Tag Archives: screensaver

How to Change Screensavers in Windows 7

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Back to basics! My dad asked me how to do something routine: change the screen saver in Windows. This isn’t the desktop background, mind you. It’s just a screen saver – you know, the software thingy that moves imagery around the screen after a specified period of time? And why not just right-click the desktop and do it from there? Well, there’s a reason I step a user through the help applet. The next time they need to figure out how to do something in Windows, they’ll know what to use. Can’t right-click the desktop for everything, yo.

Clicking on the little blue orb with the Windows logo at the lower-left corner of the screen bring up the Start menu. Click the option to the right that says “Help and Support.” At the top of the new screen, you will see a white box that says “Search Help.” Click your mouse there to bring up a cursor and type in “Change Screensaver.” Hit the Enter key, and the best results will pop right up.

Choose the top option. Click the blue hyperlink that tells you to “change a screensaver.” This will bring up step-by-step instructions to help you change your screensaver.

Keep in mind that you need to be careful where you’re downloading screensavers from. Not all of them come from safe and reputable sites. If you’re ever unsure, send me an email. I’ll gladly send you a list of safe sites.

You can use this same method of help and support to change or find other things on your computer.

Spot Draves Brings Digital Art to Gnomedex

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Spot is a visual and software artist living in New York City. Draves is best known as the creator of the Electric Sheep, a continually evolving abstract animation with over 60,000 daily participants. Draves’ award-winning work is permanently hosted on MoMA.org, and has appeared in Wired and Discover magazines, and even as an official skin for Google Chrome.

When not working as a full-time artist, Draves has worked for a series of technology start-ups. Draves is now an engineer in the mapping division at Google Inc. Spot started VJing at underground parties in the early 90s and still performs live.

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Really Slick Screensavers

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The screensaver on my computer is Really Slick. Seriously – it’s slick – really slick.

If you’re looking for a slick new screensaver, look no further. Microcosm is now available for both Mac OS X and Windows, and it’s fantastic. I’ll definitely be using this one for a long time to come.

What other really slick and cool (free!) screensavers do you know of to pass along to our community?

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When Do You Power Down Your Laptop?

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One caller to the live show the other night wondered if it’s a good idea to turn off your laptop when you are finished using it. Many people simply let the machine go into sleep mode or flip it to a screensaver.

When I am done using mine, I tend to turn it off completely if I know I won’t be using it again soon. If I’m traveling and using it often, I let it go to sleep and just get a bit of rest until I need it again. It doesn’t hurt anything to let it sleep for awhile, but I don’t recommend doing it for long periods of time.

Despite the advances in power-saving technologies, it’s better to turn off (and unplug) a device when not in use for awhile. Sometimes, it all adds up when your power bill shows up.

It’s interesting that this question was asked the day that it was. Just that day, a new service from Microsoft popped up on my radar. Microsoft Hohm can help you save money on your energy bill. After you register (for free) and answer several questions, the site will make recommendations based on your answers.

Sadly, I am the Griswold of my neighborhood. I use entirely too much power. I can’t help it! I love my gadgets, gizmos and electronics. It’s an addiction, and I don’t want a 12-step program. I will proudly stand up at the block party and yell “Let there be light!” You don’t think my neighbors will hate me too much, do you?

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iPad Wallpaper Tricks

Everywhere I look there are write-ups, reviews and reports about the iPad. I know – I’m guilty of writing about the device, as well. Let’s face it: this is hot news! However, I do know that there are many people out there who don’t want an iPad, and don’t plan to ever buy one. I’m willing to bet that right about now they’d love to play a dirty little trick on their iPad-owning friends.

Gizmodo has posted several different wallpaper tricks you can play on your friends. A few of them really are cruel, and will likely send the device owner into a frenzy (complete with foam coming out of their mouth).

Notice anything strange going on here? It may take your friend a few minutes to realize they can suddenly open Hulu and use Flash on their iPad. Let’s not forget they also apparently are now on the Verizon network.

You could always play around with the iPad to install this fun wallpaper. As soon as it’s live on the screen, clear your throat and say a loud “OOPS! My bad.” Hand them back the device and watch as they transform into something that looks as though it should be in the next Freddie movie.

You can have a lot of fun at their expense. They might even forgive you for it and find it humorous after a few moments. Just uh… don’t put any of these on my iPad, mkay?

Free Screensavers

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I’ve been making software and hardware recommendations for over a decade, and this one would definitely make my top ten. It’s a free, cross-platform, and breathtaking screen saver that’s been playing on my 30″ screens for the past few days. I decided to take videos from the cache and compile them into this demonstration. What you’ll see on YOUR computer will likely be even more amazing.

I rarely change screensavers. Every time I do, I get flooded with emails and questions, wondering where I’m getting my screensavers. Therefore, this is going to stay for awhile on my machine. It’s not only cool… it’s also beautiful.

