The customizing your desktop picture, icons, and system sounds has long staple of the ultra geeky.
Now a days, we see desktop are getting even more dynamic with ‘widgets’ built on frameworks like Yahoo’s Widgets, Apple’s Dashboard, or Android OS. Widgets are great because the can all be both stylish and informative but sometimes thats just not enough for ultra geek and thats where tools like NerdTool and GeekTool.
NerdTool and GeekTool are software packages that allow you to embed information, media, and animation (NerdTool only) directly and permanently on your desktop. Specifically, you can reference log file, command line output, image, webpage or quartz files (animations), place it on your desktop, resize it, change many other attributes like color, font-type or opacity.
NerdTool and GeekTool are very simular. I would say use GeekTool (which has a slightly better) unless you want to embed quartz files which are animations created with Apple’s Quartz Composers. TIP: If you want to add an animation, slow down the movement in the quartz file and frame rate NerdTool renders at to get smooth moving, non distracting animation that won’t bog down your computer.
I personally use NerdTool and have set up the follow dynamic desktops elements:
- Time & Date (all big and sexy)
- Upcoming events in iCal
- Internal / External IP Address
- Upcoming DoTo’s from an app called Things
- OS X’s system.log (its starts scrolling when I do stuff
- RSS New scroller
- Live Webcam of DT LA
I am planning on figuring out way to use Nerdtools to do the following:
- Monitor Web Traffic
- Display and swap-out multiple RSS Feeds
- Display Twitter Trends