Infected Screen Saver is a cool old-school variation on the Matrix look | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Infected Screen Saver is a cool old-school variation on the Matrix look

Infect your desktop with this cool Matrix-like screensaver.

Matrix-style screensavers have been around almost as long as the "Matrix" movies, and in many variations of the original falling-code theme. It's an iconic look that says "computers" the way Greek columns say "buildings," and is just as easily renewed. Vastimil Burian's Infected Screen Saver is a good example. It's based on the original Matrix code look, but it "infects" your screen with code when it's activated. The effect is cool, of course, like the many "original" variations, but Infected Screen Saver is different. For starters, you're not limited to the green-on-black look; you can specify any color or select a random option that changes the look for you. You can also change the speed at which the infection takes over your screen. Infected Screen Saver is freeware that's ready for Windows 8.

Installing Windows screensavers is not the most challenging of tasks, and Infected Screen Saver is no exception. Once you've run the program file, all you need to do is access your screensaver settings in the usual way, typically by right-clicking the desktop and selecting Personalize. If Infected Screen Saver isn't selected, browse the screen saver menu and select it from the list. As usual, the first thing we did was press Preview to see what the screen saver does. Infected Screen Saver starts with green code characters on a black background. The code rapidly spreads in "viral" fashion to nearly, but not quite, consume our screen. Once achieved, Infected Screen Saver maintains the effect. We set our Wait interval and other screensaver options and pressed Settings, which opened a dialog containing Web and email links, a slider for selecting the infection speed and a color picker with Random and Selected options.

Like screensavers themselves, the green-on-black "Matrix code" theme has essentially outlived its original purpose and survives on what boils down to a mix of usefulness and "coolness." Though classically simple, the "computer code" look is almost mesmerizing, and there's no doubt that it's effective as a screensaver, too. Infected Screen Saver is old school cool, whether you're a fan of the "Matrix" series (and screensavers) or just like the look.

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