In these modern times the good old screensaver of days gone by seems to have been relegated to the back-bytes of our hard-drives. This is largely due to the improvements in monitor technology. Essentially, screensavers were used to prevent damage on CRT screens. When was the last time you saw a CRT screen ? I wager a few of you have probably never seen one. Today screensavers are simply used to let people know that the screen is locked or to provide some form of visual entertainment such as psychedelic trippy patterns or fake blue screens of death.
I still use a number of screen savers as I use iTunes on my windows 7 PC quite a lot while drawing or reading and it's nice to have something to look at when my eyes get tired. If you are interested in checking out some psychedelic screensavers I have put together a quick list of some of the better ones that I used to use and a few that I still use today. Enjoy your trip ...
1. The Psychedelic Screensaver
A collection of over 100 trippy screens in this screensaver and ability to customize your own screens too. The author also has a number of other screensavers such as the rather nice kinemorphic's 3D one.
Drempels makes colorful, swirling, hallucinogenic patterns that resemble a hurricane or tornado. Drempels is marketed as a psychotheraputic screen saver. I'm not sure what that means however it certainly is nice on the eyes.
I haven't used WinAmp for about 10 years or more but I do remember there were a few nice visualizer plugins that could really turn your screen into a psychedelic soup. This is one of the best ones. It uses DirectX and intelligent beat detection to render iterated images which blend seamlessly. If you like music visualizers you might also enjoy Morphyre and VSXu.
ScreenPhaser is a screensaver that brings your screen to squirming, writhing life by repeatedly transforming an image of your desktop, or an alternate starting image. Not so amazing but a nice little one to check out all the same.
5. Electric Sheep
Arguably the most popular psychedelic screensaver in history, Electric Sheep is a huge screensaver that connects you to other people across the internet as you all give up some of your computer's processing power to allow ES to generate the most amazing of images. It evolution algorithms ensure that the images your see continue to evolve into new, unique patters meaning you can trip balls until your eyes pop out.
6. Really Sick
A collection of 12 individual trippy screensavers that range from flying through fields of endless looped 3d color rings to mesmerizing particle effects. A great collection !
7. Gravity Wells
Apart from being a potentially good band name, a gravity well or gravitational well is a conceptual model of the gravitational field surrounding a body in space. In short this means the bigger a body, the more energy is needed to achieve escape velocity, I think. It is also the name of a a kickarse screen saver that uses the idea of gravity attractors to create beautiful on screen deep space explosions that have been described as a cross between a supernova and the northern lights.
The ScreenMe saver was created as a meditation tool and when you check out some of the over 20 inbuilt modules you can definitely see where it might be useful in focusing the mind. Some of the modules render so smoothly you might find it difficult to pull your eyes away from the screen.
This one has a number of nice built psychedelic effects. My computer's monitor only handles about half of them however I can view all the modules in the built in editor. The editor is a a nice addition as it allows you to create your own screen-savers without the need for knowing complex mathematics like the square root of ineffability.
This screen saver displays a shiny colorful 3d shape that morphs and transforms itself over the screen, with an array of rainbow colors in the background.
This is a great little screen saver/music visualizer which makes use of grid like framed patterns to produce some stunning visuals. The free version only works as a music visualizer ( I use it in iTunes ) and is nice to have should you get bored of your player's own inbuilt visualizer. The beat matching of the visuals in spot on too. If you like this one I also recommend the ArKaos visualizer which works along the same theme.
Finally we have Fluid, a MacOS based screen saver that I used to use ( before my Mac blew up ! ) and have fond memories of so thought I'd share it here too. Check it out if you like plasma,fluid like trippy psychedelic landscapes.
That's about all I can remember for now. If your computer is good enough then I totally recommend the Electric Sheep screen saver - it's the main one I keep coming back to. There must be a lot more free psychedelic screensavers out there I guess so if anyone knows of some good ones please share with a comment in the comment section below. Cheers.