Thanks to everyone who leaves notes here or sends e-mails, to suggest applications or distros that I might like. Occasionally I get bogged down with real-life issues and can’t give each one the attention they deserve, but I can promise that at least 98 percent of the time, I take a peek at your suggestion. And all of them are helpful.
I have used wbar in Openbox setups off and on for the past year or so, since I saw it at work with Tiny Core Linux. I figured, if wbar is lightweight enough to be used on ultra-ultra-ultra-lightweight distros, then it is probably speedy enough for my day-to-day Openbox arrangements. adeskbar is probably equally light (the source code package undercuts wbar by about 175Kb roughly, but that’s not a guarantee it’s “lighter” ), and approaches the same issue from a slightly different angle.
If you’re GUI-oriented anyway, adeskbar might be a winner for being quicker on the configuration. Right-click anywhere on the bar itself and you get the Preferences menu, and the options there are very self-explanatory. (To be fair, you can get the same ease-of-setup with wbar, by installing a sidecar application called wbarconf.)
The appearance is what you make of it; what I’ve made of it here is only to meant to serve as a kind of pop-out “quickbar,” with the additions of a shutdown and reboot button (using
sudo /sbin/halt or
sudo /sbin/reboot with the
/etc/sudoers file giving permission for the users group to do such a thing). I like that it snaps out instantly, hovers for an extra second, and I like that the “tooltips” and icons are customizable.
It also has a lot of interesting animation and transparency effects — much more than I can investigate here. But if you take a few moments and look around for some screenshots, you’ll see quite a few arrangements that put my instant pop-out quickbar to shame. (I was shooting for that annoying Windows 98 toolbar that I vaguely remember from 10 years ago. … )
In any case, between wbar and adeskbar, you should have more than enough to work with as a functional and attractive start bar for elderly hardware. Enjoy.