Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Windows Vista has gadgets, Mac OS X has widgets, KDE users have plasmoids, but what if your an Ubuntu user? Don’t worry, you have a number of opinions, you just have to install them yourself.
The first option I looked at was gDesklets. A huge number can be installed just by navigating through the sidebar at the right or you can look on the gDesklets site.
Screenlets, like gDesklets, can be installed through Add/Remove if your on Intrepid.