The Webpreneur Nerd

Turn your Desktop into a Mech Warrior Helmet

Guest Post Written by Brad Rappa.

Who doesn’t want to feel like an information officer, or head of engineering, or maybe like a mech-warrior?

That was my goal as I set out to find the perfect Rainmeter (for Windows) skin. I started out downloading every skin I thought was cool, and stumbled upon one that I really liked. After a short time it just didn’t seem to completely fit the bill; so over the course of the next few days I added elements from other skins and edited some .ini files.

Finally, I felt like I was wearing one of those fancy helmets with a cool HUD display; looking out onto the deck of my spaceship. All while sitting at my monitor!

The best part – it isn’t just a lot of fancy graphics, it’s a fully functional GUI (as is the idea behind the Rainmeter software). Here is a list of the functional little widgets (skins) I have running –

  • Notes, Clock, Calendar, Battery Indicator
  • HDD used/free (clicking it opens my C: drive)
  • Photo gallery slideshow
  • 4 feeds from any website I want
  • A media player
  • A control bar which lets you shutdown, hibernate, restart, logout or lock your computer
  • CPU power state, physical memory free/used, network usage, CPU usage, all when clicked show a cool usage graph.
  • A network identifier which shows you IP Address, LAN IP, and Gateway information.
  • Mostly for cosmetic reasons I have a date widget as well as the calendar. ( I don’t care, it looks cool)
  • Temp indicators for my HDD, my CPU and my GPU.
  • Weather for my region, the humidity, feels like, precipitation, visibility, wind, pressure, sunrise, sunset, and moon phase as well as the next two days forecast for day and night.
  • And a neat looking recycle bin, which takes just a left click to empty it.

It’s a lot of stuff – I know. Doing this takes a little bit of time, but not as much as it took me – as I will lay out all the steps you need to get it done. There will be some editing of .ini files on which all of these widgets (skins) run, but it isn’t that tough – I know you can do it.

Important Note: We take no responsibility for whatever happens to you or your computer by walking through these steps. To be clear; our level of responsibility is zero, zilch, nada, none, nothing, nill. I might even suggest that you try this in some type of VM environment first to see if it all works the way you like.

 You Gotta have the Core Software:

It’s worth noting that if you are a memory-nazi as I used to be, you may not be super thrilled with the amount of RAM it uses, on my machine it’s pretty steady at 54k.

mech1

Let’s Get Those Skins:

(Provided for your convenience; still not our fault if something goes terribly wrong)

  1. Avengers Skin
  2. Blue Vision 2.0
  3. Dark Glass
  4. Fly Away
  5. TECH-A
  6. Jarvis OS Modified
  7. And the wallpaper

Skin Install:

Using Zip Files:

  1. Unpack the containing folder to C:\Users\*username*\Documents\Rainmeter\Skins\
  2. Restart Rainmeter

Using .rmskin Files: Simply double-click the .rmskin file

Put Your Skin On Already:

Once you have all of the skins downloaded, and properly inserted you may begin the destruction. In order to load particular skins, simply open Rainmeter and make sure you are on the “Skins” tab, below you will see all the folders of the skins you just installed. When you collapse a skin folder you will see a list of folders showing what is inside – such as clock, music, network, etc..Inside those folders you will find an .ini file :

 

mech_inifolders

 

Simply double click the .ini file and it will show up on your desktop, you can then drag it to where ever you like, or use the picture above in order to get a layout like mine.

 Here is a list of the .ini files you will want to load:

  • TECH-A \ Weather.ini
  • FlyAway \ Battery.ini
  • Dark Glass 2 \ bar_R.ini
  • Dark Glass 2 \ bar_L.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Tags \ User Tag.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Tags \ Jarvis Tag.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ System.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Small Launchers.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Reader.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Photo Gallery.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Notes.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Network.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Nav Launchers \ Nav Launcher 2.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Nav Launchers \ Nav Launcher.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ HDD.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Date – Clock Like.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Clock.ini
  • JARVIS OS \ Calendar.ini
  • BlueVIsion V0.2 \ TEMPERATURES \ TEMP 5.ini
  • BlueVision V0.2 \ TEMPERATURES \ TEMP 4.ini
  • BlueVision V0.2 \ TEMPERATURES \ TEMP 1.ini
  • BlueVision V0.2 \ TEMPERATURES \ TEMP 0.ini
  • BlueVision V0.2 \ SHUTDOWN CONTROL.ini
  • BlueVision V0.2 \ RECYCLE BIN.ini
  • Avengers \ Music.ini

 Let’s Do a Little .ini Editing so your Photo Gallary, RSS, Etc. Work

The Basics:

First, Right click the skin you want to change and choose Edit:

mech_rightclick

Notepad will open with the contents of the .ini file that you want to edit.

mech_inifile

Let’s Update the Photo Gallery:

  1. Right click the photo gallery and choose edit
  2. Determine what folder you’d like to use (Maybe: C:\Users\*username*\Pictures)
  3. Change the PathName parameter in the .ini file to your choice
  4. Close (Saving) that .ini file
  5. Right click the skin again and choose Refresh

Now for your RSS Feed (The Easy Way):

Note: these settings files are not always included – so it’s a good idea to learn how to rummage through the .ini files to find what properties to change.

  1. Open your main Rainmeter interface and find the folder labeled JARVIS OS
  2. Expand the folder tree and find a folder named “settings”
  3. Open that folder and double click on the “settings.ini” file

You should see this . . .

settingsfile

 The settings are for the JARVIS OS skin only.

  1. Choose the tab labeled RSS feeds.
  2. Click on the desired field
  3. Change the TITLE and hit “enter”
  4. Change the URL RSS section and hit “enter”

If you’re trying to use Reddit; you’ll need to add the .rss after the subreddit you want to feed. 

Example: http://www.reddit.com/r/UpliftingNews/.rss

Adding Apps to your Nav Launcher:

  1. Click on the Nav Launchers Tab
  2. click the NAME OF APPLICATION field and enter your App name
  3. Click on the APPLICATION PATH (It will open Windows explorer for you)
  4. Choose the application you want to run
  5. Double Click and it will automagically add the path for you

Once your done with the settings screen just right click and choose “unload skin” at the bottom

Configuring the Music Player:

You’ll only need to do this if you’re using a different player than the default used by JARVIS OS. So, what media players are supported? Click Here and scroll down to Fully Supported Players.

  1. Right click on the media player and choose edit skin
  2. Find the field asking for what player to use
  3. Type in your players code (Refer to the above link for Fully Supported Players to get your code)

Your Local Weather:

  1. Right click the Weather skin and choose edit skin
  2. Find Location= in the .ini file
  3. Go to Weather.com and enter your city in the search – hit enter
  4. Copy and paste the code at the end of the URL and put it your .ini file after Location=

weather

 

One last thing; Make sure you have speedfan running for temps to register.

That’s It! You’re done!

So far my system shows no signs of lag or slowing down having all these skins running and it’s pretty old, here is a snapshot of my system specifications using Speccy from Piriform :

 speccy

Of course you may want to tweak this and that, or use a different media player from different skins. But at least now you have a little bit of know how so you can start making your own little setup. Eventually if you get really into it, you can even create your own skins, but that’s a different tutorial all together. Now, go conquer space, or at least stare at your desktop every now and then cause it looks cool.

If you love it; share it! If you have questions or comments – hit me with them.

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