Blogging about Windows Home Server has become a big part of my life, but as owner of LiveGadgets.net, I make my living writing gadgets. I wanted to somehow combine my love for Windows Home Server with my craft as a gadget developer.
For the past few months I've been kicking around some ideas for a series of Windows Home Server gadgets. My first is a headline ticker gadget called Home Server Blogs. It scrolls news headlines on your desktop just like on the bottom of your television screen (think CNN or MSNBC). It's a handy little tool if you already own a Windows Home Server or even if you are just thinking about one. When sitting on the Sidebar it looks like this:
OK, it's hard to tell in the static picture above, but take my word for it; the headlines *do* scroll across the gadget.
The gadget features news headlines from the Microsoft's Windows Home Server Team Blog as well as these major industry Microsoft MVP blogs: Terry Walsh's We Got Served, Philip Churchill's MS Windows Home Server and of course my Home Server Hacks.
Before I release the gadget to the general public, I wanted to give Home Server Hacks readers a change to try out this beta version first. So if you want to keep up on what's happening in the world of Windows Home Server, get the Windows Home Server Blogs gadget beta today!
- If you have the gadget already installed, uninstall it. To do so, right click on the gadget (in the window that displays all of your installed gadgets) and select "Uninstall".
- Click on the "Install Gadget" link in the upper left of this article.
- You will see a security warning such as this. Click Save.
- Open Windows Explorer to the location where you download the file.
- Double-click on the file WHSBlogs.gadget to install on your Windows Vista Sidebar and you will receive another security warning (and possible one more if you haven't disabled UAC - gotta love Vista).
- Finally click "Install" to add the gadget to your Sidebar.
If you click on the Windows Home Server "orb"and have the Windows Home Server Connector software installed, a popup menu will appear, It contains a menu of shortcuts to common client tasks like: opening the Windows Home Server Console, Backup Now and opening common shared folders.
Drag the gadget onto the desktop and it will resize to a narrower and wider shape better suited for long scrolling headlines. What I like to do is move the gadget near the top of the screen, right click and select "Always on Top". This way the gadget will display a nice wide view. Because the gadget is not that tall, it should not obscure to much (except maybe the Windows title bar even with maximized applications).
Click on the little wrench next to the gadget to launch the Settings dialog. There you can decide which blogs to display and which ones not to display.
Try out the gadget for yourself and please post any comments or suggestion here. And check back in to Home Server Hacks from time to time. I have more gadgets in the works.