Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Saturated Screen Saver Market Leaves Users Looking for More

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Saturated Screen Saver Market Leaves Users Looking for More

Article excerpt

Hey, screen-saver fans. Want to ground the Flying Toaster? Need to muzzle Bad Dog? Go to the Internet to expand your library.

When screen savers were introduced to Macintosh users in the late 1980s, they actually did "save" the screen. An image left on a monitor continuously could leave a permanent imprint, causing serious damage. Today, advances in monitor technology have all but solved that problem.

"There is no such thing as monitor burn-in," said Pauline Wilhelm, product-marketing manager for Berkeley Systems, the maker of After Dark, the best-selling screen-saver software. "Today, screen savers are mostly for entertainment." When surfing the Internet to add to a screen-saver collection, be prepared to wait as savers slowly download onto the desktop computer, especially with dial-up modems. Keep in mind that free is not always what it sounds like. Since many people have already paid for screen- saver software and pay to get access to the World Wide Web, they are already being charged for access to the screen savers. Some sites that say they offer free screen savers will lead users to a demonstration model that can be downloaded for a 30-day free trial, with a promise to deliver more for a fee. And most important, users should install anti-virus software to protect against viruses hidden in screen-saver downloads. Still, despite the possible pitfalls, several Web sites are organized to help pick and choose the best and latest of the free screen savers. A popular and reliable screen-saver site is the Berkeley Systems' After Dark, which offers free screen savers that enthusiasts create and submit to the company by electronic mail. Berkeley tests the savers to make sure they are virus-free. The site is updated periodically. For Windows users, Screen Saver Heaven is an interesting place to visit for trying out screen savers free for 30 days. But for Macintosh users, forget about it. Screen Saver Heaven contains only screen savers for Windows PCs. The site, which says it has 500 screen savers, is well organized. Users can scan the monthly Hot 10 popular new savers. The site lists the size of each download and provides short descriptions like "gondolas glide through the canals of Venice, with music. …

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