Dump that screen saver

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Dump those flying toasters and endlessly looping slide shows. They may be doing more harm than good.

In today's world the screen saver is no longer needed, and it has not been needed for many years now. Our monitors are no longer the ones that can end up with so-called screen burn or burn in, as the old green and gray ones once did. So, why do you still use a screen saver.

You do not still use a screen saver, do you?

All I can say is, kill that stupid screen saver. In the “good old days” of tube monitors, and here I must add, the mono-color monitors and the early multi-color ones, screen savers, such as those unforgettable flying toasters, were invented to prevent burn-in, a permanent shadow branded into the phosphors of your monitor by a static image of, say, a spreadsheet that had been left on the screen all weekend.

Today's flat-screen LCD monitors don't burn in and neither do the other variety of the CRT tubes, the more modern ones, any that are less than say eight years old, so if you still have flying toasters or an endlessly looping slide show of your adorable niece and nephew, you're behind the times. When you're not sitting in front of your monitor it should be off off off. Wither turn it OFF physically by means of that button on the monitor; it is there somewhere, I promise, or by means of the power save function of the PC. But, the screen should be off, as in black and nothing happening.

Telstra, the biggest telephone company in Australia, has removed all the corporate screen savers from the 36,000 computers in its offices. What, actually took them that long. I mean, they still had “corporate screen savers”?

So, now that they are gone, what will happen? The change will cut tons of CO2, it is claimed will, which will be the equivalent of taking 140 cars off the road for a year.

Obviously, the Telstra's figures only add up if everyone turns the monitor off when they are not sitting in front of it and actually doing some work on it.

So, let's follow Telstra's example. Let those flying toasters crash and burn.

I have been turning off monitors – either manually or by means of the power control of the PC – for years already. I have never ever been able to warm to screen savers of whatever kind, I have found then stupid in the extreme and also a drain on resources, and at times found them to freeze up the PC and crash it.

While, when using a CRT monitor it took a while for the monitor to be fully there again with today's LCD monitors there is no time lost even if one but turns the monitor off physically, at the switch.

So, lose that screen saver and do your bit for green IT.

M Smith (Veshengro), June 2008