01 April 2008

FreeBSD logo screensavers

I've been playing around with xscreensaver (x11/xscreensaver) and I've done something fun with a couple of the hacks that you'll want to try. There are many hacks that let you use your own image or images. Many of those, like XAnalogTV or Carousel, work best with a large number of pictures that get rotated. There are a couple of hacks that only work on one picture at a time, and what I've done is modified some FreeBSD logos to work well with those.

First up is the "blitspin" hack. It chops an image into quarters and then rotates those 90 degrees and then does that again to each quadrant and so on. The effect is of the image being chopped into a blocky fuzz and then reforming, but turned 90 degrees from the last time it was whole. Repeat forever.

To make blitspin look nice with the logo, I needed to find a large logo that fills a large amount of the screen and then I decided to change the background to black. This way it looks like just the (roughly) circular logo is there (instead of the rectangular image). It took some fiddling around, but it looks pretty good now. Oh, and it's blue -- how's that for a twist? (To use this you just need to run xscreensaver-demo and then choose blitspin>Settings>Advanced and add the option "-bitmap /path/to/blueball.png" to the command there.)

The other hack that's just begging for the FreeBSD logo is "flag". Some of the doc.s are outdated and still say that you have to use a bitmap with the hack. That's not true any longer as it turns out. But, it does look a lot better if you use a small image that shows pixelation. So, I'd already made a little bitmap and that's what I'm sticking with. I like this one the best. (To use it, just like before, run xscreensaver-demo and then choose flag>Settings>Advanced and add the option "-bitmap /path/to/Logo_FreeBSD.xbm".)

I'm not sure what the heck happened to the color on flag, though. I've tried a couple of things to get it working with the undulating colors, but no dice. If you can figure that out, let me know! It still looks great though.

The only other thing you need to start using these is the image files themselves. I would like to have just uploaded them to this post, but blogger always modifies and resizes images so that wouldn't work. I searched for free file hosting and went with the first reasonable place that didn't want me to register. So, here are the links: Logo_FreeBSD.xbm blueball.png. (Obviously, these are meant for personal use only, and any sort of commercial use would require permission from the FreeBSD Foundation.)

If you're lucky enough to be able to run FreeBSD on your computer at school or work (yes, I am :) ), then show it off with a logo screensaver!

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