Lifehacker had posted an update to the Enigma Rainmeter theme, so I decided to make an effort to install it on my machine. I had been playing with Samurize, but it didn’t work out as well as I had hoped. My monitor is widescreen flipped at a 90 degree angle, so the available themes don’t work out very well.
I uninstalled Samurize, and installed Rainmeter. There’s some good and some bad here, but ultimately the good wins out.
Rainmeter: The Good and the Bad
What’s bad about Rainmeter? Positioning every desktop element can become a pain, especially if the theme you’ve selected has dozens of elements (like Enigma). Also, before you can place the element, you have to activate it through the system tray icon. Prepare to spend at least an hour setting everything up. Still, once it’s done it looks great, and you never have to touch it again.
If you use multiple monitors, don’t use the “Stick to Desktop” feature. If one monitor changes resolution, every “stick to desktop” element will forget which monitor it was sitting on and will relocate.
What’s good about Rainmeter? You can adjust every individual piece of the interface to your heart’s content. Rather than having to mess around in a clumsy UI (Samurize), elements are stored in each element’s INI file. If you’re satisfied with the functionality of the elements, you can click and drag them around the screen. Also, the code behind interface elements is very robust, and you should be able to find elements for any functionality you’re looking for. And if you can’t find it, you can code it.
Enigma, a Rainmeter theme, has a nice look to it, and has a lot of good functionality. However, a lot of the functionality is also missing (in my opinion). I had to search through DeviantArt and code a lot of the changes myself. (If you’re curious, the wallpaper is Campbell Falls II).
New Mail Icon
I modified the new mail icon to gray out when no mail was found, layering a “No Mail” icon on top of the “Mail” icon. This code goes into the mail check function, hiding the no mail image when mail is found:
There is no native music player in the Enigma theme, and DeviantArt doesn’t have too much in the way of simple WinAmp players. I *heavily* modified the player in Pi-Cubed to match the Enigma theme, and created two distinct versions – one for the sidebar and one for the top.
Customized RSS Feed Reader
Enigma features a decent RSS feed reader. However, it is missing one key feature – article links. After some Google searches, I added Firefox links to each article in the feed:
[Feed 1 Back]
The weather meter came from Garbanzox on DeviantArt. Its icons bring a colorful touch to the black and white theme.