What are the cool third-party Mac OS X screen savers?
By default, there are some pretty nice screen savers on my iMac, but I'm wondering if there are any third-party apps available, and if so, what are some of the best? Do you have a screensaver running, Dave, and if so, which one?
Flying toasters, anyone? Yeah, I can remember when we had screen savers because the screens weren't smart enough to turn themselves off after a certain idle period. You can still see the problem sometimes on the screens of older video games, where they've had the same "play our game!" graphic shown for weeks, months or even years. After a while, the screen really did "burn in" on the image and be ruined.
With MacOS 9 there was an explosion of cool screensavers, notably including what was one of my favorites at the time, the Flying Toasters set from a small company called Berkeley Systems. Anyone else remember that? Goofy, but somehow compelling...
Nowadays Apple includes quite a set of good screen savers for free as part of Mac OS X and for the most part I use photo show, varying which pictures I have displayed, or the "Shell" graphical saver, which I think is pretty slick.
There are a bunch of third-party screensavers on the market, though, including quite a few that are shareware from a couple of prolific developers. To answer this question I spent a bunch of time on the Apple Screensaver Download Library, along with a few other spots, and here are the four or five that I think are the most interesting / attractive:
Moving Photos 3D
This is the coolest photo album display screensaver I've seen, far slicker than what Apple includes. The down side? It's very processor intensive so it might run slow on your computer: test it out. It's also shareware, which means that if you like it, you'll need to pay the author $10 to unlock it.
Download link: Moving Photos 3D.
Bubbles X 3D
Have an insane, inexplicable jealously of your Windows friends with the neat soap bubble screen saver? Now you can have it too, very well rendered, on your Mac. This is also really fast and as shareware goes, is ridiculously cheap: $2.79.
Download link: Bubbles X 3D.
It's kind of retro, but I like the Wargames sort of feel of this wireframe Earth screensaver. And what's nice about this one? It's free.
Download link: DEFCON.
Earth 3D Space Survey
This is one of a ton of cool screensavers from Digital Minds Software, a group that seems to specialize in screen savers for the Mac and PC. I like this one because it offers a spinning Earth globe, but presents the information in a way that makes my computer suddenly seem like a data analysis tool from Star Trek or similar. Fun! $5.99 shareware.
Download link: Earth 3D Space Survey.
One more: Paper Pilots is another rather expensive screensaver ($10 Canadian) but it has such a different look that it's worth a mention. I love the paper cutout style and wish that they moved rather than the tiny paper airplanes flying around, but either way, it's a fun sort of vintage look for your computer when it's otherwise idle.
Download link: Paper Pilots.
That's what I've found so far. Check out the Apple archive, and talk with your Mac fanatic friends. There are probably a ton more great screensavers out there, and please don't hesitate to add your favorites below too.
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