Thursday, May 15, 2014

Screen Saver

Way back in the early days of personal computing, when the lumbering cathode-ray tube display ruled the desktop, a small and nimble type of program evolved. It was called a screen saver, and its function was to prevent an image from staying in one place on the screen for a long time. This was necessary because the CRT phosphors could be damaged by such over-exposure, leading to a permanent "burning-in" of the image. A screen saver would come on after a few minutes of PC inactivity, turning off the screen or, more entertainingly, filling it with moving images.  Flying Toasters was perhaps the best-known but there were scads of others.

Technology marches on as it is wont to do. CRTs are all but extinct, and screen savers no longer crawl endlessly across our displays. But still I think of images that are displayed when a computer isn't active as screen savers (not "Desktop Background" as Microsoft puts it). This came up because I recently bought a lightweight laptop, the Aspire S7, for backing up photo files when travelling. It weighs in at a dainty 2.3 pounds and fits easily into the laptop slot in my camera bag. After loading Lightroom and upgrading to Windows 8.1, it still has about 72 GB free on its SSD, which is sufficient to back up photos on any trip I'm likely to take. It also has a microSD slot, in case I get ridiculously profligate. It replaces my ancient but trustworthy Toshiba Satellite that runs the unsupported, unspeakable Windows XP. RIP, Satellite. You too, XP, I suppose.

Shunning the smartphone-like touch screen of Win 8.1, I opted for the more conventional desktop. Naturally I needed to choose a screen saver image. What better excuse to rummage through my catalog? I returned as I so often do to one of my favorite locations, the Lewes Rehoboth Canal in Delaware. This was one of many images made early on a September morning (cropped to the Aspire's 16 by 9 aspect ratio).

Lewes Rehoboth Canal, September 2012
The details: Pentax K-5 on tripod 1/250 sec. at f/8, ISO 200, 50mm(smc Pentax-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM).

No comments:

Post a Comment