Holding Pattern Screen Saver!


Ok, my grandpa knows how much I love flying. He sent me this link a screen saver that basically shows bits of planes and things. Here is the link:



I have the screensaver on my main computer at home. It’s pretty neat.


Downloaded screensavers are the greatest single source of malicious hijackers, spyware, and adware. Typically, you don’t know about that until it’s too late and you’ve been infected.

Instead of a screensaver, I just use Window’s “Active Desktop” which I set up to show the flight activity of my nearest airport, KADS. It dynamically updates itself, so that all I have to do to view it is to minimize the overlying windows. It’s not even necessary open a browser window.

How did I do it? Rather than repeat what I’ve written a couple of time, it can be found by searching the forums for “active desktop”.

I’ll prefer it to a screensaver any day.


That’s why I use “protectection”…
McAfee is like a good condom for your operating system…

Unlike women, the more you see a program (or screen saver) used, the safer it usually is :laughing:
I’ve seen this screen saver on quite a few machines.


Once again, I stated it was safe. And if your computer doesnt have any protection your probably being watched as you speak!


Screensavers are eye-candy at best, and akin to a virus at worst.

No modern system needs one as screen burn is no longer a problem. Plus, they’re wasteful of system resources as they run constantly in the background, wasting memory and HD access. This is particularly apparent on laptops.

They’re also not LCD friendly, as these are better set to turn off after some set time rather than display something incessantly when no one is around.


As a result of a malicious screensaver, I am now multi-protected.

I had downloaded a screensaver that several people had asserted was ‘safe’. Almost right away, my browser ‘Home’ page was replaced by something else. If I reset the page on the ‘Options’ menu, the browser used the junk ‘Home’ page the next time a ‘Home’ page was requested.

I started getting multiple pop-up ads, even though I already had a pop-up blocker. My Google searches got redirected to an advertising page first so that I always had to hit Google twice to get one search. I started getting O/S error messages I had never seen before.

It took more than 4 months to get my system back to normal. McAfee and Norton would not have protected me on the download, nor could they cure the problem after it occured because I was not afflicted by a virus.
My problem was two hijackers, spyware, and multiple adware files that installed along with the supposedly ‘safe’ screensaver.

I found the solution to my problem with Spyware Doctor. It resolved the hijacker problems and removed 47 files of spyware and adware. I run a spyware scan weekly and my system remains clean.

I still occasionally see people claim that the screensaver I downloaded is “safe”. I know it’s not.

Toolbars can cause many similar problems. Comcast is my ISP. Comcast’s toolbar has some interesting features, so I downloaded it. After that, every time I tried to open a new window, the toolbar tries to install itself as my default search engine. Spyware Doctor alerts me to the event and I veto the attempt. It’s still a pain, because I do open new windows all the time. I called Comcast tech support and asked how to stop the attempts. They tell me that I can’t. All I could do in uninstall the toolbar. Well, I like the toolbar’s features so, instead, I configured Spyware Doctor to automatically veto the default search engine request and just display an alert for a second or two. I don’t have to do anything for that now.

My point is that even when you’ve been assured multiple times that a screensaver is “safe”, take that claim with a grain of salt. One bad experience is a hard teacher. Virus protection programs aren’t enough. Now that you’re acquainted with FlightAware, why not one of its pages as an ‘Active Desktop’ and eliminate the need for screensavers?


but was the safty programs a piece of crap or good security?


Ahhhh, now that’s opening a can of worms!

I routinely use Norton Anti-Virus (Symantec) and have no problems with it. I will occasionally scan with McAfee. I’ve done online virus scans (AVG, I think). As far as I’m concerned, they’re all pretty much equally effective, yet you will find people online who write as if each of them is that “piece of crap”. That’s just not my experience with them. I’d rely on any of them, though NAV is my main anti-virus software.

Still you have to remember that anti-virus software is not constructed to seek out adware/spyware. If they don’t find spyware that’s on your computer, I don’t think you ought to knock them down to “piece of crap” status.

For adware/spyware removal, I rely on Spyware Doctor and on Spybot S&D, which are very effective. I also periodically run Yahoo’s spyware detector, Comcast’s software, Microsoft’s spyware detector, Spy Protector, RegAlyzer, and pop-up blockers that are part of the Firefox and Avant web browsers.

After I finally got rid of the screensaver’s uninvited guests, I’ve had no problems.

Your “can of worms” about safety programs being a “piece of crap” or good security is really an irrelevancy. The fact is (regardless of safety-program quality) that screensavers are, as a software category, quite dangerous to download. They are an endangering species. Why download them when you don’t have to? JHEM has pointed out that they are unfriendly to modern computer systems.

All I’ve done is suggest an alternative that is effective and brings FlightAware to your screen even if you’ve not opened a web browser window.


Forget the security and just upload the screensaver or not!


NOT! NEVER forget the security!


Just because one says, “It’s safe,” does not necessarily mean it is so…

If we all took everyone’s word that every program was “safe”, there’d be a lot of unclean systems running around promiscuously on the Internet!

Come to think of it, there are a lot of unclean systems running around promiscuously on the Internet!

I’m not saying that I doubt your honesty or integrity… What I’m saying is that, as a general rule, I doubt EVERYBODY’S ability to provide clean and safe files…


NeedleNose: “I’m not saying that I doubt your honesty or integrity… What I’m saying is that, as a general rule, I doubt EVERYBODY’S ability to provide clean and safe files…”

Thank you for saying that, NeedleNose.


Just get a Mac and you don’t have to worry about spyware or viruses.


But THEN you can’t run ANY programs! :unamused:


Besides being a bad speller (see other postings by this guy), he really stupid when it comes to computers. Unless your IQ is ths same as your show size, you should NEVER forget about computer security! You should also NEVER download screensavers unless you are 500% sure they contain no spyware, adware, malware, or other bad stuff.


That bears repeating: Do not neglect computer security!


…I have a eighth garde edauction… There that’s something to be proud of!

Sometimes it’s the typing that gets me!


That’s why I checked my writing before posting Hit preview, review what you wrote, make any corrections, then hit submit.

I believe that a person, by the time the 8th grade comes along, should be able to spell correctly or at least use a dictionary to look up a word.

Hint: Use Google as a spell check. Enter your search term into the Google search box. If it is misspelled, it will ask you if you want meant something else. Even better: Download the Google toolbar. It comes with a spell checker.


psh… Who has the time for that? If it makes you happy I will spell check. Maybe they could add a spell check button. I might just suggest that!


So are you the pot, or the kettle today?