I have wanted to do this for a long time but have never remembered about it. Some of you may already know about this feature on your computer, but for those of you who don't, here are instructions on how to create a weather center on your very own computer's desktop!
Here’s how it works. Information can be copied from the internet and put on your desktop. These are called “active desktop items”. For example, if you copy the location of a satellite loop in “gif” format, you can place that loop on your desktop. The loop will sit as a little window, which can be easily resized just like any browser window. When you synchronize the item, it updates the loop. You can set the loop to update to a schedule, so the loop is always current! For any loop in “gif” format, just the loop is displayed, which is preferable, but desktop items are not limited to just “gif” loops. You can put almost any webpage on your desktop that you please. You can even put loops from the SSD site on there for example, which are java loops. The webpage is then basically put on your desktop in a little window exactly the way it would be in your web browser. This is a little more of a hassle since there is the rest of the page to deal with besides the actual sat loop. If you click on a link in the page, that link opens in a browser window.
So let’s walk through how to put a web page, loop or image on your desktop and have it update itself automatically. My computer is a Windows XP Home Edition, but if you have Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher, or Windows 2000 and higher, then your computer should have this feature.
1. Go to the webpage or the page with the loop or image that you wish to put on your desktop. If it is a loop other than gif format, or if you want to put the whole webpage on your desktop, then copy the url in the address bar. If you want to put an image or a gif loop on your desktop, then copy the location of the loop or image, like you would do to put it on a blog.
2. Click “start”, “control panel”, and then “display”. Select the “desktop” tab, click the button “customize desktop”, and then select the tab “web”.
3. You will then see a list of any active desktop items that you may have, which should be empty unless the computer automatically put something there that needs to be there. Click “new,” and the computer should attempt to connect to the website. If it connects successfully, a dialog box will come up asking for the location of the item you want to put on your desktop. Paste the url which you copied into the bar provided, and then click ok. Follow the following prompts, and when you are done, you should see your url appear in the list of active desktop items. Check the box next to that url, and click “apply”. A small window should appear on your desktop with the loop, image, or webpage in it. Hold your mouse just above the window and a bar will appear with a drop down list on the left with options. On the right you can either expand, full-screen, or exit the window. You can click and drag on the borders of the window to size it any way you want, exactly like a browser window. You can add as many of these desktop items as you desire, but if you put a ton on there, the chances of your computer freezing when you load your desktop will be greatly increased.
4. If you wish the desktop item to update automatically, you can either repeat step 2 to go to the list of active desktop items, or click “properties” from the drop-down menu on your desktop item. If you repeat step 2, select the item which you wish to change, and then click “properties”. Select the option “use the following schedule(s)”, and then below the list of existing schedules, click “add”. You can then choose a name for your schedule, and the time of day at which the desktop item will update. Click apply. When you first make the schedule you are only able to make an update time for once a day, but more detailed options are available if you select the schedule you want to change, and click “edit”. You can then set which desktop items that you want to use that particular schedule, and exactly how often you want them to update. You can add as many schedules as you want.
I hope you all enjoy this wonderful feature. You can make a whole weather center customized for you all on your desktop! It sure beats going to each individual radar or sat loop whenever you want to see it lol! Enjoy!
Updated: 6:44 PM GMT on June 02, 2006
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