In the late 1990s and early 2000s, computer screensavers had served as a reminder that the computer device was still running. For the computer, it’s purpose was to prevent overheating and excess electron scattering in the device. For people, however, screensavers were viewed as a form of entertainment, something to help procrastinate on our assignments. Whether traversing a maze (Windows 95) or flying through a starfield (Windows 98-XP), watching screensavers was an addicting method of passing the time throughout the time period. However, none were as addicting as Windows XP’s 3D Pipes Screensaver.
The 3D Pipes Screensaver featured a black background filled with growing pipes of various features. The colors themselves varied as the screensaver grew more lively until the entire screen was filled with pipes. Once the screen was full, the pipes would disappear, starting the screensaver on a clean slate. It was always suspenseful and addicting seeing what pattern of pipes the screensaver would produce next, not to mention that 3D features were uncommon at the time.
The most astonishing part, however, is that, regardless of how tangled the web of pipes become, there is absolutely no collision. Even though the pipes are grown randomly, somehow the system knows where to place each pipe so that they don’t collide with each other. The same could be said for the “Candy cane” themed pipes which would sometimes show around Christmas. It was just another example of 3D effects becoming mainstream throughout the 2000s and into the 2010s.
The link to this website can be found here: https://1j01.github.io/pipes/ Feel free to take a break from your assignments and be enthralled by the addictive nature of the 3D Pipes Screensaver!