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System Tray Clock Replacement

If you have Windows Vista or Windows 7 and are using their Clock Gadget for a convenient clock: STOP! Microsoft has discontinued their gadgets because of "serious vulnerabilities". I've written about this issue here.

If you would just like a clock in the system tray big enough to read, I've got a great free option for you. I not only use this on my machines, but now add it to all new computers.

Drive Software offers a free version called Free Desktop Timer 1.1 as well as a paid version ($15) with more features and skinable calendars called Atomic Alarm Clock. As the names indicate, they offer timers as well, but I only use the system clock replacement feature. The free version offers 16 different themes, while the paid version offers over 30. The free program is toward the bottom of the page.

So you can replace this:

with this:

for free. Guess which is easier to read.

I also enable the ram option which I find interesting. Here are the available themes.

Some additional customization is possible by changing background color and transparency.

Paid version calendars

In addition to time zones clocks, and more skins, the paid version (currently $15) offers calendars as well with 10 possible skins. 4 are shown below to give you an idea. I'm not sure whether calendars are available on the unpaid version or not. I think they might have a couple, but I always like to support programmers who make something I use, so I quickly bought it.


Date: May 2015

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