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Electric Sheep

By ElectricSheep.org Free Editors' Rating

Editors' Review

Download.com Staff Aug 28, 2014

Electric Sheep is a screensaver program that also lets you contribute to its own evolution by voting for your favorite designs as they dance across the screen. "Sheep" in this app are colorful, abstract geometric patterns that flow and fluctuate, and they can keep you entertained for hours.

Pros

Customizable: With this app, you have lots of options for how you want to view the animations and in what context. For instance, you can choose to play them as a screensaver, or in a window in one part of the screen while you work on something else. You can also adjust the speed of the animation and other features to suit your mood or style.

Evolution in action: This program lets you view and contribute to the evolution of the designs you're viewing by actively voting on the ones you like the best. All other users have the opportunity to vote as well, and these votes help to determine which characteristics are incorporated into future designs.

Cons

Internet-dependent: Each time you turn on the app, new "sheep" are downloaded, and older versions are erased. Your votes also need to be sent via Internet, which means you need to be connected at all times while using this program.

Bottom Line

Electric Sheep is a fun twist on a conventional screensaver model. It's free, and its interactive component can get you hooked quickly. In fact, you may find yourself watching the designs flow across your screen for much longer than you intended. But even if you don't get sucked in to that part of the program, the designs are a nice way to keep your screen fresh.

Full Specifications

What's new in version 2.7b34

General

Release July 4, 2014
Date Added July 4, 2014
Version 2.7b34

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 95, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows, Windows NT, Windows 7, Windows XP
Additional Requirements None

Popularity

Total Downloads 36,249
Downloads Last Week 14
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Developer's Description

Electric Sheep is a free, open source screen saver run by thousands of people all over the world. It can be installed on any ordinary PC or Mac. When these computers "sleep", the screen saver comes on and the computers communicate with each other by the internet to share the work of creating morphing abstract animations known as "sheep". The result is a collective "android dream", an homage to Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.

Anyone watching one of these computers may vote for their favorite animations using the keyboard. The more popular sheep live longer and reproduce according to a genetic algorithm with mutation and cross-over. Hence the flock evolves to please its global audience. You can also design your own sheep and submit them to the gene pool.