Rainmeter is a free and open-source desktop customization utility for Windows, released under the GNU GPL v2 licence. It allows users to create and display user-generated customizable desktop widgets or applets called “skins” that display information. Lately, a new update has been introduced by the developers of this utility: Version 4.2.
Version 4.2 of Rainmeter brings many new features to the table. The main one, which might as well take the cake on its own, is the UsageMonitor Plugin. Other, not to be considered less important in any way possible, changes include the addition of Bangs, @Vault Folder, SysInfo Plugin, Rainmeter.ini and not to mention changes to the About Dialogue.
They added the plugin to interact with the Windows Performance Monitor, which monitor various kinds of system metrics in different categories, and tracks their usage. This plugin will deprecate the existing AdvancedCPU and PerfMon plugins, and should be used in place of them going forward.
Secondly, they added several new bangs to allow “disabling” and “enabling” mouse actions on meters or the skin background.
Added support for an @Vault folder. This is an automatic and handy place to store 32bit and 64bit versions of plugin .dll files you distribute with skins, as well as other resources.
Added a new USER_LOGONTIME SysInfoType value to the SysInfo plugin. This is a timestamp number (number of seconds since January 1, 1601) reflecting the date and time the current user account logged onto Windows. Use with a Time measure to get a formatted string of the date/time, or subtract from the current time and use with an Uptime measure to get a formatted string of the elapsed time.
Changed the file encoding of Rainmeter.ini from ANSI to UTF-16 LE (Unicode). Existing installations will be converted if needed when Rainmeter is started or Layouts are loaded.
They also added the full path to the currently running skin .ini file to the hidden window “title” of the config window. This is in support of plugins that may be written to use “SendMessage()” to detect if a particular config is running, and if so, to use the window title to retrieve the “variant” name of the running skin.
Finally, they changed the About / Version dialog to add the version number for Windows 10 (e.g. 1709, 1803) and the language and language code number currently being used in both Rainmeter and Windows. (e.g. English (1033)) Changed the references to the various paths and the Rainmeter.ini file to be clickable links.