The Pinnacle Gadget is a mini-launcher gadget for Vista sidebar. When you launch a profile from the gadget, it will automatically start PINNACLE.EXE if it is needed... but otherwise you do not need to run Pinnacle itself for the gadget to work. Also keep in mind that the gadget cannot auto-detect and apply profiles, so for that to keep working you must have Pinnacle running (not just the gadget).
You can download the Pinnacle Gadget sidebar launcher at the link below. Of course this is only for Windows Vista users since gadgets weren't around before Vista. Just download the ZIP, then extract and launch the .gadget file to install. Please let me know what you think of the gadget launcher and if you have any trouble.
Also you need Pinnacle v5.0 or later to make use of this gadget (so they can properly communicate). Just run PinnacleUpdate to make sure you are running the latest version.