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Screensavers are largely an unnecessary carryover from the days of computing past, when monitor screens were susceptible to phosphor burn-in, a condition that caused ghostlike images to permanently remain on the screen if a fixed image was left showing for too long a time. Modern monitor technology (with the exception of expensive plasma-display screens), are largely immune to this concern.
So why is SuperKids reviewing the Marine Aquarium screensaver? Well, we found the program's beaurtiful marine representations to be strangely mesmerizing, and a reasonable visual proxy for those who don't have access to a real aquarium. Does it allow the same study of marine life that a real aquarium offers? Not at all. It's just a very nicely done program that converts your screen into a visual aquarium, complete with 26 different species of fish, a variety of coral life, and the sound of bubbling water.
Our student reviewers all liked Marine Aquarium. Not because they could do much with it, but simply as a nice screensaver.
Marine Aquarium installed quickly and easily on our test machine. Once installed, we discovered we had to fiddle with the program's onscreen settings, to avoid an annoying flicker problem, caused by the high graphics processing demads of the program. But after a couple of minutes, we found we could reduce the default refresh rate, and eliminate the problem.
Computer owners who frequently leave their computers on for extended periods, and use screensavers. One thing to note: screensavers defeat your computer's energy saving capabilities. Most computer monitors today are designed to go into a very low power sleep mode when left idle for some period of time. Running a screensaver keeps the monitor active, and uses full power.
PC: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP; A Pentium-class CPU (120 MHz or faster); 16MB of system RAM; A DirectX 6 compatible 3D Accelerator Video Card with 16MB or more of on-board RAM; 2MB of free Hard Disk Space. DirectX 6 or better.return to top of page
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