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How To


Special Note: This column is based upon Eclipse version 2.2.0. Eclipse has since been upgraded to version 3.0.0 and has new and different features.

by "The Cajun"
This issue's How To column will concentrate on our screen saver Eclipse . Eclipse is a very simple, very effective screen saver which uses little system memory, and is easy to operate. Of course, you're not going to get flying toasters or psychedelic patterns to stare at, but you will prolong the lifetime of your monitor.

[Eclipse Splash Screen]

We have designed Eclipse to be simple and small (it only uses about 5K-8K of system memory). RAM is expensive, and you don't really need to spend upwards of 100K of system memory just to protect your screen from burn-in damage. The television is not sitting on your desktop, that is in your living room, you shouldn't be watching your screen saver. But if you go for that sort of thing...

Anyway, Eclipse has two modes. Graphic and Clock. In Graphic mode, Eclipse will display a predefined graphic, and in Clock mode, Eclipse will display, you guessed it, the time. The time can be displayed in any font and size available to your system. You can even display the time in Zapf Dingbats, but then you read the time as star-check mark o'clock, or plus sign after pencil.

You're probably wondering when I will get to the How To part of this article.

I wanted to concentrate on the graphic mode of Eclipse. As some of you may know, cutting and pasting between applications is quite simple. Eclipse will accept most anything that comes from the clipboard. As long as the graphic appears in the preview window, you should be all set. If Eclipse does not recognize what is on the clipboard, then it will notify you that there is no picture to paste. This usually stems from Eclipse not recognizing the format of the contents of the clipboard.

If you are interested in pasting a company logo or school emblem into Eclipse, you must first start with a digital version of the artwork. If a digital version does not exist, then you can scan in a copy of it, and maybe enhance it in a graphics program if necessary.

Once you have a digital version, the next thing to do is to transfer the file to the clipboard. This is done by selecting the entire graphic, and choosing Copy from the Edit menu. This will place a copy of the selection into a special place in RAM for moving to another document or application.

Go to the Eclipse icon in the Control Panels folder. After Double Clicking on the icon, you will see two buttons: "About" and "Settings".

[Eclipse Dialog Box]

Click the Settings button, and choose the "Show Picture" radio button. Then click the Paste button, or choose Paste from the Edit menu. Your graphic should appear in the preview window. If it doesn't, Eclipse may not recognize the format of the information. You may have to open the graphic in another application and re-cut and paste it in order for Eclipse to accept it.

When your screen dims, your graphic should appear and move about on the screen. If you get a black screen, and no graphic, but you saw it in the preview window, your graphic may be transparent. Some graphic programs give certain characteristics to their objects for use in layers. If you pasted a transparent graphic into Eclipse, then the black background will show through, making it appear as if the graphic isn't being displayed.

If you own a Powerbook, then you should choose the "White Background for Powerbooks" radio button. When a Powerbook's screen is on, it is black and can damage all the little LCD pixels. So we offer an option for a white background for the Powerbook screens. I bet you haven't seen anything similar in those other "tough guy" screen savers.

And if you have no graphic to paste in, you can always use our new product Snapz to capture a screen demonstrating your dominance in Maelstrom. Every time your screen dims, you can see evidence of your incredible ability at rock destruction.

So if you want to watch your computer screen when you should be working, get a cable add-in card and watch all the Perry Mason you can. But if you are looking for an economical screen saver, Eclipse is your answer.

"Cajun" David Richard
Technical Services Manager
Ambrosia Software, Inc.
AOL: AmbrosiaSW

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