Does screen need protection?

FUN OVER FUNCTION?

December 30, 1991|By Knight-Ridder News Service rHC B

While a 'screen saver' program such as After Dark is loads of fun, do you really need one? Several experts said such software was generally a good idea, though no one had any concrete evidence, such as a study showing how they actually prolonged screen life.

To the extent that it's a problem, burn-in is more often seen on monochrome screens that run text-based operating systems, such as DOS, which always put characters in the same 80-by-24 grid.

Graphic systems, such as the Macintosh and Windows, tend to have a more varied screen appearance, though menu bars and certain icons can be problems because they are often in the same part of the screen.

Because monitor designs vary so much, no one could say how long an image must be on the screen before burn-in occurs. Nor could anyone say with certainty whether the average computer user, who performs a variety of tasks for a few hours every day, is even likely to experience the problem.

And to the extent that screen savers are useful, the simplest screen-darkening programs do the trick as well as, if less theatrically than, programs such as After Dark.

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