Here’s a new year’s present for a change

Who said anyone with an IT or computer bent doesn’t know how to have fun. Here’s a new year’s gift that will add bang to your bash…


Almost every year, we spend new year’s eve with another family. It started when we had babies and we mutually agreed to conduct new year’s eve at around 8:30pm. (Yes, I know this sounds pathetic, but as anyone with a newborn could attest, we were really, really tired.)


Now the oldest of the children are seven, and we fake news year’s eve at around 10:30pm. I like shiny colourful things, so I normally organise a couple of spray cans of string and some luminescent sticks. The kids then go completely mental running around spraying gooey stuff and swinging glowing sticks. 


I used to organise sparklers as well, but then we had “the sparkler incident”. Without the gory details, the five year old didn’t realise you were supposed to let go once things got a bit burny. Ouch.


I have been saddened by the loss of the sparklers, but this year I have a new plan – I think “a cunning plan”.


So this week’s blog is more of a pretty Christmas gift to you than a story.


Ingredients for the plan:

  • 1 x notebook PC.
  • 1 x data projector (have just bought myself an ACER X12670D).
  • 1 x screensaver software from Really Slick.

Now I have just come across the Really Slick website. It’s a series of screen savers by Terry Welsh, who is a guy with a background in engineering, physics and design. An eclectic mix.


Terry has created some absolutely beautiful screen savers that simulate laws of the universe. His cyclone screen saver is really a full blown cyclone simulation, not just an animation.


Consequently his screen savers require a grunty computer to run. Consider this description of his Hyperspace screensaver: “This is a real number cruncher of a screensaver. Computers are getting much more powerful these days, and my old savers don’t bring them to their knees like they used to.


“This one does. Of course, you can still turn the settings way down if you have a pathetic, old computer.”


Almost a challenge.


Anyway, my plan is to project his skyrocket screensaver on to the back of my house, at midnight, or 10:30pm or whenever we decide to fake news year’s eve.

I think it will blow the kids’ minds. Have a look at the image below. Have a think about what this will look like animated and 10 foot high. I’m smiling already.


Anyway, Merry Christmas.

Really Slick screen savers




Brendan Lewis is the founder of two IT service firms, Edion and Verve IT, and executive director of the Churchill Club.

To read more Brendan Lewis blogs, click here.



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