Changing up the desktop of a computer is nothing new. Resolutions, background, and taskbar color are all common switch-ups. However, there is one specific tweak one can do to their desktop to make it quite a display.
This is a completely customizable User Interface (UI). What you do with it is up to your skills and your vision. That statement may seem intimidating to someone who doesn’t even know what a UI is, but don’t let that stop you from trying it out. There are many pre-made skins and tons of tutorials on how to do a myriad of things. I’ll run you through the installation.
- go to rainmeter.net. Find the ‘Download’ section on this page, which is located about mid-way down the page.
- Find the ‘Rainmeter x.x Release’ and click on either the direct download link or the mirror link.
- The download should occur if you have no security requests. Find and open the file.
- Follow the installation instructions. When presented with Standard or Portable Installation, choose Standard. Choose shortcut options and auto-start options as you want.
- Continue with the instructions and installation up to the ‘completing rainmeter x.x setup. Make sure that ‘Run Rainmeter x.x” and “Download recommended skins” checkboxes are marked. Hit ‘Finish’
- If a prompt shows up asking if you would like to add different configs to your library, select ‘Yes’.
- You should now have Rainmeter running with your new skin. The one that loaded up with mine was ‘Illustro’ but it may vary. There should be a ‘Welcome to Rainmeter!’ box explaining on how to get things started.
Well done, you have installed Rainmeter! Certain vocabulary you should know is that each gadget that is running is called a ‘Skin’. Each is thoroughly customizable. A group of skins saved together is called a ‘Theme’. I will run you through the basics of customizing a skin, but first, let us make sure we are on the same Theme.
- Go to your system tray (lower right on windows machines) and find the rainmeter logo which should look like a raindrop. Right-click on it.
- Go to the Themes option and hover over it. A drop-down menu should appear. Choose ‘illustro default’.
Good, we should all have the same theme now. We will now go into a Skin, deactivate it, and then reactivate it.
- Right click on the the ‘Welcome to Rainmeter!’ Skin, and select close skin. It should disappear.
- With that gone, lets find out how to get it back. Go back to your system tray and find the Rainmeter Logo again. Right-click and the menu should appear.
- This time, we’re going to hover over ‘illustro\System’. Once the drop down menu appears, hover over the ‘illustro’ item.
- A new drop down menu should appear. Hover over ‘Welcome’ and ‘welcome.ini’ should appear. Left-click on ‘welcome.ini’. Your ‘Welcome to Rainmeter!’ Skin should reappear. Well done!
Now that we know how to do that, close out the Welcome skin again. I will teach you how to customize a skin.
- Go over to the ‘Lifehacker’ rss feed skin and Right-click on it. Find and Left-Click ‘Edit Skin’.
- A notepad document should appear. For those who panic about large amounts of text, don’t panic, We are simply changing the RSS feed.
- Go to Designmodo, find their orange icon with three with lines and a white dot. That is the logo of an RSS Feed and is generally the indicator that a website is RSS capable. Click on the icon.
- You will be taken to a new page, copy (right-click and select ‘Copy’ or ctrl+c works) the address of the site. Go back to the notepad document.
- Look for the [Variables] section. It is the third section at the top. Under that section, find feedURL. After that, there should be an address for Lifehacker.
- Clear out ALL of this address: http://feeds.gawker.com/lifehacker/full, so that only feedURL= remains.
- Paste (right-click and select Paste or ctrl+v) the address bar which we copied right after ‘feedURL=’.
- Save, either from the ‘File’ section on the menu located at the top of a screen, or use the command ctrl+s. Close the document.
- Go back to the ‘LIFEHACKER’ skin and right-click on it. Select ‘Refresh Skin’. Do not fear if N/A shows up at first, as it’s changing over. You should see DESIGNMODO now.
NOTE: Should you want the address for Lifehacker (I know I love that site!) again, it is http://feeds.gawker.com/lifehacker/full
Congratulations are in store for you! You have just begun your journey in Rainmeter.
This concludes Part 1 of this weekend’s How-to projects. Tomorrow I will be going over a unique way to ‘wrap’ a gift. When I say unique, I mean very, very unique. Until tomorrow, adios!
Feel free to leave any questions or comments in this page or tweet me over on twitter @rordesigns. Thank you for reading and you’ve just been Tweaked.