Gadgets are typically small items that help us perform certain tasks. A Swiss Army knife or an electronic dog whistle are two gadget examples. But in today's computer-driven world, a new kind of gadget has emerged. These new computer gadgets are handy little software applications that you can "park" on your computer screen's desktop for instant access. These PC gadgets will tell you weather forecasts, how much RAM you currently are using, news stories, photo galleries and just about anything else you can think up. Windows 7 and Google are two of the more popular sources for these types of gadgets.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Gadget to be tested
- List of gadget features
- Windows 7 operating system for Windows 7 gadgets
- Google Desktop installed for Google gadgets
Define the gadget features to be tested by evaluating the name of the gadget. For example, if the gadget is called a "Nose Hair Trimmer," the first test would be to find out if it actually will trim nose hair.
Test each feature the manufacturer claims for this device. These features will be printed on the package or on papers included in the device package such as the User's Manual or the Product Information page.
Test the time necessary to recharge the "Nose Hair Trimmer," if recharging time is one of the features or claims from the manufacturer. If the manufacturer states that it takes two hours to fully charge the device, then you can test this claim by simply charging the device, timing the charge duration and checking the full charge indicator. If the device is fully charged after two hours, it passes the test. If it is not yet fully charged, it fails the test.
Test the next feature on the list. If the manufacturer claims this device is waterproof and fully submersible, go ahead and try it out. Before you submerge the device in water, test it to make sure it is fully operational. Then submerge the device, remove it from the water and test it again to see if it is still fully operational. This is a pass/fail test.
Continue testing each feature of the device until you're satisfied that the device performs every function that the manufacturer claims.
Right-click on an empty area of the Windows 7 desktop to open the desktop configuration window.
Select "Gadgets," and a "Gadget Gallery" window will open.
Browse through the available gadgets and choose one that looks interesting to you.
Left-click on the interesting gadget's icon. Continue holding down the left button on your mouse to drag and drop this gadget onto your desktop. You now have a new gadget on your desktop.
Hover your mouse cursor over your new gadget. A small icon appears on the top right corner of the gadget showing an "X" icon that will remove the gadget from your desktop, an "Open End Wrench" icon that will open the gadget tools to configure this gadget, and a horizontal "Grid" icon that you can grab with your mouse cursor and move the gadget around on your desktop.
Test the gadget using the same steps you used to test in mechanical/electronic gadget. If the gadget is a clock, monitor it periodically to see if it consistently shows the correct time. If the gadget is a "CPU Meter," make sure it shows the ongoing processor activity in your computer.
Navigate your browser to the "Install Google Desktop" Web page.
Click on the "Install Google Desktop" button, and choose "Save File" and save it to your desktop.
Choose "Run" when the "Open File - Security Warning" window opens. You'll see a prompt informing you that Google Desktop is being installed on your computer.
Read the "Google Terms of Service" and if you agree, click the "I Agree" button.
Choose the features that you prefer by placing a check mark in the features' check boxes. Click "Done" when you are satisfied.
Click "OK" to close the "Thank You for Installing Google Desktop" window.
Review your new Google desktop, which has appeared on the right-hand side of your screen, to see your new Google gadgets.
Use the icons at the top, next to the multicoloured "Google," to manage your Google gadgets and the Google Desktop.
Test any of these gadgets using the same steps you used to test the mechanical/electronic gadgets.
Tips and warnings
- Don't be afraid to try desktop gadgets that are interesting to you. They can all be easily removed if you don't like them.
- For mechanical gadgets, know the "Return Policy" where you bought the gadget before you start testing in case it fails and you decide to return the gadget.
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