Well, I just discovered Conky. Conky is a very lightweight computer monitor, for a linux desktop (not a gnome applet or anything). It's very configurable, and it just made my desktop look like the picture below.
[update]: apparently, you cannot add this directly to startup applications in ubuntu, simply because it will not work, but if you make it sleep for 30 seconds and then run conky, it works like a charm. So, to add this in startup applications, the command looks like this:
sleep 30 && /usr/bin/conky