This is a Windows screensaver I wrote over the weekend.

The idea now is to go to Flickr, grab their photos and run it through as a screensaver on your Windows PC. Nothing really fanciful, simple clean functions. I’m thinking of doing a full page write-up on how I did it step-by-step but it’ll probably have to wait till I have more time. But here’s roughly what I used:

  • Internet Explorer (generally)
  • Ruby (programming language used)
  • Javascript (the slideshow)
  • Flickr REST APIs
  • Tar2RubyScript and RubyScript2Exe
  • Autohotkey
  • NSIS

Quite a gamut of technologies, but that’s that. This is the end result. DOWNLOAD THIS. It’s a bit big though.


  1. Install it (download and click click click)
  2. Open up your Windows screensaver tab (usually right click, select ‘Properties’ and click on Screen Saver)
  3. Click on the combo box and scroll until you see ‘screensvr’
  4. Click on the ‘Settings’ button
    • You will see a list of configurations. You can normally ignore the slideshow timings though. What is interesting is the username and the search text.
    • Username allows you view all the photos from this Flickr user
    • Search text allows you to find all photos based on the search criteria you have (if used in combination with username, it will search photos for that user, otherwise, it will search from Flickr in general)
    • If you don’t put anything in either, it will just get the most recently submitted photos from Flickr (and ignore the sorting criteria)
  5. Click on ‘generate data’ to generate the data for your screensaver. This might take a while as it will need to go to Flickr and grab the photos
  6. Close the configuration dialog box, and click on ‘Apply’

You’re set to go!

Drop me some comments on this. I’m releasing the source code under GPL. I’m releasing this under RubyForge at

5 thoughts on “Screensvr

  1. Great screen saver. I’ve already made some of my colleagues jealous with the purdy pictures. :-)

    One thing, though: I don’t quite understand the timing parameters. I’d like the pictures to stay on the screen for 20-30 seconds or so, but they rush by, staying only a couple of seconds. If I increase the “cross fade duration”, the only effect I can see is that the screensaver shows a white screen for a longer time in the beginning.

  2. Thks! There’s a bug in the timing parameters (actually I forgot to put it in) and I’m away in France for the week. I’ll generate a new version when I’m back this weekend.

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