[oclug] Looking for aquarium screen saver
mlist at safenet-inc.com
mlist at safenet-inc.com
Mon Apr 4 09:32:50 EDT 2005
Robert Brockway offered:
> On Fri, 1 Apr 2005 mlist at safenet-inc.com wrote:
> > At home, I've got Linux only. Does anyone know of a
> screen-saver (or even an
> > app that can be run in a big window, if not an actual
> screen saver), that is
> > comparable for rich detail and naturalness of the fishy
> movements? That is,
> > what I'm looking for is a nice realistic display where fish
> are 3D objects
> > with "random" movements)? I'm looking for something that
> will work with/in
> > KDE or GNOME.
> Not 3D last time I checked but I like xfishtank. Let me just
> say that
> winfishtank was a port of xfishtank. Afaik we had a fishtank
> before any Microsoft OS :)
> xfishtank is gpl.
Yeah... well... I don't really care that somebody created an early, flat
amusement where cardboard cut-outs lurch across the screen. I'm interested
in a Linux match for this thing that I'm looking at right now on my other
It turns out that the one I "bought" from MS is just a demo on the Win XP
PLUS! bundle... of which I didn't really want any of the other parts... So
that was a total waste of money, except that it showed me what's available.
Anyway, when you open Properties to adjust the screensaver settings (in the
one that comes with the MS bundle), there's a button to "Get more fish
online". But when you click it, you get the homepage of the folks who
actually sell the aquarium screensaver.
It was created by a guy named Sachs, and uses DirectX.
So... I bit the bullet and bought the real thing (another $20). It includes
a mode for dual-monitor display, that I haven't got working yet, but even
without that, it's really nifty. Several times a day I fire it up just to
watch it and relax for a few minutes (instead of going out to smoke like
some people here at the office).
Anyway, it beats by a thousand miles (1600km for you young folk) any fishy
screensaver that I've seen for Linux. Somebody put a lot of work into
creating the various fish models. They move in fairly natural fashion,
interact (slightly) with the background, avoid bumping into each other,
twist, turn, and flex, swim toward the screen and away with proper
perspective, and they have the proper scaly texture with convincing shading
and reflective properties, translucent fins, moving eyes, etc.
Since everybody-and-his-dog-seems to create screensavers for Linux, and
since there are opensource drawing, modelling, rendering, and related apps,
I had hoped that somebody would have either created a screensaver to a
similar standard, or ported from Windows or Mac.
Matt, the Atlantis screensaver doesn't hold a candle to this SereneScreen
Marine Aquarium thing. Not in the same ballpark. The shark motions are
passable, seen, as they are, from a distance. The whales are really lame.
They look as though they are f***ing their way across the screen. Also,
that's all they do, hump their way back and forth. They aren't models with
ranomized-but-rule-based movement patterns, they're just a series of images
strung together for flip-book cartoon motion.
Like I said, I paid USD $20 for the Windows Marine Aquarium (not counting
what I blew on that Microsoft trash pack). I'd pay twice that for a Linux
equivalent. I don't object at all to people making money for their good
work. I almost wish I had the skills to do it myself. :-)
Kevin (who'd better get back to work, now)
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