Time Saving Tuesday

Yesterday Chris mentioned in an article that he started doing screencasts on the Learn Firefox site, and we are pleased to announce that we’re going to start doing some screencasts as well. We believe that screencasts give a better impression of what software has to offer, and also allows us to easily demonstrate how to do things.

Note: Most of the screencasts that we create will probably be too large to put within a post, so they’ll open in a popup window.

Today I actually have a set of screencasts available for you to demonstrate how to setup the free RocketDock software to replace your Windows Taskbar. Last week I briefly mentioned the software, but since then I have been able to play more in depth with the software. In fact I have gone as far as to virtually replace my Windows Taskbar.


RocketDock is freeware and is continually being updated. You can download the latest stable version from the homepage, or there are development versions available that are yet to be released. I am actually using the latest development version because there was a small bug in the final version that hadn’t been fixed. The bug caused the RocketDock to flicker every second, but the development version has fixed that problem along with some other problems people have experienced with the software.


—Minimize/Maximize and Application Indicators—

One of the coolest things about RocketDock is that you can maximize and minimize your programs using it. This is essential for anyone looking to replace the Windows Taskbar. The reason why I like this feature is because it places a small thumbnail of your running program in the dock…and if you’re running Windows Vista with Aero enabled you will be able to see live previews!

The application indicators need to be enabled in the Dock Settings before you can use them. Once you turn the indicators on, a small little arrow will appear below the shortcuts in the dock that are currently running.

I do still need the Windows Taskbar around for some things because RocketDock can’t quite cover it all. You’ll see why in this screencast:



Docklets are something that many people probably don’t realize you can use in RocketDock, or they at least don’t know where to find them. They are actually part of of a competing product called ObjectDock, but RocketDock was made to use them.

I calculated there to be more than 10,000 docklets available on the WinCustomize site, and most of them seem to work great with RocketDock. I stumbled across a few that didn’t work as expected such as the .NET Digital Clock that crashed RocketDock every time I tried to use it. If you’re looking for a digital clock, this one is almost flawless.

The Docklets are very simple to install which can be seen in this screencast:

Update: I forgot to mention (as commenters below pointed out) that a blue question mark will show up as a background image to the clock. This is because RocketDock uses a default icon if no icon is provided, and this can be remedied by removing (or moving) their default icon from the following folder:
C:\Program Files\RocketDock\Defaults\DefaultIcons



RocketDock amazes me with everything that it can do for a freeware application. It obviously gets its ideas from Apple’s Mac user interface, but being able to bring one of the best Mac features over to Windows is a great thing.

P.S. If you have any tips on how we can make the screencasts even better, please feel free to let us know in the comments below. We’re new at it so any recommendations are very much welcomed!

RocketDock Homepage (Download Mirror for latest stable version)

A special thanks to DivShare for hosting the screencasts!