Hack 43 Screensaver as Desktop


Drive yourself to distraction by turning your Desktop into a flurry of color or an active slideshow.

Some hacks are just too cool to bother rationalizing. This is just such a hack.

Type the following into a Terminal [Hack #48] window:

% /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources/
ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine -background

Now lean back, press the Return key, and prepare to be amazed. No, you're not imagining things; that is indeed your preferred screensaver running right smack dab on your Desktop, behind and between your running applications (see Figure 4-34).

Figure 4-34. The screensaver running as desktop

Probably the most useful part of this hack is turning it off and returning your Desktop to its unchanging self. To do so, type Control-C in the same Terminal window from which you started the screensaver running.

While any of the screensavers will do, perhaps the grooviest is Flurry, shown in Figure 4-34. More serene, but no less impressive, is one of the slideshows: Forest, Cosmos, or Abstract. Of course, a homemade slideshow composed of snapshots in your Pictures folder will keep those near and dear to you even nearer.

This hack is not for the faint of CPU and RAM. While it's possible to keep the screensaver running while getting things done ? aside, of course, from the utter distraction it causes ? it'll eat up quite a bit of your computer's brainpower, slowing things to a crawl on anything but the latest hardware with plenty of memory.

As you might expect, there are a number of freeware apps (http://www.versiontracker.com/mp/new_search.m?productDB=mac&mode=Quick&OS_Filter=MacOSX&search=screensaver+desktop) available to turn the desktop screensaver on and off without needing a visit to the command line.