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Happy Birthday, Flying Toasters

August 26, 2005

Do you remember the introduction of the "Flying Toasters" screensaver? I do. Actually, the whole selection of After Dark screensavers were the delight of late-80s computer users everywhere (I actually liked the "fish tank" saver best.) Before that, computers were soulless dust collectors to most of us: necessary but about as exciting as a stapler. There was really no such thing as "my" computer; in an office situation, they were all the same, except for a few personalized saved documents.

The After Dark collection of screen savers, including the famous Flying Toasters, was the first inkling we got that our PCs could be personalized -- could become something more than just a lump on the desk that allowed us to get into WordStar.

In recognition of the birthday of Flying Toasters, After Dark is bringing back the classic. I've downloaded my (free) copy, but I've noticed that the sound of flapping (which is the best part) isn't present. Where's the flapping? I miss it.

Full release is below.


"Flying Toasters" Returns To Celebrate Sweet Sixteen Of The Screensaver

--National Inventors Month Brings Return of the Modern-Day Screensaver at with "Flying Toasters" inventor, Dr. Jack Eastman--, dubbed the 'pop-culture pulse taker' by the Los Angeles Times, announces the return of the very first modern-day screensaver, "Flying Toasters," which gave birth to a screensavers phenomenon in 1989, sixteen years ago.

Before screensavers existed, Phosphor would burn unwittingly into primitive computer screens. And bothered one day by the Phosphor on his computer screen Dr. Jack Eastman (physicist, geek, mathematician, software developer, and inventor of the modern-day screensaver) walked into his Berkeley, California kitchen, looked at his toaster, got inspiration, turned around, and immediately wrote the code for the Flying Toasters Screensaver.

The rest is history. 80 different screensavers were developed into the "After Dark" series of classic screensavers. Today, screensavers adorn 97 percent of all personal computers, according to Dan Smith, General Manager of In the USA alone, there are 144 million computers with screensavers.

Each month a classic screensaver will release from the After Dark series exclusively on month ushers in the second most popular classic, "Flying Toilets."

The classic screensavers can be seen and downloaded at:

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