Remember 'Flying Toasters'? A Journey Through Screensavers Past

More

flyingtoast615.png

Until this moment, I had completely forgotten about Flying Toasters. And Flying Windows. And, for that matter, the entire After Dark collection of cheesetastic mid-90s screensavers PC-based performance art.

Thankfully, the Internet was there to remind me. Mental Floss's Chris Higgins has gathered a collection of ten of the most pixellatedly wondrous screensavers from the era when screens were so fragile that they needed to be saved. He has done this so that you may reminisce, and contemplate the passage of time, and otherwise mystify your mind.

Here are the Flying Toasters:

And here is the ever-existential Starry Night:

And here are some -- oh, YES -- 3D Pipes:

It's crazy how familiar, still, all these images and movements are. And it's crazy as well how easily I had forgotten about them once they were replaced by something better. Which is to say, by something more personalized. Higgins's collection is a good reminder that once -- for a weird, wonderful moment -- an idle computer screen led to an inevitable, and nearly universal, sight: a flock of appliances, cheery and absurd, flapping their way through the darkness.


Images via Microsoft, Mental Floss, and joy; link via Philip Bump.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In