Microsoft

Poll Results: Do you still use or even have an active screen saver?

See how your TechRepublic peers answered this question: Do you still use or even have an active screen saver?

On April 15, 2011, I asked the readers of the TechRepublic Microsoft Windows Blog this poll question:

Do you still use or even have an active screen saver?

This poll question arose out of a photo gallery produced by our Windows expert, Greg Shultz: "Flying Toasters - A Look Back at After Dark for Windows 1.0."

Once upon a time, we all put great time and effort into acquiring and displaying a screen saver we could be proud of, but with the advent of power-consumption options and LCD displays, the screen saver has lost much of its appeal. At least that is the premise I was investigating with the poll.

The poll responses show that there is no majority consensus on the venerable screen saver. Some still love the screen saver concept, some are apathetic, and some prefer the power settings approach. No matter where you stand on the spectrum of choices, you have lots of company.

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.

14 comments
tech_ed
tech_ed

you would be best served by actually turning your LCD *OFF*. Have you ever looked at the power draw your LCD panel takes? Compare them....look at the back of your LCD (no...don't look at the specs handed down by the manufacturer, they always lie) Look at what the panel requirements are....Now look at a standard CRT. You'll find that the LCD requires much more power (watts) than the CRT. Yeah...that's right...the CRT is more efficient than the LCD...so if you are really that concerned about power draw, switch back to a CRT...it will give you more accurate color, faster refresh rates and greater viewing angles....plus, take less power!

Ninja1507
Ninja1507

I usually have my own screensavers but they aren't big or elaborate, and I don't like screensavers that only display on my primary monitor. So I end up having to make them (I usually use a little trickery to get it on both). But I don't get excited or anything about them.

josmyth
josmyth

Screen savers are so 20th century!

gksmith2002
gksmith2002

I just use the default blank screen as a "screen saver." Screen Savers and the people who love them are huge targets for spam, viruses and malware. After seeing so many screen savers downloaded and installed with a big ol' virus to go with it turned me off of screen savers. Screen savers are for people who want to stare at their computer when it times out and the screen saver comes on.

RockerGeek!
RockerGeek!

On my personal laptop I downloaded a nifty screen saver- but it's a typography-based clock... so when I walk away, 5 mins later there's a big ol' clock and I can peek at it when I'm cooking/cleaning/getting ready for work, etc. It's handy (I don't have a watch XD) and looks sharp, which is why I downloaded it. I (currently) live alone, and don't worry about security. It's the first screen saver I've used in a few years, though. But at work I lock the computer as soon as I walk away, so there's no need for a saver :)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

With power management options and the prevalence of LCD displays, I have little use for a screensaver now. However, several members mentioned security as one good reason for having a screensaver. Shouldn't there be a better way to secure your workstation when you are away from it?

RockerGeek!
RockerGeek!

I want numbers- cold hard facts and numbers. Oh wait, look at the 2 other posts that have numbers showing the polar opposite of your highly uninformed opinion. What world are you stuck in where CRTs have better color, performance, and power draw than LCDs?

Cmd_Line_Dino
Cmd_Line_Dino

From your post... "they always lie" Gee that's not a red flag about what you have to say. Spend $30, buy a power meter ( I use a Kill A Watt ) and measure instead of talking hot air. Actually measuring power usage around the house is fun and informative.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Tech_ed I am curious how you came to the conclusion that LCDs are less efficient than CRTs? What literature have you read making such a statement? What evidence can you site? It is indeed a fact, that LCDs are much more energy efficient than CRTs and there is overwhelming evidence to support that fact. TechRepublic has published a Power Consumption Calculator that shows the increased efficiency very well, I encourage you, and everyone, to check it out. http://www.techrepublic.com/downloads/monitor-power-consumption-calculator/172013

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

If you want to compare the efficiency of a CRT and an LCD, perform the following: 1. Hold your hand above the back section (where the electron gun is). Feel that heat? That's inefficiency in action. 2. Place your hand on the back of an LCD monitor. Feel the heat? I didn't think so...

Rob C
Rob C

I too use the Blank screensaver.

dhays
dhays

I use the Win-L key combination to lock the workstation at work, at home no need, it isn't password protected anyway. Screensaver--I use downloaded pictures (NASA or baseball stadiums) in the Windows version. I used to use a free SS program to do the same before XP, but in XP there is a Windows version "my pictures slideshow" you pick the pictures and go from there. Why use a separate program? Here at work, the system locks you down after fifteen minutes, turning on your SS, unless you have selected "none", after an hour it will shut down the monitor as well. We can't change the power settings.

SKDTech
SKDTech

My PCs lock the desktop when I have been inactive too long regardless of whether I have a screensaver or power settings enabled. Some people just like to have something to let them know the computer is still functioning I guess.