2007

Since Vista has only been out for only a couple of weeks, its Sidebar gallery is fairly limited. However using Amnesty Generator you can now add Google Widgets to your desktop. Although not all of Google’s Widgets work well, you now have access to most web widgets created in its library. Besides its really easy…

1. Download and install the Amnesty Generator.

2. Open your favorite web browser and goto http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open.

3. After picking a widget and configuring it. Click “Add to Webpage”.

4. Then click “Get the Code”

5. Copy and Paste the code into the Amnesty Generator window like below.

Amnesty Generator

6. Click “Generate…” and it will add the Widget/Gadget to your Sidebar Gadgets List.

Below is an example of the Google Maps Gadget used on my desktop

Google Maps Widget on Desktop


Vista Gadgets

Posted in Gadget, Microsoft, Vista by amonteiro on January 17, 2007

I just finished creating my first Vista gadget and was surprised at how easy it was. All it is, is a html and an xml document and any web developer should have no problem creating one. Heres the quick synopsis of how its done (taken from MicrosoftGadgets.com).

“Creating a gadget is a process that should be familiar to any web page author.

  • Create a directory to contain the gadget files.
  • Create an HTML page that does something interesting
  • Create the XML file for the gadget manifest
  • Test the newly-created gadget from sidebar.
  • Close the gadget to make changes as necessary.
  • Open the gadget again in the sidebar to view changes
  1. Open the Sidebar
    1. a. Click the Start button, then click on All Programs. The Windows Sidebar can be found under the “Accessories” folder.
  2. Locate your gadgets folder.
    1. In a “Run” prompt (Windows Key+R), type

      “%userprofile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets”

      without quotes

  3. Your gadgets folder will now open. It will be something similar to:

    c:\Users\<your user name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

    Some gadgets are located in the Program Files folder, but gadgets for a specific user are under this hidden folder.

  4. Create the gadget folder
    1. Create a folder called HelloWorld.gadget inside the Gadgets folder. Gadgets must be a folder whose name ends in “.gadget” for the Sidebar to recognize the gadget.
  5. Create the HTML file
    1. Use something capable of creating an HTML text file, such as Notepad. The HTML file should contain the following content:
  6. HelloWorld.html


    	<title>Hello, World!</title>
    		body {
    	<span id="gadgetContent" style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 10pt;">Hello, World!</span>
  7. Finally, create the gadget manifest
    1. The manifest file must be named “gadget.xml”
    2. Make sure to change the extension from .txt to .xml, typically by changing the option for “Save as type” to “All Files” and then typing “.xml” after the file name.
    3. c. Also make sure the file is saved with UTF-8 encoding.
  8. The XML file should be contain the following content:


    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
        <name>Hello World!</name>
        <author name="Your Name">
            <info url="www.example.com" />
        <description>My first gadget</description>
            <host name="sidebar">
                <base type="HTML" apiVersion="1.0.0" src="HelloWorld.html" />
                <platform minPlatformVersion="0.3" />

You may also want to use Paint to create an icon file, and give it the same file name that you specify in the above gadget.xml file. This is optional; the Windows Sidebar will provide a generic icon if you do not have an icon.

Click the “+” symbol at the bottom of the Sidebar. In the Gadget Gallery, you should see “Hello World!” (as defined in gadget.xml) in your Gadget Gallery”

Read the rest at MicrosoftGadgets.com

Winamp Gadget

Posted in Gadget, Microsoft, My Code, Vista, Winamp by amonteiro on January 17, 2007

Winamp Gadget v1.0I was bored this evening so I decided to try writing myself a Vista gadget. Using Winamp Control Center (by Owen Rudge) I created a gadget that controls Winamp. It is really simple for now and only has play, next song, previous song functionality, but I plan to work on it some more so lets call this version 1.0.

Anyway if you want to try it out you can download it here.

The only prerequisite is that you need Winamp installed in the default Winamp directory for now.