A module for the After Dark screensaver
from Berkeley Systems
. Written by Harry Chesley
, with some coding by Rob Vaterlaus
The idea for GraphStat came from the cool-looking but meaningless status displays in the movie 2001. You know, the ones representing operational parameters of the Discovery from HAL to the crew, with lots of little text and graphics, and a big three-letter code like NAV, or ENV, or COM. For the movie, the designers created the graphics on transparencies and projected them into the cockpit display. GraphStat uses the After Dark engine to display similar graphics on your computer screen. According to its creator,
GraphStat displays extremely serious-looking but totally meaningless graphs. We believe GraphStat will, in time, compete very well with other spreadsheet, database and graphics packages due to its superior ease of use. GraphStat will, for example, produce beautiful graphs with absolutely no data entry. Think of the time you'll save.
GraphStat is user-configurable. The shapes and lines and timing remain hardcoded
, but there are three fields of text data displayed on every screen. Chosen at random
from lists you can edit, the first field works best with ordinal adjective
s: primary, tertiary, ancillary, main series etc. The second looks good with major systems noun
s, eg. Environment, Navigation, Communication etc. The last list is for subsystem nouns and can be as arcane
as you like: parameters, shield strength, uncertainty, computational intensity etc.
The result is amusing and official-looking folderol that neatly epitomizes the fun and value of screensavers. GraphStat works well as part of the MultiModule mode of After Dark. I used it in combo with Terraform, Vertigo, Lasers2, Mountains and SAD Graph.