Hardware

A nostalgic look at the Microsoft Scenes screensaver

This past week Greg Shultz rediscovered one of the most ambitious screensavers from the year 1994 and produced a photo gallery for us to share in the nostalgia.

If you are old enough to remember Windows 3.1 and the year 1994, then you probably remember a time when we all spent an extraordinary amount of time installing and configuring screensavers.

We did this as a precaution against CRT screen burn-in, which was a serious problem in 1994. However, now that most of us use LCD monitors, screensavers are not required to prevent burn-in because LCDs don't have this characteristic.

This past week Greg Shultz rediscovered one of the most ambitious screensavers from that period and produced a photo gallery for us to look at and feel nostalgic about. The Microsoft Scenes Sierra Club Nature Collection provided users with a themed collection of 40 Sierra Club photographs.

Check out the full gallery: Microsoft Scenes screensaver and wallpaper program

I didn't have this collection myself, but it I see why it was appealing. What was your favorite screensaver? Do you still use a screensaver even though it doesn't really have a purpose anymore (other than aesthetics)?

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

10 comments
birumut
birumut

Great!!! thanks for sharing this information to us! sesli chat sesli sohbet

shiland
shiland

I can't believe nobody's mentioned Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time yet! Not only was it a really cool interactive screensaver (e.g. the Chicken Game) it also had sound effects (you could make your keyboard sound like a typewriter) and interactive wallpaper (a hall where you could click on various objects to show clips from Flying Circus).

boomchuck1
boomchuck1

I run BOINC for SETI@home on my home computers, but just in the background so it isn't really a screensaver, but still a great way to use those extra cycles. For a real screensave I really like the Windows Live Photo Gallery on my single display computer, but it doesn't handle dual displays well so I use the Google Photos Slideshow there so I can get different pictures on each monitor. For the photos I like to use my own from trips I've done. For nostalgia sake though, I always got a kick of the Bad Dog one that came with After Dark.

AmraLeo
AmraLeo

When I was using Windows I used "Beam", a space battle screensaver that was really cool. With Mepis, I really like "Flurry"...

joanne.e.m
joanne.e.m

I was still a kid at the time; I used to set the screensaver to come on after 1 minute and sit and watch it for ages. Much more exciting than watching the Windows logo bounce around the screen.

fairportfan
fairportfan

I have about 400 images in it, ranging from comics to trains to NASA APOD shots to every Windows startup screen... (It also shuffles my wallpaper randomly every fifteen minutes)

ggalvan
ggalvan

After Dark and the flying toasters!!! Right now I only have the default Windows screen saver because of company security policies. :-( Cheers. GG

wizard57m-cnet
wizard57m-cnet

was called SlideShow, got it from the Nature Conservancy. I think I ended up with some 16 different collections of pictures. It was similar to After Dark screen saver. Also let you change the desktop background image...with Win 3X using Calmira II as the "shell", many casual observers thought I had an early version of Windows 95!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Boinc, what SETI@home seems to have evolved into, it's a screensaver that actually does something in the background rather than just protecting your LCD from burn-in. :D On my Windows systems, BOINC gives unused processor time to projets and gives me nerdy displays to look at. On my Debian systems boinc lacks the xscreensaver plugins but I run it for the processor time still. In the past I've run teh OpenGL and authentic Matrix xscreensavers with a preference for the authentic one used for the movies. It provided only the superficial display though and kept the room much brighter than desired when trying to sleep. On Windows systems, I've also run the MyDefrag screensaver (formerly jkdefrag) since it's an interesting display that actually does something in the background. I also used 3dtext on Windows systems to display time. The Win7 centered spin is much nicer than the winXP spin and bounce from side to side. For the folks who've not seen Johnny Long's No Tech Hacking talk; this can be a bit of an information leak since it indicates if the machine is within it's home timezone or not. In general, blank.scr in Windows or system screen blanking on *nix are my standard fallbacks. When/if I get bored of BOINC, I'll simply drop back to blanking.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What was your favorite screensaver? Do you still use a screensaver even though it doesn???t really have a purpose anymore (other than aesthetics).

Editor's Picks