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Five widgets for Friday

As we've previously pointed out, in many ways, Dashboard Widgets are the precursor to iPhone apps. Need to know when your latest packages will arrive? Yes, there's an app for that. But there's a widget too. Need to figure out how many pesos are in a dollar, or what a Quarter Pounder with Cheese comes out to in the metric system? There's an app, and a widget, for that as well. For this Friday afternoon, here are five useful Widgets to help you make the most of your Mac. And best of all, they're all free.



Screenshot Plus

At the top of the list is Steven Chaitoff's Screenshot Plus. The app, err widget, is in many ways just as functional as a full-fledged desktop app. Although Realmac Software's Little Snapper (which I use regularly) offers advanced editing and capturing niceties, for many Screenshot Plus is more than adequate to suit their screen capturing needs. The Widget allows you to capture your full desktop, any window, a defined area and, yes, even individual Widgets (it's what I used to capture the images for this post).

After you've finished with your capture, you have the option to automatically save an image in a particular format (jpg, gif, png, tiff and pdf) and the ability to automatically save a snapshot with a prefix (i.e., "Capture-1"). But there's also the option to not save at all and, instead, just copy your capture onto a clipboard -- which you can use to paste anywhere.

Boxee Remote

I'm a big Boxee fan, and the Boxee iPhone remote app [iTunes link] is great. For the times you don't have your iPhone near you or don't feel like reaching in your pocket, there's the Boxee Remote by Lot 49. Currently in its version 1.1 flavor, the Widget, as implied in its namesake, allows you to remotely control (within your LAN) a computer with Boxee installed. So, instead of telling little Jimmy to turn the noise down, you can turn it down for him.

Album Art Widget
Besides displaying the album art of the currently playing song, Liquidx's Album Art Widget will fetch it as well. However, you have to manually tell it to fetch it; it doesn't do it automatically if artwork is missing. And if you happen to like whatever song that's playing, there's the ability to rate songs.

iStat nano
Is my MacBook running a bit hotter than usual or is it just my imagination? With iSlayer's iStat nano, you can find this out, and much more. iStat nano allows you to look at various metrics about your Mac, including CPU temperature, battery cycles you've been through, uptime and memory usage.

Secret Notepad
While Stickies are included in the default Dashboard package and are useful for jotting down little notes, there may be times where you'd want to keep your notes from prying eyes. This is where Simple Widget Factory's Secret Notepad comes in handy. After typing in your notes, clicking on the lock button will require a password to be entered in order to view and edit them.

Leave us a comment below about some of your favorite Dashboard Widgets!

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