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Revisiting an old screen saver

21 December 2022

Posted in Coding

Preview of the Maeda Wheels 2 screen saver

As I have mentioned before, I like writing screen savers. This time I revisited one that I wrote over twenty years ago.

At the time I had decided to spend a week in a small town on the Costa Brava in Spain. Two things happened: 1) On the way out I stopped by friends in Barcelona, where I flicked through the book Maeda and Media, and 2) I had brought my Apple PowerBook with me. One of the illustrations in the book stuck with me, and I spent a few hours, while hanging out in that beach town, to code an animated version of the illustration from memory, creating the Maeda Wheels screen saver.

At first I didn’t use the screen saver because I couldn’t make it run smoothly enough. Over time, with better hardware, this got better but it still isn’t great with Intel processors driving 4K screens. So at some point, when I noticed the stuttering again, I decided to start from scratch using the low-level Metal APIs. With the book next to me I also stayed closer to the original illustration in this reinterpretation of my Meada Wheels screen saver.