Here's that Rainy Day (Screensaver)

Bring a relaxing rainy mountain valley to your desktop with this free screensaver.

Screensavers were as necessary as antivirus software when CRT monitors ruled the desktop. They kept your screen from burning in, but they also provided a way to really personalize the personal computer, which was a pretty stodgy affair at the time. Today's widescreen LCDs don't require screensavers, but they're still around. The original animated desktop display now offers sound and other multimedia features. We looked at a free screensaver that upholds this software tradition: Rainy Day Screensaver from ScreensaverGift.

Rainy Day Screensaver's installer opened our Screensaver Properties when it finished. We clicked Settings, where we could set the intensity of the rainfall with a slider, enable sounds or music, set up an onscreen clock, and other choices. One feature we liked was the ability to configure how the screensaver fits the screen. The different choices change the perspective of the scene, which makes for variety. The screensaver itself shows a peaceful mountain valley and stream, with realistic rainfall and drops, including ripples in the water. The soundtrack's dramatic thunderclaps don't really fit the scene, though turning the rain up and the sound down produced a realistic effect that was actually quite relaxing. The trees in the scene move independently, just like real trees in a wind. We'd like the ability to change the rainfall sound effects to match the display, and we'd really like to ditch the thunder. We enabled the music feature but didn't hear any, which is just as well because we don't like musical screensavers; not at home and definitely not at work, where they're the digital equivalent of secondhand smoke.

Rainy Day Screensaver had a hard time staying put in our screensaver list. Turning off the screensaver and then turning it on again, we were surprised not to see it in our screensaver list. We ran the installer again, and Rainy Day Screensaver reappeared. However, it disappeared again when we changed our settings once again. Nevertheless, we like Rainy Day Screensaver's effect and see no reason not to give it a try.

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