After Dark Screensaver

I’m a late adapter. It always takes me awhile to pick up on new technology. CD players, Ipods, smartphones. I only got them way after they were no longer the new thing. Same with computers. It was 1996 before I got my first computer. And when I did get it, I didn’t know what to do with it. I did know one thing I wanted on it, though. And that was a screensaver. Specifically, the After Dark screensaver.

Why did I want this so bad? I don’t know. I just had this thing for quirky little fantasy worlds. That’s why I loved early computer animation, late night cable TV, Xanth novels, and ocean sound albums. They just spoke of another place, a place more deep and serene than I was inhabiting. And the After Dark screensavers fit right into that motif. There were things simultaneously deep and bizarre: flying toasters, aquariums, floating clocks, and my personal favorite, red eyes peering out of the darkness. It was just the kind of thing I wanted running on my computer screen at all times. Making it even cooler was the fact that many screens were customizable. I could control how many eyes appeared, how frequently they appeared, and what sounds played when they appeared. You could customize the other screens like this as well.

Now I had these screensavers on my Windows 3.1 operating system. Today, they can still be had, but I can’t run them on my Windows 7 computer. That doesn’t mean someone couldn’t get them to run on Windows 7, it just means I can’t. But they are still in my memory, and they’re still on YouTube as well, so I can still slide into that fantasy world now and then.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

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6 thoughts on “After Dark Screensaver

  1. Makinbacon says:

    I did manage to get After Dark 4.0. I ran the setup in compatibility mode for win98/se then just set the program to run in the same mode. Open your screen saver and select ” Unload to selected module: and wa la. Still working on how to configure it.

  2. Makinbacon says:

    Well I discovered that there is a reg key in the after dark folder. There is an entry for the screen saver. [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Berkeley Systems\After Dark\Folders]
    “After Dark 4.0″=”Flying Toasters!” Just replace the Flying Toasters! with another name from the After Dark 4.0 folder. Then it will launch that one instead. If you try to run the after dark interface it just opens the screen resolution page for Windows.

  3. The part with “They just spoke of another place…” is SO beautiful, I can relate to a similar compellance to visit those “otherplaces” at the time. I still do. Thanks for sharing your story, I have many fond memories of After Dark as well, including using ResEdit to change graphics according to the Art of Darkness book. :)

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