Computable Minds -

Screensavers. Save they my screen?

Posted on: Oct, 1st 2010
Phosphorus of a CRT screen
The screensavers, theoretically, serve to protect the monitors from the deterioration of the quality of the screen produced when you leave an image fixed during a lot of time. With the abandon of the CRT monitors in favor of the TFT-LCD, the screensavers leave of be useful, but a lot of people follow believing that still serve to save the screen.

As I explained in the post "The myth of the antiradiation cactus" the older CRT monitors worked emitting an electron beam that touching every point of the screen, made shine a phosphorus located back on it glass. In the color CRT monitors, the phosphorus had three different colors (red, green and blue) and every color had its electron beam. The phosphorus was placed in a mesh like the image at the beginning of this post. The intensity of the color emitted by the phosphorus came determined by the time that the electron beam spend in every point and the desired color was formed by the addition of these basic colors.

This kind of technology had a problem with the static images. When this phosphorus was exited during a lot of time and in a continuous way, it burned losing shine, otherwise if the image had movement, the phosphorus could "rest" in the frames that it had not illuminate. Since in a computer, if we absent during a lot of time leaving the monitor on, usually we leave a static image, screensavers were invented, with the function of that passed a time without the interaction of the user, something with movement was showed, principally effects of graphic programming, avoiding, in this way, that the phosphorous of the screen was burned. Although this didn't avoid that the monitor lost quality of the image with the time, it could extend its time of life.

The present technology of the monitors is very different. The phosphorous isn't used and the led transistor that doesn't burn with the static images, losing the screensavers its utility as "screen saver". Now only have sense its use to collaborate in projects of distributed computing (giving time of CPU to this projects when you don't use it), or to protect automatically the computer with password when you leave it and you forgot block it.

But although at the present doesn't save the screen, are a good decorative element, and some are interesting. Especially the ones that we can find in distributions of GNU/Linux. For instance, these:

- Möbius strip:

Möbius strip

The Möbius strip is a mathematical concept that can be represented with formulas. Is a strip with only one side, only one edge and have the property, between others, of that we can't know what it is the side that is oriented, for that an ant walking over it, after does a complete lap, it will walk to the opposite side.

- One of the 92 solutions to the problem of the 8-queens:

Solution to the problem of the 8-queens

This is a problem of chess that consist in put 8 queens in a chessboard of 8x8 without that it can't kill between them. The problem is usually used as example of a problem computationally expensive to resolve using a schema of programmation called backtracking, although with the use of artificial intelligent algorithms, one of the solutions can be achieved rapidly.

- 3D fractal based in the Sierpinski's triangle:

Sierpinski's triangle in 3D

This fractal in two dimensions is build drawing a triangle inside of other until the infinite. In this screensaver the same rule it's applied but with pyramids.

- Voronoi diagram:

Voronoi diagram

Have applications in a lot of areas of the informatics, in geographical information systems , in graphic computation, artificial intelligence, artificial vision, robotics, etc.

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