The Case Against Screen Savers

I don’t use a screen saver because:

  • It distracts me.
  • It doesn’t let the CPU sleep, hence generating heat.
  • It provokes silly discussions like ‘OMFG, Wow, can you give me the .exe?’ [No, but here’s the .deb]

I use a power-off-monitor-after-two-minutes-of-inactivity scheme because:

  • I want the backlight to last longer.
  • I want it to save my kilowatts, not my ‘screen’.
  • If it kicks in while I’m in front of the PC, I know I must have been wasting time / day-dreaming.

Pragmatic, heh? 8-)

2 Responses to The Case Against Screen Savers

  1. Alex says:

    I got your point, but there are some things you might have missed:
    the monitor may be better off if you let it work, rather than stress it with multiple on-off cycles. Seriously, this is a very important detail, and many people miss it.
    sure, you save energy, but you may shorten the monitor’s life, thus you’ll have to buy a new one sooner, thus you’re hurting the planet’s ecosystem because producing a new monitor requires energy, and may use components that are not environment friendly.

    In the long run, you can do more harm than good, not only to the planet, but also to your wallet.

    I use a screensaver:

    simple one, so it does not use more CPU cycles than my machine normally does when it is idling (-: The one I use is a simple blank screen
    my IM client is configured to set my status to “away” when the screensaver is active
    the interval is set for Delta_T minutes, and sometimes it is too short; at times I am reading a page which is quite complex and takes more than Delta_T minutes to understand, so I just look at it without moving anything;
    Videos on Youtube can be interrupted by the screensaver too
    Sometimes I experiment with something with pen+paper and I need to sync myself with the stuff on the screen every now and then – a screensaver would force me to move the mouse at each Delta_T+eps

    So, my Delta_T is rather high. And if I don’t need the screen, I just turn off the monitor.

  2. Constantin says:

    I didn’t give you all the facts; specifically it’s a notebook screen I’m talking about, and there’s no button to turn it off, you have to close the lid. The hinges are already shabby, so I don’t want to overuse them.

    Give me a link to where you’ve read that often on-off cycles hurt a monitor. I’ve heard similar things only about electronics with movable parts.

    About delta_t, I move my mouse pretty often even when I work with paper, especially to select the paragraph / line I’m currently on.

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