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Starting the OS X screen saver

A friend of mine, and recent first-time Mac purchaser, asked whether there was a way to trigger the screen saver from the keyboard, perhaps from LaunchBar. Of course there are the hot corners, and the lesser-known menu extra (part of Keychain Access), but for whatever reason, they didn’t work for him.

If you don’t have OS X set to lock the screen when the screen saver activates, then just start ScreenSaverEngine, conveniently located in /System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Resources. Don’t do this if you have screen locking turned on in Security System Preferences; your Mac will hang on exit from the screen saver and won’t let you do anything until you reboot or log in remotely and kill loginwindow.

So, I set out to produce a tiny app that just starts the screen saver, in the same way the menu extra does, free of the above unfortunate side effect. Download StartScreenSaver here. Thanks as usual go to Can Combine Icons for the cheesy knock-off icon that took 2 minutes to make, because I have no artistic talent whatsoever.

And yeah, I know I promised I’d write some more; been real busy cleaning, doing errands, and spending too much money (plane tickets to Australia, new digital camera to document trip, non-exorbitantly-priced spare battery for camera, CompactFlash card for camera, annoying StuffIt Deluxe upgrade which doesn’t let you “custom install” and crashes installer when you try to uninstall the Archive-via-Rename functionality by itself…)

One comment on “Starting the OS X screen saver”

  1. earnest
    15 September 2005 | 11:56 AM

    Thanks for the startscreesaver app. I’ve got synergy running to share my keyboard and mouse to computers on the left and the right of my main workstation so I was going nuts trying to start my locked screen saver. This definitely solved my lack of hot corners problem.

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