Once upon a time, computer users, particularly those using Microsoft Windows, spent extraordinary amounts of time, effort, and money worrying about their screen saver. For many, it was a defining part of their computing experience — like having a nice car or expensive watch. It seemed you could tell a lot about a person by what screen saver he or she used.
I'll admit a certain fascination with screen saver applications myself. I was particularly fond of the fish aquarium screen savers — perhaps it was the soothing sight of virtual fish swimming in a virtual tank that was appealing. It's funny, but I don't really remember. In fact, I don't really think about screen savers any more at all. It is all about the power settings now, I suppose.
Our residence Windows expert, Greg Shultz, just published a TechRepublic Photo Gallery that reflects a point in time where screen savers were a big deal. His gallery shows screenshots from After Dark for Windows 1.0, including the famous Flying Toasters screen saver. That is what got me thinking about the subject.
I am curious, though, are you still using a screen saver? Is it a third-party screen saver or one of the default applications that comes with Windows? Do you spend much time thinking about which screen saver you want to use? Do you change it often?
For me, the answer to all those questions is no. I set the time limit on the power settings and that is it. Am I in the minority or the majority in this regard?
Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.