As I was preparing for my Best Buy demos, I ran across a great tip in regards to the Vista SideBar Gadget.
If you don’t like using the gadgets in the narrow SideBar, grab the each of the gadgets to your desktop and they will run just fine floating over your desktop, too. In fact, depending on the gadget, it might look a bit better. For example, I’ve got the Remote Desktop gadget on my desktop for a quick way to RDP to a customer’s server, in addition to a nice digital clock.
The one negative is that the gadgets are still tied to the SideBar, so they will only display when the SideBar is activated. I’d like to find a way for the side bar to always display when the desktop is activated, but have not found a way to do that, yet.
You can download more SideBar gadgets here