Snow for Windows Screen Saver:
User Guide

  • Installation
  • Settings
  • Help
  • Background picture
  • Background mask
  • Using .gif and .jpg as background
  • Where to find nice wallpaper pictures
  • A single color as the background
  • Install/Removal

    Snow for Windows is installed as follows.
  • First you download the zip file "Snow for Windows.zip" to your computer.
  • You unzip Snow for Windows.zip with WinZip, or you simply double-click the .zip file.
  • Start the installation by double-clicking "Setup" and you will be guided through the installation process.
  • You will be asked for Yes or No for these two options:
  •    if you want an icon for Snow for Windows on the desktop or not
  •    if you want to have Snow for Windows start automatically when you start Windows
    Snow for Windows will be installed in the "Programs" menu, so you can start Snow for Windows by clicking the "Start" button in the lower left of your screen, then clicking "Programs" and then selecting Snow for Windows.

    Screen savers are installed in your "Windows" directory if you use Windows 95/98, or the directory "Winnt" if you use Windows NT. You can safely delete the screen saver from these directories.

    Snow for Windows is UN installed as follows.

  • Click the "Start" button in the lower left of your screen, then click "Programs", then click "Snow for Windows", then select "Remove Snow for Windows". Snow for Windows wil be removed from your computer.

    Snow for Windows does not install DLL's or other system files. All files of the Snow for Windows program may be deleted without any danger to your system.

    Settings

    The Snow for Windows screen saver has it's own settings, separate from the regular Snow for Windows desktop enhancement. You select Snow for Windows as your screen saver by opening the "Display" control panel from the Settings. You then click the tab "Screen Saver", where you can select Snow for Windows as your screen saver. If you click the button labeled "Settings..." you get a special Snow for Windows settings dialog where you can specify your Snow for Windows screen saver settings. Note that the settings for the screen saver are separate from the regular settings, so you can have different settings for the screen saver and the normal Snow for Windows.

    Help function

    A short help message is displayed if you hold the mouse still on a button or picture.

    Snow for Windows contains a more extensive help function too. right-click the mouse on a button or picture, and a button "What's this?" appears. Left-click that button and information is displayed. You can also click the "?" icon in the Snow for Windows title bar, and then click the item you want information on.

    Background picture

    In the screensaver the standard background picture is a wonderful mountain winter picture made by J.W. Pieterson, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

    The mountain is shown if you click the picture or the radio button on the right hand side, a picture of your own choice is shown if you click the radio button on the left hand side.

    The picture must be a bitmap (.bmp) file, as you can create with the Paint utility. By clicking the button "Picture" you can select a .bmp file for display in the background. To display a .gif or .jpg file you need to convert it to .bmp, see below how to convert images using Internet Explorer.

    You can select three "modes" to display your picture:
    Full screen
    Centered
    Tiled
    Note that the picture must be the size of your screen for best quality, as scaled pictures usually do not look very good.

    Converting .gif and .jpg images to .bmp with Explorer

    Snow for Windows cannot presently read .jpg or .gif pictures, but there are numerous utilities to convert .jpg and .gif to .bmp (bitmap) format. The easiest way to convert a .jpg or .gif (or other images) to .bmp is to use Explorer. Simply go with Explorer to the web page with the image you like, or follow these steps to open an image file you already have on your computer:
  • Click the File menu and select Open
  • Browse to the directory with the image file
  • Be sure to select All files for the option Files of type:!
  • Select the .bmp file
  • Click the button Open
  • Click Ok

    You now have the image displayed in Explorer. To save the image as a .bmp file follow these steps:

  • Click the image with the right mouse button
  • A menu appears, select the option Save Picture As....
  • A dialog window appears, with at the bottom the option Save as type..., select Save As Type: Bitmap (*.bmp)
  • Click Save and you now have a .bmp file that you can use with Snow for Windows!

    Background mask

    Additionally, you can select a picture to be used as the background mask of the screen saver. The file must be a black and white (monochrome) bitmap file, with the extension .bmp, as created with the Paint program. The snow will build up in the areas you painted black. The mask area you painted black is divided up in rectangles. This costs memory and conversion time. You can specify a limit to the number of rectangles to be used as the mask area. The default is 20000, but feel free to set the number quite a lot higher. If the conversion takes too long, simply make the number smaller.

    Single color desktop

    If you want a single color on the desktop simply click the color icon:

    Below, you can see the selected color.


    Rick Jansen, rick.jansen@xs4all.nl