Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What's a widget?

I just got this question in my email. I thought - why don't I just post it here on the blog! Instead of Ask Jeeves, we'll call this Ask Dr. C.

I've been seeing a variety of things talking about
"Widgets" but am not clear on what exactly a Widget is and what its
purpose is. Can you help?

The definition from Taco Widgets: Simply put, a widget is a little mini-application that can provide information, functionality, or even a little bit of fun right on your desktop. http://www.tacowidgets.com/home/widget.html

Widgets run through Dashboard on Macs (hit F12 on a Mac running OS X 10.4), A great collection can be found here - http://www.widgetgallery.com/
I just LOVE this site; lots of FUN and useful widgets!

(o.k., they can work in Windows XP, too - but, they don't look as cool)
They can also be plug-ins for web browsers - The Google Gadget page http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open


Dusti Howell said...

When I took business classes, the text books all talked about widgets. In the school of business, widgets was a term that referred to a generic commodity. The books would rarely refer to real items like staplers, cup holders and radios in their product development and marketing examples, because all those items carried 'baggage' and engendered an emotional reaction of sorts. Instead the 'made up term' widget was used which allowed professors to keep the class on task, thwarting any unwanted digressions and discussions that apparently didn't serve anyone's best interest. This is a perfect term for the world of business which is a 'make believe' world anyway. But that is another discussion.

Marcus Childress said...

Reminds me of a scene in the 1980s comedy Back to School, starring Rodney Dangerfield (easily one of my top 10 all-time favorite movies).

Rodney Dangerfield (Thornton Mellon, the world's oldest living freshman) argues with his business professor who lectures about a fictional company that makes widgets. A great scene. Rodney tells him that he's living in a fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

I love Back to School. That is a top 10 and that scene in Business class is perfect. Business is corrupt (Enron, Maartha Stwart) and any educaiton you get will leave out the fine points you only get when working under the gun. I use the Yahoo Widgets and find it cool. Go figure the Mac version looks better and works better. I miss my Mac :(

stacy neumann said...

I use widgets for different things on my Mac. For fun, I use the pirate translator. Type in your statement and it will translate it into "pirate". Example:

I use widgets fer different thin's on me Mac. Fer fun, I use th' pirate translator. Type in yer statement 'n 'twill translate it into "pirate".

Rrrrr! Enjoy!