Sunday, July 12, 2009
Rocketdock is a dock program much like the dock on a Mac. If you don't know the concept behind a dock, you can add shortcuts to programs, folders, files, internet shortcuts, and more, and they will all be displayed as icons.
Rocketdock can easily become a staple in your computer experience. Here's some very nice things about it:
-Easibility of add: It's very very easy to add/remove in Rocketdock. In order to add something to the dock, just drag it onto some place on the dock. In order to remove, click and drag something off the dock, and let go, and it will *poof* away. Same goes with reordering.
-Icon customibility: It's very easy to change the icon for any item. You can also set the opacy, the size, the zoom amount, and etc.
-Smooth looks: Rocketdock is really impressive in that it looks good. You can set the theme for the dock, 30 of which already come with the program (and you can add more.) You can also choose the fonts and font colors. Even more impressive still are the animations. You can have the cool "Bubble" animation as you slide across the dock, where it will enlargen the icon you are hovering over. But the cool part is not only how it looks, but also how you can customize. You can (as I said before) set the zoom rate, set the zoom width (how much the dock stretches), and set the zoom duration. Same with autohide. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Well then...
-Position: You can put the dock on any 4 of the sides of your screen, that's a given. But what's really cool is just how much you can shift it. You can adjust the centering, meaning it will be more to the left or right (or up or down, if you have the dock vertical) and you can even set the "Edge offset", which means how far away it will be from the edge of the screen (like if you set 30 pixels, there will be 30 pixels of space between the dock and the edge.) On top of that, it has multi-monitor support, and can be set to "Always on top", "Always on bottom", or "Normal" (it will be treated liek a normal window.)
-Use as taskbar: If you want, you can check "Minimize windows to dock," which will act like a Mac dock. Your minimized windows will be added on to the end of the dock instead of staying in the taskbar. You can also check "Running application indicators" (which are arrows below a program that is running) and "Show running application instance" (which means that if you click on a program in the dock that is already running, it will just bring up the running instance instead of starting a new one.)
-Docklets: In addition to having links to folders or programs and such, you can also have "Docklets" which range in a great number of things, like Clocks, Battery meters, Volume control, and even a Wifi level. Docklets help Rocketdock become an even more useful tool than it already is.
Overall, it's a very nice piece of software that perfectly combines functionality with eyecandy. But wait, there's more!
-SysStats: There is a certain type of Docklet called "SysStats" that I feel I should mention. The very nice thing about SysStats is that it adds a ton of options to Rocketdoc in terms of Docklets. For example, you can have a link to My Computer that shows your available disk space, an Orb showing your CPU and RAM usage, and even one to automatically check your Gmail account. This all sounds well and good, but I've had SERIOUS problems with SysStats in the past. I got to the point where I was about to give up Rocketdock, until I discovered that all the Docklets I was having problems with were SysStats. Now, I'm not saying "DON'T USE SYSSTATS", I'm just saying, beware. I have a simple volume app that I tried to remove from my dock and it froze up Rocketdock when I dragged it off the dock. Some of the scripts worked better than others, like the Disk Space script worked better than the Wifi. But anyway, just remember that SysStats and Rocketdock are separate. (Also, if you don't know how to install SysStats on Rocketdock, please don't ask it here. Does this look like a support forum?)
I first found RocketDock when I wanted to hide all my desktop icons, but still wanted to be able to quickly launch things. It's a very convenient tool, and the best "looker" program that still provides a good amount of functionality. It is moderate in terms of resources; it usually consumes around 20-30mb of RAM for me. It is also Portable, in case you wanted to use it on the go (even though I don't think the paths to the programs would not change for the different computers, so I dunno how'd that work...) I usually sacrifice beauty for speed, but Rocketdock is one of my few exceptions. It might use more resources than a simpler dock, but it looks nice, and is reliable (without SysStats.)
Visit Rocketdock website for download
For nice icons, check out DeviantArt, WinCustomize, or the Rocketdock website.