What are Rainmeter Skins Visualizers?
A rainmeter skin is an application that acts as a desktop theme for windows. Rainmeter skins display various customizable widgets on the desktop, such as clocks, calendars, RSS feeds, weather forecasts, and so on. Themes are distributed solely through the internet and typically use WinRAR or 7zip to compress their files. They can also be downloaded through torrents or Usenet to avoid paying bandwidth fees.
Rainmeter itself is free software released under GNU General Public License (GPL). Several other measures may be taken to protect the computer from unauthorized access including but not limited to password protection of configuration settings and installation directories. If the skin is malicious or compromised, it can be trivial to attack the computer as the user is not actively manipulating the skin. In this case, a computer would have been compromised with no simple way to regain control.
Rainmeter skins are distributed via peer-to-peer networks and can be obtained directly from a torrent file or through Usenet. A user is better off downloading a theme from a torrent file given that there may be several themes with the same name, each containing the same metadata encoded in different ways to prevent being picked up by Gnutella. Alternatively, a user is better off using Usenet to obtain a theme since torrent files may contain malware and Usenet releases are typically more secure.
Features of Rainmeter Skins Visualizer
Rainmeter skins can be used to perform various types of tasks such as weather forecasts, displaying RSS feeds, and the like. Rainmeter skins provide means for operating system customization through the use of widgets running on the desktop. The widgets may be configured for simple tasks such as displaying the current time of day or date and time or more complex tasks such as displaying weather information and keeping track of the local weather changes over time.
The theme may include support for others to be added. A rainmeter skin is typically stored as a ZIP archive. A Windows installation file can be decompressed into a folder structure on the hard drive that contains a Rainmeter executable and a Rainmeter configuration script. Rainmeter is installed into the system’s Startup folder which is typically located at C:\Windows\System32\wbem. By default from some operating systems, some configuration scripts may be stored in this location as well as some other shortcuts required by the operating system such as those required by antivirus software or other security software.
After executing the skin, a user may create a new skin and start modifying it. A skin typically contains an image and some kind of configuration script. It is possible to modify the image or its properties using any graphic editor capable of handling BMP files.
Rainmeter uses an XML-based language to configure skins. The syntax follows guidelines similar to XSLT. The LUA scripting language can be used for more complex, fine-grained control of the skin such as animations or script interaction with Windows API calls.
Skins are typically distributed through peer-to-peer networks. These networks make it hard to detect malware or other improper uses of the network. The file may be obtained directly from a torrent file or through Usenet. A user is better off downloading a theme from a torrent file given that there may be several themes with the same name, each containing the same metadata encoded in different ways to prevent being picked up by Gnutella. Downloading themes from torrent files protects against malware as well as increases the efficiency of bandwidth use by avoiding redundancy in Usenet. Users are also forced to use anonymous FTP protocols which increases security measures for downloading skins using Usenet or other FTP applications.
Benefits of Rainmeter Skins Visualizer:
The first usage of rainmeter was CoolNova, a skin that replaced all icons and program shortcuts with transparent images. The application brought the first appearance of the idea to replace all those icons with those called “banners”. The user had to add the images in the following folders: System, Desktop, Start. The application was removed from the official repository of skins, but some people still use it.
The idea of replacing all icons with banners has been used in some other skin authors’ programs. In some cases, a skin author has simply removed all icons and shortcuts from the skin and replaced them with banners. In other cases, the author of skin uses only one icon on his program’s start menu or another element of his application’s interface to serve as a destination for placing all other elements that will display after that icon is clicked. Thus, banners replace all other elements on that element without modifying Windows Registry.
During those times, rainmeter evolved quickly and became a powerful tool for desktop customization. After a long time, it became very popular and found many applications like:
The goal of Rainmeter is to provide a flexible platform for gathering information about the system. This is accomplished by providing several plug-ins based upon desktop software known as “skins”. These skins are sets of programmatic filters which are applied to the Windows Registry. They allow programmers to write plug-ins that can be easily installed or removed at will.
A skin usually consists of two main components: an executable file called “plugin” and a configuration file called “config”. The plugin provides the basic functionality for having it work, while config specifies which features will be enabled and their parameters at install/remove time.
There are thousands of skins for rainmeter available to download and many more private and community-created themes that can be downloaded from online communities such as DeviantArt and Rainmeter Forums. These themes may then be customized for the user’s tastes before being installed into the system. A rainmeter skin may include support for other skins to be added to the theme.