ScreenSvr! is a simple but fun screen saver for Windows PCs. The premise is
simple -- ScreenSvr grabs photos from Flickr
based on your selection criteria, and displays them in a repeating slideshow as a screensaver.
The requirements for ScreenSvr! is simple -- you need Window 2000 or XP, and you need a
connection to the Internet. The Internet connection should be reasonably stable and fast, since the photos
are not downloaded at the PC but retrieved from Flickr real-time. However the photos are cached
locally, so you won't normally download large chunks of photos all the time.
How to use
ScreenSvr! is used just like any Windows screen saver:
- Install it (download and click click click)
- Open up your Windows screensaver tab (usually right click, select ‘Properties’ and click on Screen Saver)
- Click on the combo box and scroll until you see ’screensvr’
- Click on the ‘Settings’ button
Click on ‘generate data’ to generate the data for your screensaver. This might take a while as it will need to go to Flickr and grab the photos
Close the configuration dialog box, and click on ‘Apply’
- You will see a list of configurations. You can normally ignore the slideshow timings though. What is interesting is the username and the search text.
- Username allows you view all the photos from this Flickr user
- Search text allows you to find all photos based on the search criteria you have (if used in combination with username, it will search photos for that user, otherwise, it will search from Flickr in general)
- If you don’t put anything in either, it will just get the most recently submitted photos from Flickr (and ignore the sorting criteria)
Here is a list of basic features:
- Retrieve photos based on Flickr user account
- Retrieve photos based on a simple text search
- Retrieve photos based on Flickr user account and simple text search of photos in that account
- Retrieve most recent photos uploaded to Flickr
- Sort photos by different criteria
- Retrieve selected number of photos at a time
Flickr is free software, licensed under the GNU Public License
, copyright retained by Chang Sau Sheong.
How it was done
I’m thinking of doing a full page write-up on how I did it step-by-step but it’ll probably have to wait till I have more time. But here’s roughly what I used:
- Internet Explorer (generally)
- Ruby (programming language used)
- Flickr REST APIs
- Tar2RubyScript and RubyScript2Exe
- Autogenerate data from Flickr at regular configurable intervals -- maybe use some kind of scheduler to do this
- Configure font-size, type, color etc for the titles
- Other slide transitions other than fade out and fade in
- Do something when the PC is not online -- cache some pics?