Electric Sheep is a collaborative artwork, which was founded by Scott Draves. It’s run by thousands of people, from all over the World. When their computers “sleep”, the Electric Sheep turns on. The computers then talk to each other over the Internet. They share the work of creating abstract animations that constantly morph and change… known as the “sheep”. The result is an “android dream”, which pays tribute to Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

You can also vote on your favorite, with just the click of a keyboard. The most popular sheep live longer than others, and continues to evolve. You can also design your own sheep and submit it to the gene pool!

You can, of course, save these as a video and use them for whatever you like, just like I did for this video! If you know of other wicked-awesome screensavers (or software!), be sure to let me know. However, please try to only send me things that are cross-platform.


Two people have now written in, claiming that this screensaver is full of malware and spyware. This is something I take very seriously, so I checked into the situation.

Any version of this prior to 2.6.3 carried vulnerabilities that could have been exploited in an attack. However, all versions since that time have had no issues, and carry no malware.

As the current version is now 2.7b23, I think you’re fine. 😉

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What’s Your Favorite Screen Saver?

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Even when I have something important to talk to you about, I still find my Inbox overrun with the same question – “What screen saver do you use?!”. For whatever reason, that appears to be a burning question in our community. Instead of recording a video today on some deep, intellectual topic, I decided it was best to discuss these screen savers and soothe the question fires. So – where DO I get those awesome screen savers?

I happen to be using screen savers from Really Slick Screensavers. The screen savers there are available for both OS X and Windows – and will cost you nothing but the time it takes to download the files! They’re seriously cool and fun. I admit to sitting and staring at them at times… totally forgetting to do any work!

So now you know what screen saver I’m currently using. Today – this is my favorite, and what you’ll see on my monitors. Tomorrow – who knows? I tend to change it up a bit, depending on cool new things I find.

If you know of even better screen savers for OS X than what you see I have now, email me a link. I’ll definitely check it out.

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Do You Make Your Own Desktop and iPhone Wallpapers?

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I’ve talked about Desktoptopia before. It runs in the background, and downloads different backgrounds to your desktop. I usually always have it running. Now remember, a wallpaper is not a screensaver. I’ve found a neat website, though, for creating your own wallpapers. Striped Backgrounds is a free service that allows you to create your own striped backgrounds.

Striped Backgrounds is insanely easy and fun to use. Use the ‘Randomize!’ button to have the site choose colors for you. Or, click on the “color picker” button, and choose your own. You decide what color your stripes should be, and in what order. When you’re happy with what you’ve created, just choose your screen resolution, and click the “Download” button. The picture will open in a new window or tab full-size, and you will then just save it to your computer. Poof! You now have your own customized, striped background.

The nice thing is that they also have an iPhone section. Create striped backgrounds for your iPhone with ease. There are a couple of Google ads on there, but they’re unobtrusive. They don’t bother me at all.

This site is easy, free and functional. Be sure to check it out, and then show me your cool new background.


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Where do you Download Desktop Wallpaper?

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Every single day in the chat room, someone asks me where I get my wallpaper from. Sometimes I make them myself, using Oxidizer. Sometimes I download them from somewhere. But my friend Andy Stanberry reminded me about using DestopTopia.

Desktoptopia is a FREE desktop background manager that automatically loads and displays designer desktops on your monitor, as often as you wish. Loving the current desktop? Can’t stop staring at it? Just click Pause in the menubar, and stare all you want. You can also go back, or to the next desktop right from the menubar. Setting how often your desktop changes is just as simple. You can rate desktops anytime from the menubar. You can also subscribe to categories like Photography, Illustration, Typography, Architecture, Graphic Design, 3D, and Abstract. Or you can mix it up with a little from all the categories.

Got two monitors? We’re so jealous. But, Desktoptopia has got you covered. You can decide how you want Desktoptopia to work with your multiple-monitor set up. You can have twice the love and duplicate the desktop on both monitors, only show desktops on one (whichever one you want), or show different desktops on each monitor. Quick, what’s your monitor resolution? Yeah, we don’t know ours either. Desktoptopia will automatically detect your resolution and deliver you the appropriately sized desktop, so your desktops always look their best.

Desktoptopia delivers the most beautiful and inspiring desktops around from our ever-growing collection. But that’s only half the story. They keep our desktops usable, so you can actually find stuff on your desktop.


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How to Make a Cool Windows Vista Screensaver

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DreamScene on Vista allows you to run a video as a wallpaper. Unfortunately, I can’t use it. Vista claims my monitors are too big. That’s ok, I’m not giving them up. I did, however, discover a very cool trick awhile back to run a screen saver behind my active windows.

First you’ll need to open a command prompt. To do this:

  • Click on Start, then Run
  • Type cmd and click the Enter key on your keyboard.

Once the command window is open, you’ll need to type in the name of the screensaver you want, followed by p65552. For example, if you want the Ribbons screensaver running behind your windows, you would type the following in the Command window:

ribbons.scr /p65552

Be sure to note the space between .scr and the /p65552.

Voila! Isn’t this cool? You can now see the ribbons running behind all of my active windows, instead of just a blank desktop.

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