XScreenSaver 5.12 out now

XScreenSaver 5.12 is out now.

There are only a few visible changes this time, but there are some big performance improvements on MacOS, so Mac users should definitely upgrade.

I feel a nagging sense of guilt at having released a new xscreensaver without having written a new saver or two since the last release, but I've been sitting on this batch of bug fixes for almost five months waiting for inspiration to strike, and, well, it's time.

(Suggestions for new savers I oughta write are always welcome.)

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25 Responses:

  1. rodgerd says:

    White spheres chase humanoids across the screen and engulf them.

  2. gushi says:

    Subject: 5.12, post: 5.11 (looks like the subject is the correct one).

  3. Something Portal themed.

  4. Have you seen any art by Michal Rovner? I've been wanting to write a screensaver which replicates her "Culture Plate" series, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

  5. jloughry says:

    I fondly remember an old screensaver module called Graphstat (was it in After Dark?).

    It drew impressive-looking charts---log-semilog, polar coordinates, radar charts, all sorts of things. MATLAB-like, not Excel-like. Mechanically, it was quite simple: it drew some random graph paper (often dramatically zoomed and translated), then a random function or two, and finally it labelled the axes with a buzzword generator: "Isopropyl Reactor No. 4 Oscillation Overthruster Temperature (K)". That sort of thing.

    I loved that programme. Please bring it back to life on XScreenSaver.

    • jloughry says:

      This is it:

      GraphStat displays extremely serious-looking but totally meaningless graphs. We believe GraphStat will, in time, compete very well with other spreadsheet, database and graphics packages due to its superior ease of use. GraphStat will, for example, produce beautiful graphs with absolutely no data entry. Think of the time you'll save.

      Source: http://everything2.com/title/GraphStat

  6. danomite55 says:

    I'd love to see a screensaver that's along the lines of this old svgalib program called Synaesthesia. I see there's an X version as well as others.


    Mind you, it's most effective when representing the music currently playing on your computer, but I bet it could still be pretty based on other input whether it be random or not...

  7. dr_memory says:

    1960s-style (camera feedback) and modern-cgi-style Time Tunnels to go along with the 1970s slit-scan one.

  8. ts4z says:

    "War Games" had some fairly entertaining displays. I started to write a screen saver that implemented the tic-tac-toe game, but it was too boring, even when I started running multiple games at the same time.

    Actually, though, Global Thermonuclear War strategy maps would look nice...

    • lionsphil says:

      Yeah, a DEFCON-style glowing-vector-line world map with nuke launches peppering it would be neat.

      And if jwz's on a retro bender, the glowing-vector-line trick could be recycled for a plays-itself Tempest hack.

  9. flikx says:

    Yes, I already do the mplayer hack to play a never ending loop of weird videos from a directory. How amazing it would be to point XanalogTV to a YouTube playlist and have it just work. Okay, now I'm living in fantasy land. It could never be that easy!

    Phase plots of various random nonlinear systems would be pretty cool. Especially with limit cycles.

    I would like to see a simple planar rigid body dynamics hack. Have some two or three link mechanisms get thrown around a simple maze, by randomly placed spring boards, shifting gravity, etc.

    Another idea: virtual macquarium. That would be much more fun than a disgusting lava lamp.

  10. vordark says:

    I've always wanted to see two savers (which seem very similar):

    1. A field of quivering skin with randomly-placed blemishes. Sweating optional.

    2. A mass of goo like the opening scene of Alien Resurrection, complete with floating eyes, mouths and other parts that seethes and boils on my screen.

    I keep meaning to figure out how to make one or both of these, but can never seem to get the ambition to play with graphics these days.

  11. baconmonkey says:

    3d procedural city generator.
    example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d2-PtK4F6Y

    python script for use with Blender to generate cities

    bonus points if it integrates organically pathed municipal structures and Dark City -style moving buildings like this
    which, BTW, runs from a 177k executable.

  12. baconmonkey says:

    a variation on the classic fly-through-tunnel one: the tunnel has some abs(sin()) ridges, is pinkish, bump-mapped with a high specular organic texture - Intestinal Tunnel!
    Bonus points if wriggling parasitic worms are encountered from time to time.
    Even more bonus points for other bodily tunnels (bronchial, branching arterial, bile ducts, urinal, seminal, fallopian...) for the brave explorers to fly through.

  13. jloughry says:

    I always wanted the coloured screens that HAL displays in the film 2001.


    Change one screen every few minutes. It would be extremely cool on multiple monitors.

  14. pmb7777 says:

    How about a screensaver built on top of the visual 6502 emulator?

  15. Jeff Evans says:


    I really enjoy XScreenSaver, but the latest version seems to have a few screensavers that crash my Mac, previewing in System Preferences or running when the time comes. I got the error report for one instance (running AntInspect).

    My OS version is 10.6.4. Let me know if any other details would be helpful. Thanks, and keep up the good work.