Screensaver Definition and History

Screensaver Definition and History

This page attempts to give a good, rounded definition of what a screensavers actually is and also provides a history into screensavers from their creation at the start of the computer age as an essential functional program to the artful and imaginative product we know today.


Screensaver Definition

A form of computer desktop modification whereby an animation will appear across the computer screen after a preset period of time has passed without any activity being performed by the user.



Screensaver History

The name "screensaver" originates from the fact that the screen is actually being "saved" when this automated animation appears. In the early days of computing screens were known to suffer from "phosphor burn-in" if left displaying the same screen content for a long period of time. Hence some form of animation was needed to keep the screen active when not used for long periods. Screensaver nowadays have no real practical purpose due to the advancement of monitor technology and the proliferation of lcd monitors which are not susceptable to phosphor burn in due to different technology. Screensavers today are for decorative and entertainment purposes only.