My wife’s Mac uses the screen saver. My Mac does not. Is that a guy thing? Is it truly personal preference?
Or, is there something else going on? Is a screen saver really needed? What does your screen saver say about you?
Yesterday I walked by Carol’s Mac and noticed the screen saver. The screen flipped over various album art from iTunes.
While admittedly colorful, I poke at Carol with a technosuperior air of authority, “You don’t need to run a screen saver on a Mac, you know?”
To which my sometimes argumentative wife responded with a cool, “So? I like it.”
It’s hard to argue with logic like that and after many years of marriage I’ve learned not to take certain conversational paths.
I haven’t used the screen saver, Mac or Windows for many years. Why not?
Somewhere I read that they’re pretty much worthless eye candy and it’s better just to shut down the screen.
That’s what I’ve been doing. No screen saver. I set the Energy Saver for about five minutes to blank the screen and that’s it.
Believe it or not, I haven’t even looked at Mac OS X’s screen saver options since, uh, probably Jaguar. What did I find in Tiger?
More options, more cleverness, and still no overriding purpose other than eye candy.
A quick trip to MacUpdate for a list of screen saver utilities turned up more than an unexpected surprise.
There’s all kinds of screen savers, utilities, options, tools, and the like—dozens, actually, and most updated recently.
That says something about the robust nature of the screen saver development community, though about half of what I considered recent updates were free.
The next hour kept me busy looking at different options, tools, utilities, and screen savers.
My early favorite was Headlines. It beats standing in line at the grocery store.
There are all kinds of slide show screen savers, and nearly as many that do movies. Some do fireworks, some do ancient PC games, others to iTunes album art.
SoundStream was rather cool. It uses a randomly moving particle generator that reacts to sound coming in through your mic or iSight camera.
Of course, if you’re not using the Mac there’s probably not much going on to generate sounds. Firestorm is similar and as cool.
Typical of screen saver fare is the 3D aquarium from Useless Creations.
After digging through dozens of screen savers and utilities, I’m back where I started. They’re useless, or nearly so, especially for a Mac
For larger Apple Cinema Displays a screen saver with family photos or great digital photo shots roll by is warm and fuzzy, especially at this time of year.
What’s your poison? Do you use the Mac’s built-in screen saver, or do you have an add-on that’s even better? Share your habit with Mac360 readers via the Comments section below.