This is nearly – oh, so nearly – my new favourite screensaver. I’ve been using an old thing called Technichron for years. It displays a map of the Earth, using those magnificent composite cloudless day/night images JPL produced some time ago (and for which I’m at least partly responsible for the original UK import, via Stanfords, but that’s another story). Overlaid on the map is a moving mask demarcating day/twilight/night. It’s peculiarly beautiful, and has been a feature of I think three PowerBooks of mine.

Sadly, the code is no longer being maintained. I think it officially failed under OS X 10.3, but it seems to work fine here on 10.4.whatever. But: it’s not going to run on an Intel Mac, so at some stage I shall have to give it up.

Enter: Fenetres Volantes, which is simple, elegant, and beautiful. When sleep kicks in, it flies your windows around gently, setting them fluttering around above a plane, with oh-so-fashionable reflections and the like. It’s very, very pretty – particularly when you wake the machine up again, and all the windows come flying back into formation, once more eager for your interaction. I love it…

…with one caveat: it’s doing all sorts of cunning 3D stuff to produce the effects, and that means it’s running primarily on your Mac’s graphics card. Which, in the case of my PowerBook, runs quite hot. Which means the fan kicks in after a few minutes.

Much as I love it, I’m not mad keen on a screensaver that makes my Mac burn way more juice than normal.

Phooey. It’s really pretty. Harrumph.

(found via the quirky-but-starting-to-be-essential-reading