In my copious spare time 8-) I tinker with Acorn software. Most of the stuff I write (in BASIC!) I do because I need an application for a purpose that nobody else in their right mind would envisage, or because I'm too cheap to buy a commercial application...

Recently I've been trying to understand - after about seven years! - how to make programs multitask usefully; maybe someday I'll get round to learning how to program the WIMP. For now, though, I'm just happy that I've managed to adapt some graphical programs for use as alleged 'screensavers' on my Risc PC, running at 1024 x 768 in 32,000 colours. They all have the same basic skeleton structure and can be hacked easily enough if they don't do what you want.

The controls are simple - leave one alone for 5 minutes and it'll cut in and draw over or mangle your desktop. Alternatively, it can be activated manually by pressing the left CTRL and ALT keys together (a beep tells you they've been detected). Quitting is either from the Task Manager (urgh) or by pressing the right CTRL and ALT keys together (a beep tells you they've been detected).

I've finally sussed out a way of preventing them from hogging mouse button presses, and overall they don't get in the way much and work reasonably well for simple (non-elegant) BASIC. You can even run more than one at once, but most slow to a crawl if you do this. The only real problem is if EasiWriter/TechWriter has input focus - it grabs the <CR> that I use to return from the command line (hack, hack)...

The graphical programs they're based on were, I think, all from Micro User or Acorn User cover disks; attributions are as published in the original code. If any of the original authors want their details expanded, they can always let me know and I'll be happy to oblige.

Bruce's 'screensavers'

 !Blakhole/zip (5 kbytes) - sucks your desktop away.

 !Colballs/zip (6 kbytes) - plots coloured balls all over your desktop.

 !JellSnake/zip (5 kbytes) - jelly snakes proliferate.

 !Nematode/zip (6 kbytes) - slower and less squirmy than !JellSnakes.

 !Ripple/zip (4 kbytes) - mucks your desktop up a treat.

 !Swirly/zip (5 kbytes) - mangles your desktop by revolving bits of it.

 !Taglia/zip (6 kbytes) - scribbles coloured pasta ribbons all over your desktop.

 !Wings/zip (6 kbytes) - plots pretty pastel butterflies.