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Where did you find the ideas for your screensavers? Which challenges did you encounter when making the screensaver? Was the initial idea very different from the final software?

My company, Socha Computing, created the screensaver engine that we then licensed to Microsoft. We created this engine in order to build and sell our own screen savers. The engine was written by Susan Ramee, who worked for me, and I wrote a program that allowed an artist to develop a screen saver and preview it on the screen using a graphical environment. We also licensed this to Microsoft, and their artists used it to create most of the screen savers in the Plus pack. Our company created a screen saver called Imaginaria that was published by Clarus, a division of Apple, under their Clarus Clear Choice brand. The two artists who worked on this were John Mason and James Marsh, located near Monterey, CA. Unfortunately, very shortly after releasing our screen saver, Apple decided to shut down Clarus Clear Choice and refused to return rights to us. This was probably around 1993 (I don't remember the exact year). I don't have any photos of the teams from that time (that would have been nice).

Do you currently use a screensaver on your computer? Do you see a future for screensavers?

Not long after that the price of screen savers dropped way down, probably because there was one software company that produced some really bad screen savers that didn’t sell well, so they dropped their prices way down. Everyone else followed, and that was pretty much the end of the huge popularity of screen savers. The emergence of LCD screens and Energy Star monitors also significantly reduced the value of screen savers. I haven't used a screen saver in a very long time, and I don't see a future in screen savers. They satisfied an important need in the early days, then became a fad. And like many fads, interest waned.

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