jesse_the_k: Cartoon drawing of original Mac with screen displaying the "happy Mac" smile indicating successful boot (old Mac)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Back in the mid-90s, a lovely tool called After Dark came to the Mac. No screensaver was built in to Mac OS. MThe diligent programmers at Berkeley Systems needed to do a lot of low-level work to paint the screen with pretty images -- most famously, flying toasters.

If you're curious, a dozen of the original After Dark screen savers are available, simulated in CSS, here

The reason those programmers were so good at directly addressing the Mac screen is they'd written a utility called inLarge, a screen enlarging system hack which permitted magnifcation of the (then tiny) Mac screen. Yet again, assistive technology users were the alpha testers.

Berkeley Systems made big money on After Dark, and reinvested some into further assistive tools for the Mac, including its first screen reader, outSpoken. But users and developer both saw the writing in the wall: the best Mac screen access software needed to be baked in at a very low level, which Apple has finally done with VoiceOver and the other AT that ships with all Mac products now.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-04 02:01 am (UTC)
grrlpup: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grrlpup
Oh Flying Toasters and Warp, I remember you well.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-04 09:57 pm (UTC)
grrlpup: (Default)
From: [personal profile] grrlpup
It would have been at college, maybe in the computer lab or more likely on my dormmate's Mac, sometime between 1989-1992.

On the dormmate's Mac, there were also the eyes that would follow your cursor around the screen, and a cartoon moose that would appear at intervals and say things like, "Don't you have some reading to do?" Old Macs, so fun. <3

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-04 03:49 am (UTC)
sovay: (Rotwang)
From: [personal profile] sovay
most famously, flying toasters.

I miss the toasters.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-04 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
Oh lordy, I remember OutSpoken. It was most definitely an early screenreader draft, and uf da, did it show! :P 'Button' sounded like 'buggy', for instance. I still made very frequent use of it, out of plain necessity. Mocked it to heck in a spoof e-mail one year, though. :)

After Dark, alas

Date: 2017-08-04 09:39 am (UTC)
bibliofile: Fan & papers in a stack (from my own photo) (Default)
From: [personal profile] bibliofile
I loved those graphics. I kinda miss that kind of screensaver: visually interesting and also somewhat mesmerizing.

And then the upgrade, where you could mash two different screensavers into one! The most popular combo being the lawnmower guy plus [whatever].

about me

jesse_the_k: mirror reflection of 1/3 of my head, creating a central third eye, a heart shaped face, and a super-pucker mouth (Default)
Jesse the K

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