31 January 2006

Innovation: Screensavers.

In my experience, interesting new ideas often spring from the juxtaposition of familiar ideas. One way that I present myself with these juxtapositions during my working day is by taking advantage of the screensaver on my dual-monitor computer setup at work. (If you've never tried two monitors -- wow, it's amazing how much more efficient it can make you.)

The free screensaver I use is called gPhotoShow. Once you install it, the program points to a folder of your choosing and rotates randomly through all the image files the folder contains. If you use two monitors, it rotates through the photos in different order on the two screens. You can change the settings to rotate through pictures faster or slower, have them appear with fancy wipes or dissolves, etc.

Whenver I come across interesting images in my Internet travels, I save them into my pictures folder. Then gPhotoShow takes care of the rest. If you end up with a nautical painting by Turner next to a nautical painting by Rembrandt, that might not fire up your innovation engine. But maybe a Lichtenstein next to a Velazquez will. I include not just paintings but photographs, commercial graphics, sports images, and anything else that I like.

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