DeskTips is a pretty simple application for Windows that displays textual information on your desktop transparently. It’s very much a newer version of an app I wrote over ten years ago called Uptime 2000 but with a wider selection of info to display and better support for newer versions of Windows.
The information “tips” it currently supports displaying are:
- System up time
- CPU usage percentage
- Computer name
- IP address
Send me an email (gus at this domain) if there is some other information you’d like to have me add support for. I’ll try to add any requests in future versions that don’t require a crazy amount of work (or are clearly super useful–I’m currently guessing there aren’t many in this category).
It’s really pretty straightforward (at least I hope it is) but here’s a quick rundown. When you run DeskTips for the first time, an red icon with the letters ‘dt’ will show up in the notification area (typically the bottom right-hand corner of your desktop). A balloon with some help text should show up near the icon the first time you run it to help folks along the first time around. Right-click the icon and you’ll see the menu with a variety of things to choose from.
The “Tips” menu has the different types of information you can display on your desktop. Just click on one of them and a check will appear next to the menu item and you’ll also see the text show up in the middle of your screen. You’ll probably want to position it somewhere specific on your desktop. To move it around, the easiest way is to enable “Reposition Mode” by selecting it from the menu. When you’re done adding all the “tips” you want on the screen and have placed them where you want them, just click the “Reposition Mode” menu item again to make them just text again with no backgrounds. That should make them blend in with your desktop.
Some tips scattered around the notification area of a desktop:
The DeskTips context menu:
Pretty much any version of Microsoft Windows that supports running a .NET Framework 2.0 application. That means Windows 2000 SP3+, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 R2. The last few versions of Windows come with the .NET 2.0 runtime already installed. If, however, you don’t already have it installed, you can download it from the Microsoft Download Center.
There’s no setup. It’s just a single executable file that you can stick anywhere on your system. I’d recommend adding a shortcut to it in your Windows Startup folder if you want it to automatically run every time you start up your machine but it’s not required.
1.0 Beta – Released on March 5, 2010