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Seven days of Vista -- day 3: Go go Gadgets crazy

Another day, another morning spent tucking into Vista. This time we gorge ourselves on the bite-size applications known as Gadgets

Day three of our Vista forage leads us to Gadgets -- mini applications that sit in an area on the far right side of your screen known as the Sidebar. Apple fanboys users will cry like girls be aware of the fact that it's a copy of Widgets in OS X, but it's a new thing for the Windows massive, so forgive us if we gawk at it for a while.

As standard, Vista ships with World Clock (an analogue clock), Feed Viewer (for RSS feeds), Slide Show (a small picture frame for digital images, which shouldn't be confused with SideShow), Recycle bin (duh), and Launcher (which lets you add shortcuts to your most frequently used applications).

This is all really helpful, but once the novelty wears thin and the yawns become harder to stifle, you'll want to visit Windows Live Gallery to get some new gadgets. Top of our list has to be the Search YouTube gadget, which lets you track down videos of people hurting themselves in amusing ways. Among other things.

A touch more moral is the Prayer Times gadget, which reminds the non-heathen community when it's time to worship. It'll even play the Azan of your choice in MP3, WAV or WMA format. Then there's the eBay Auction Watch gadget, which integrates with your eBay account to keep track of particular items you're watching. The seconds tick down in real time so you know exactly when to swoop with a last-minute bid for that authentic North American teepee.

We're also feeling the BBC Radio Player, iTunes, Outlook Tasks, Mail, Gmail reader, Wikipedia and Monthly Cycle gadgets -- the latter is of great use to both men and women, for obvious reasons.

The whole Sidebar and Gadgets thing is an unashamed rip-off of Apple's Widgets feature but, as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, go nick it".

Don't forget to check out day one and day two of our Vista foray, and come back tomorrow, when we'll cast our eyes over more reasons to upgrade. -RR