Ever since I've really started to use Linux as an OS, I've been using this wonderful application called Conky. This application monitors various things going on around your machine (disk space, processor usage, now playing, battery power left, processes running, network statistics, just to name a few) and draws the information retrieved directly to your desktop, meaning that it becomes part of the background (cool, eh? ). Well, I'm going to give you a short intro into exactly what Conky is and what it can do.
First of all, conky is a package you can get from apt/aptitude/synaptic/pacman/. You install it using that, or if you really want to stay on top of the game (like me) you can download the source tarball from the SourceForge page, which is located here. I will also be providing all links at the bottom of this article for reference.
After installation, you can find the default configuration