I switched my Rainmeter skin, theme and layouts around a few hundred times last week and dumped my Enigma skin and theme in favor of the smaller and simpler Encoded (by lilshizzy). It started out as just looking at options, and then actually setting up Encoded the way I liked and then it just kind of stuck.

I only used six of the blocks or boxes available along with the date, time & weather:

  1. CPU Usage
  2. Ram Usage
  3. Swap Usage
  4. Network Usage
  5. Drive Space Usage
  6. Computer Uptime

The only thing I’m kind of missing or would want back, would be the RSS reader widget-type skin. Though I could regain that with any number of Rainmeter skins, I’m going to go without it for a while. I’m noticing instead that I am seeking out news and finding a lot more interesting and up-to-date information than reading the RSS feeds alone. The feeds I was using were not updated as often as I’d like – and I know their sources – so I can visit those sites when desired.

Here is a screenshot of my latest Rainmeter layout – cropped to only the relevant part as this is in the top left part of the screen – with no other portions used.

New Favorite Rainmeter Skin: Encoded

My Rainmeter Theme Layout - Encoded by lilshizzy With Custom Aero Blur Box

Your screen resolution will almost definitely differ from my own, but here is a (rough) guide for setting this up after installing Rainmeter and/or the Encoded skin from DeviantArt:

  • Select any six white info boxes under Encoded -> Squares 
  • Select the white_blur from Encoded -> Headers -> Backgrounds -> AeroBlur
  • Edit the white_blur.ini file (right-click, Edit Skin) as follows:
    • SolidColor=255,255,255,150
    • W=371
    • H=300
  • Select the following headers from Encoded -> Headers
    • Date -> Date_black-left
    • Time -> Time_black
    • Weather -> Weather_black-small (right-click, edit, give this your local weather code!)
  • Select the blur box and then right-click, select Manage Skin:
    • Edit the coordinates, giving the first number (X coordinate) a value to indent from the left of the screen. I’ve used “30”. (You’ll want to repeat this or reuse this on the first box to make sure the pixels are aligned as in the screenshot above.)
    • Once in position: Deselect the “Draggable” property and change position to “Desktop” from the provided drop down
  • Now just place the boxes, date, time and weather over the blur background as desired.
  • ???
  • Profit.

Again, you can download the latest version of Encoded from devaintart here.