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Old 05-24-2010, 03:09 PM   #1
JohnWho
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Right Arrow Will MA 3.1 be a "screen saver"?

Oh, I know, we've discussed the MA/SS things a number of times, but the new changing background in what will be MA3.1 changes things a bit.

What prompted me to post this is this link on the Serenescreen website: Serenescreen FAQ - Screen Savers & Burn in(down toward the bottom of the page)

So, will MA3.1 meet the "complete screen refresh" that they discuss?

Well, almost.

If one has more than one background color set selected, two or more color sets will be on screen for longer than 1 second (forcing a transition), two or more color sets are different (setting two sets exactly the same does not cause a transition and the color does not change), and have "change colors automatically" on (checked), then it does completely change the entire screen in cycles.

Even if one only has one background set selected and Red, Green, and Blue are all set for "0" (black, or pixel "off"), it would seem to meet the requirement.

However, since those items are not being forced by the program, I believe it still will fall under the cautions that SereneScreen discuss in their FAQ.

Now, if one could not turn off the color changing, and could not set only two color sets with exactly the same colors, ...

Why bring this up, again?

Not for a re-hash of the technical aspects of "burn-in", but to encourage a conversation regarding the "marketing" aspect of MA3.1 as a "screen saver", especially since it will run as an "scr" in Windows' Screen Saver menu.
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
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How many people are still using screen savers to avoid burn-in?
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Old 05-24-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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Dunno. Doubt if it is any, AKcrab, but there's always someone...

However, as long as SereneScreen is saying what they are saying on their site, they've put the question out there, in my opinion.
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:01 PM   #4
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Originally posted by AKcrab:
How many people are still using screen savers to avoid burn-in?  
My guess is about 95% of Windows users are using screen savers. My guess is that about 95% of those have never considered why, or don't care why.

As I recall, all recent versions of Windows, when newly-installed, run a screen saver by default - so people would have to do something to not run one.

And, of course, lots of folks still have CRT monitors (2 of 9 computers in my house, for instance).

All of that, of course, was not your point. I agree that very few people who have non-CRT monitors, and who have a clue, would be deeply concerned with burn-in.

On the other hand, there's JohnWho's question.

I also believe that most computer users, when they read "screen saver", actually think "something that displays nice stuff on my screen when I'm not doing anything else".

So, I'm content with MA3 being advertised as a "screen saver".

Just my 1 cent (I'm on a break).
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Old 05-24-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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Originally posted by Dale:
I also believe that most computer users, when they read "screen saver", actually think "something that displays nice stuff on my screen when I'm not doing anything else".  
I agree.

However, the idea that a SS also refreshes all the pixels seems to be what the SereneScreen folks also use as part of the definition.

To that end, MA 3.1 certain can be a screen saver, but it can also be set up to not be.

So, I'm content with MA3 being advertised as a "screen saver".
It certainly can be run in "screen saver" mode, I'll agree with that, too.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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We don't advertise it or market it as a screensaver. It's an aquarium simulation, which can be set up as a Screensaver (a program which Windows can bring up automatically). This capability was added the night before I first shipped the program, by changing the extension from .exe to .scr. It was never intended to 'save' the screen from anything, but is quite useful as a screen BLANKER, which is used to hide your work from prying eyes when you are away from your computer.
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:40 PM   #7
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I understand that, Jim.

However, when the background color changing is set properly, does it not meet all of the aspects/requirements of a screen saver?

If so, can it not be advertised as having a "screen saver mode" or similar?
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Old 05-24-2010, 06:43 PM   #8
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I have always kind of thought that was wrong and it would be better called a screen saver.

A simulation is : Something which simulates a system or environment in order to predict actual behaviour; The process of simulating.

The creatures you include in some cases would not be able to co-exist in a real tank. Therefore calling it a simulation is sort of a misnomer IMHO.
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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Mac OS takes care of that.. Windows doesn't have a similar feature?
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Old 05-24-2010, 08:38 PM   #10
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Yes, Windows allows a password before a screen saver can be cancelled and a user returned to their program or the OS.

I'm thinking harris may mean a different password - one that restricts access to MA3, somewhat like "testfish" does now.

At least, that's my thought.
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Old 05-24-2010, 09:56 PM   #11
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Michael - assuming the Screensaver label is off the table (and it is), what would you call it if not an aquarium simulation?
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:09 PM   #12
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Virtual Aquarium
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:26 PM   #13
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OK, maybe.
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Old 05-24-2010, 11:48 PM   #14
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I would rank MA1.1/2.0/2.6 slightly higher on meeting the criteria of a screen saver because they all had automatic light adjustment of both the foreground and background.

By adding automatic lights to the automatic camera panning of MA3, MA3.1 should qualify even more as a "screen saver" than the old versions did.

A "screen saver" to properly qualify as such, must change all the pixels on the screen frequently enough to prevent burn-in (even though such a thing is rare on all but Plasma and CRT displays). How does MA3.1 (what Beta 11g will possibly become) not qualify?
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Old 05-25-2010, 01:23 AM   #15
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Yes, it's probably pretty good at preventing burn-in, but I see no upside to making guarantees in that area.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:54 AM   #16
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MA3.1

Jim,

Since we a discussing 3.1 are you close to posting this version on prolific?
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:42 AM   #17
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Originally posted by Jim Sachs:
Yes, it's probably pretty good at preventing burn-in, but I see no upside to making guarantees in that area.  
Well, the "up side" is that Prolific can say that it can be run as a Screen Saver.

I know that the first time I saw the product it was running as a screen saver.

Don't know whether it is possible to know for sure, but I would suspect that more copies of MA have been sold because of its screen saver function than anything else. (Don't know if a poll here would be useful on this or not.)

Heck, CNet catagorizes it as a screen saver: CNet Download.com - Marine Aquarium 3.0 (Most likely because Prolific pronounces it as one), and it has been downloaded 440,000+ times since last November.

In my opinion, the screen saver function should not be underestimated.

And, in the "amazing coincidence" category, I just got (9:00 am this morning) an emal from NOVA selling Marine Aquarium Deluxe 3.0 - "The Most Realistic Aquarium Screensaver" for $19.95!
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:10 AM   #18
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Originally posted by JamesMeacham2005:
Jim,

Since we a discussing 3.1 are you close to posting this version on prolific?  
Users testing 11h will certainly make that happen faster.
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Old 05-25-2010, 10:16 AM   #19
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Vendors have to catagorize it as a Screensaver, because there's no other SKU for it. People are free to use it as a screensaver, but promoting it as such has legal ramifications. I've made every effort to prevent burn-in, but there are no guarantees. Let's move on.
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Old 05-25-2010, 02:32 PM   #20
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That makes sense.
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