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Free Apple Mac style Dock with Windows Vista and RocketDock

One of the distinctive features of Apple computers is a piece of software called "The Dock". The Dock is sort of an always there menu with big icons that spawn your most frequently used programs. Docks also can run small programs or docklets that can do things like display a clock or show you the weather. Docks also can be configured to display running programs that have been minimized in a mini window. You bring a running program to the front, or launch a program by hovering over the dock with your mouse, and clicking on the icon.

I suppose that people who don't know any better might think that this is something you can only get from Apple, but as it turns out there are docks for Linux and Windows. At home I have a Gateway computer running Windows Vista business, and I wanted to add a Dock. After a bit of hunting, I found some recommendations and settled upon RocketDock from Punk Labs. Punk Labs as it turns out is really a couple (he's a programmer, she's a designer) who go by the pseudonyms of PolyVector and Skunkie respectively. The about screen describes RocketDock tongue in cheek as a "peace offering" from the pair of self admitted Apple fans to Windows users everywhere.

The RocketDock website provides links to the various versions and a straightforward online manual. You get most of the features of the Apple Dock program, and it's very easy to work with. Once installed and running, the RocketDock appears at the top of the screen, with a set of default icons. Right click on the RocketDock and you get a menu that lets you adjust Dock settings. There are various themes that will style the look and feel of the RocketDock, and the RocketDock site offers an Extra's link with downloads to styles and docklet programs other people have contributed. While it's just a quibble with this otherwise great program, there's not much in the way of Docklets available, but I found it hard to resist adding on the simple analog style clock. Continue reading "Free Apple Mac style Dock with Windows Vista and RocketDock"