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4 great Windows 7 / Vista desktop gadgets

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There are some great desktop and Sidebar gadgets for Windows 7 and Vista, but they are becoming increasingly hard to find. Many were lost when Microsoft abandoned the gadget gallery on its website, which is a shame. Here are four great gadgets with download links that work!

They all work in Windows 7 and Vista, 32 or 64-bit. Download them, double click them to install them, and play around with them. To uninstall gadgets, right click the Windows 7 desktop and select Gadgets, then right click a gadget and select Uninstall. It's similar in Vista and you display the Sidebar gallery and right click the gadget you want to uninstall.

Pro Weather Windows 7 desktop gadgetPro Weather: This is a really nice weather app that will display the forecast for the next 10 days. You can set the location in the settings screen and it recognises major cities in most large countries. I had no problems setting it to Manchester in the UK.

You can choose between Fahrenheit and Celcius temperature display, inches or millibars pressure, mph or kph for the wind speed, and the frequency of update.

Two locations can be entered, so you can display your own weather and, for example, the weather for a relative or friend or your holiday destination in another part of the country or abroad. The graphics are excellent and this gadget is recommended.

Clip Collector Windows 7 desktop gadgetClip Collector: This is a very simple gadget, but one that is also very useful. Whenever you copy some text to the Windows clipboard, Clip Collector stores it.

It doesn't matter which application you use, whether it is a word processor or web page or some other app, it copies the text.

You can browse through a history of clipboard items, select the one you want and copy and paste it into whatever application you are using. it's great for recalling previously copied text when working.

This is version 1 and there is a version 2, but I couldn't find a download. Perhaps it has been lost. Post the URL in the comments below if you know a download for v2.

System Information Windows 7 desktop gadgetSystem Information: This gadget displays a lot of useful information about the computer and the screen shot only shows part of what is available. It can fill a large screen!

Go to the settings and you can choose what to display, including OS info, uptime, processor utilisation meters, memory used and free, used and free disk space bars for all your drives, removeable storage and CD/DVD info, battery details and network information including up and download speeds.

In the settings there are three different views available, so try them all because they work in different ways.

It is really useful for keeping an eye on the state of the system and the information panel remains hidden and only appears when you click the gadget icon.

Mini Explorer Windows 7 desktop gadgetMini Explorer: If you freqently search for information on the web then this little gadget will help you find what you need.

In the settings you need to set the country so you get the right search results, and also choose the option to display the results in a browser window. The flyout panel option doesn't work with some searches, but this is a minor irritation.

There are two drop-down lists and the top on selects the type of search, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Yahoo! and so on. The second drop-down list selects sub-options, such as the category of video clip at YouTube, web, images, maps, blogs and so on at Google, Categories at Amazon and so on. The third box is for entering the search term.

It's simple, but it is a handy way to perform searches at all the popular websites.