[oclug] Looking for aquarium screen saver
mlist at safenet-inc.com
mlist at safenet-inc.com
Mon Apr 4 16:01:25 EDT 2005
Adrian Irving-Beer replied:
>> Since everybody-and-his-dog-seems to create screensavers for Linux,
> Maybe I just haven't been looking hard, but I think there are fewer
> Linux-based screensavers than Windows ones.
There were well over a hundred on the last SuSE release, the
xscreensaver ones and a passel of Open-GL ones. Progress is happening.
> In other words, geek stuff, and not very much life-like stuff.
Well, we know where that came from, but Linux is very quickly
transcending its history... or, at least branching out from it.
Geeks still rule, but sheer numbers are bolstering the demand
for, and the success of, smoothly integrated desktops and modern
comprehensive apps. So, I'm expecting a surge in screensaver
eye-candy any minute now. :-)
> The most important part is that they're fun to make (and hopefully to
> watch, too), because that's about the only reward the programmer gets.
See my comment at the end, on this point.
>> 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.
> AFAIK, most screensaver hacks aren't about drawing, modelling,
> rendering, or anything else. They're about putting pixels to the
> screen (fairly quickly), often with little or no outside help.
Well, that was the standard in the old days, but it's been left
behind. Unfortunately, Windoze is leading in that department.
There're still interesting, free Windows screensavers, but with
all the viruses, trojans, worms, etc. going around, I don't trust
'em. Another reason to hope for more progress on the Linux side.
> The exception are the OpenGL screensavers. The hardware is fairly
> ubiquitous these days, so these are becoming more prevalent. These
> can theoretically benefit from modelling tools, but that requires
> actually building a rendering engine into the screensaver.
> Also, I've found the Linux modelling tools simply don't compare very
> well to the (expensive!) Windows counterparts. Hence, given the cost
> of entry, that level of complexity is usually reserved for deeper,
> more interactive things like games.
Well, it's certainly expensive, but didn't Maya originate on Linux?
Don't several of the computer graphics houses use mostly Linux
computers for movies and game scene creation/rendering?
> > 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. :-)
> While Free Software is about freedom and not price, I know I wouldn't
> "feel right" demanding money for a mere screensaver. Plus, I'd prefer
> it be widely used, even if that doesn't send any money my way.
> Of course, no money means I'm also not going to spend a lot of time
> on something that is functionally "useless" (in the tangible
> achievement sense).
> To me, a lifelike aquarium on a computer screen is neat, but not so
> much that I'd spend all the time making it for free instead of just
> visiting my family and watching real fish. :)
Well, I could hang out at PetSmart... The reason that I bought
it for use at the office is a combination of the neat factor and
the fact that it's relaxing to have it in my cube, without the
expense, mess and responsibility of keeping an actual tropical
fishtank here. So far, the SereneScreen version has not grown
any excess algae or been infested with snails... things that
kept me hopping back in my own aquarium days.
Anyway, my thought was that it would not be such a big step
for somebody who has already produced a 3D game or who has
provided 3D modelling and rendering for the movies (using
Linux tools) to come out with some hot-sh*t screensavers.
The Windows world has a lot of that stuff as promotional and
product-tie-in material. Granted, I still don't have $2000
to shell out for a Maya license, even if I get a spectacular
screen-saver that says it was made with Maya (or other tool
On a related thought, something like the GIMP is a massive
and powerful piece of software, plausibly offered as being
equal to top-end Adobe products. Yet it's free in both senses.
A whole group of people have put a lot of talent and work
into that, and all you can do with it is make pretty pictures...
or make pictures pretty. What do they get out of it?
You see my point? A parallel?
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