Screen savers: Their Purpose Explained

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. macrumors bot

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    Jul 5, 2003
  2. macrumors 6502

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    Apr 16, 2003
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    Boston, MA
    #2
    Aren't screen savers unnecessary even for relatively new CRTs? I just use energy saver to shut the screen off after 10 mins of non-activity anyway, so screen savers are useless to me.
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #3
    Despite the article proclaiming otherwise, screen savers became useless in terms of their namesake - ie, "saving" screens from permanent damage - when CRT manufacturers advanced their technology in around 1991-1992. If you have a CRT born after those years (and if you don't, are you insane?), the utility of a screen saver is essentially 0, even if you don't use the auto-power-off features built into your machine and OS.

    While the article proclaims LCDs also suffer from burn-in, "despite popular belief" ... well, when you say "despite popular belief" and there's no supporting evidence for your claims that Google can draw up, you need to cite at least one source for your claim. There are "temporary burn-in" reports on SOME models of LCD (which are fixed by displaying a solid, all-white image for about 15 minutes, or which in my experience "right themselves" if you turn the monitor off for a few hours and give the front anti-glare screen time to "cool down"). I assume this phenomenon, which is only termed "burn-in" because kids these days have no idea of the horrors of a glowing green box permanently affixed to the center of a monitor, is what the author is talking about.

    "Burn in" is permanent, and can not be corrected; it can only be made less apparent by burning in the rest of the screen using a white image for several days. At which point the entire screen is "burnt in" and displaying a significantly less bright, lower-contrast image. Not permanent == not "burn in".

    Far more of a concern to LCD owners should be the lifetime rating of their flourescent backlights (and for CRT owners, the half-life fall-off of their cathode ray gun). That is why you should set your computer up to power off the monitor at a reasonable inactivity interval. Setting it to instead display fancy swirling lights "fixes" a virtually nonexistent problem but exacerbates a far more real, and a far more expensive-to-fix issue.

    Kids these days. Sheesh.
     
  4. macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #4
    Their are THREE purposes for screensavers.

    1. Personalization and fun. Like your desktop picture or the poster on your wall.

    2. Privacy--it masks what you were doing from casual glances.

    3. Security--if you use the lock feature, then your computer secures itself automatically without you having to remember to do anything.

    (As for burn-in, I too am highly skeptical. What about TVs though? Some people have computers hooked to TVs for gaming or music or even public displays.)
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I don't doubt that people use screen savers for the "fun" reasons. I lock my computer, then turn off the screen, as I find a screen saver distracting if i'm doing anything else. However, the article was about the "real reason" for screen savers, which hasn't been the case for years.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Jay42

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    Jul 14, 2005
    #6
    TV's do burn in. My friend has a relatively new Sony projection television that distinctly has "muting" burned into the screen.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    shamino

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    #7
    Modern CRTs take much longer to burn in than older ones, but they can still burn in. As an extreme example, I saw a bunch of old monitors that were being discarded from an airport terminal. The column-headings were so burned in that you could read the text with the monitors turned off and unplugged!

    Ditto for CRT-based projection screens.

    Plasma screens burn in even faster than CRTs. I've been in many hotel lobbies where the CNN news ticker has been burned in to a seemingly brand-new plasma screen.

    I disagree with InsideApple about LCDs. I've never heard of one of these burning in. But the backlight does eventually lose its color stability and burn out. A screen saver won't protect you from this, but configuring Energy Saver to turn it off after inactivity will.

    I don't think DLP displays can burn in. I use a few of these projectors at work, and the only thing that ever goes on them is the projector bulb itself. (And these bulbs are expensive, so it's important to turn them off when not in use!)

    WRT my personal habits, I set my screen savers to a simple black screen, and have Energy Saver turn off the display after 30 minutes of inactivity. I really don't need eye-candy flashing around the screen when I'm not even in the room.
     
  8. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #8
    Yeah, I've seen that at train stations - "this train goes to XYZ" even when they're turned off.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #9
    Hm. I was kinda hoping this was about the old TV show. :p Ah well.

    My ss is a star field, floating through the night sky. I have nothing to add to this conversation. Just bored at work right now.
     
  10. macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

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    Jul 23, 2003
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    Austin, Texas
    #10
    One of my friend's 4 year old HP monitor has his desktop burned in. Guess it could've used a screensaver...
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    Sep 4, 2004
    #11
    4. Doing something good for the world. Run a distributed computing project like folding@home or seti@home as a screen saver. Remember to set you energy saver to put the display to sleep a few minutes after the screen saver starts and it will run a little faster and save energy too! My overall rank for Folding@home is 32926 of 480612. :)
     
  12. EGT
    macrumors 68000

    EGT

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    #12
    This is exactly why I use a screen saver. I use Exposé to activate it (bottom right corner) but i've noticed that if you move the mouse within 2 or 3 seconds of activating it, the screen doesn't lock, where as on panther, it locked straight away.

    I'm so picky :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors 6502

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    #13
    My iMac DV/SE has the menubar and apple burnt into the screen. And I noticed the other day that the Apple logo is faintly burned into my iMac G5's screen too, although that's only temporary. And faint.
     
  14. macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    May 2, 2002
    #14
    Good call :) Although note that the screensaver returns much less work than the full-time F@H options--especially for modem users (bug that can prevent results being sent from screen saver over modem--still not fixes AFAIK). Still, F@H saver is the way to go for some.


    Really? That actually sounds great to me--no accidental locking while you're mousing.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    LaMerVipere

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    Jan 19, 2004
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    Chicago
    #15
    The Spectrum screensaver that came with Tiger...it's purdy.
     
  16. EGT
    macrumors 68000

    EGT

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #16
    Ahh good point nagromme, maybe there be reason for the delay. Can't say that i've accidently locked it before though, being on the bottom right out of the way.
     
  17. macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2004
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #17
    What, no comments about old Mac Pluses/SE's/Classics/etc that have the menu bar burnt in? Wish I had a nickel for every b&w Apple display with a menu bar burnt in that I've seen!
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    shamino

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    #18
    Even more amusing are thoose old Macs that have the After Dark fish-tank background burned in.

    Somebody should've told them that "screen savers" are useless if they leave static images on the screen.
     

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