Magic Screen Saver
(Version 1.20- July 30,1991)
by Will S. Stewart & Ian C. MacDonald
1990,1991 Software Dynamics
What Is Magic?
Magic is a configurable screen saver/security utility designed specifically for Microsoft Windows 3.x. If your computer is left unattended, Magic saves your screen from burn-in with its colorful animation, as well as providing password protection for your computer.
Much thanks to the many users of Magic worldwide who have supported, criticized, and paid shareware fees since our initial release!!
Why Do I Need It?
A static screen image left unattended can damage a computer screen as the image gets burned into the display. A screen saver saves the computer monitor from this damage by blanking or changing the display when the computer is not in use. After the timeout period, Magic blanks your monitor and fills the screen with colorful moire patterns. Since the pattern is constantly changing, no spot on your monitor gets burned in, and the computer doesn't look like it is turned off (as simply blanking the screen would do). Any user action (like moving the mouse or pressing a key) brings back (wakes up) the user's normal Windows display.
Magic also provides moderate computer security while in Windows. If the user desires, Magic will require a password before allowing access to Windows once it has started animating. With this feature, you can secure your workstation from casual snooping when you leave your desk.
Overview of Features
- Saves monitor from damage due to image burn-in.
- Password protection in Windows. (works across reboots)
- Stimulating colour graphics.
- Requires little memory or processor time.
- Installer program included.
How Do I Install It?
Once installed, Magic can run in background without any maintenance from the user at all. The easiest and most effective way to use Magic is to have it automatically load itself as Windows starts up. To install Magic in the Windows boot-up process, do the following:
With the Installer:
1)Start up the installer program.
Note: The files MAGIC.EXE and MAGICLIB.DLL for the new version must be in the same directory as the installer. Do not start the Magic Installer from your Windows directory.
2)Check the "Modify WIN.INI" box [default] if you want to have Magic run automatically every time Windows is started.
Note: The installer will make a backup of your WIN.INI file (WININI.OLD) if it has to be modified.
3)Click on the "Start" button to start the installation process. The installer will inform you when it is complete.
1)Open the WIN.INI file in your Windows directory with Notepad.
2)A few lines down from the top of the file, you will find a line like the following:
This line tells Windows what programs to load as it boots up. Change this line to read as follows:
load = magic.exe [+any other startup programs]
3)Save WIN.INI and Windows will now know to automatically run Magic. Then copy the files MAGIC.EXE, MAGICLIB.DLL, and MAGIC.WRI into the Windows directory.
4)Restart Windows and Magic will start up automatically if you did steps 1-3 correctly.
How Do I Use Magic?
Magic's colourful animation both saves your monitor from damage and shows off Windows' graphics capabilities. While no user configuration (beyond installation) is necessary, you can easily configure Magic to suit your work environment and preferences.
After your computer has been unattended for the timeout period (in minutes), Magic will go to sleep, blanking your monitor and filling it with the animated magic pattern. You can make Magic go to sleep immediately by putting the mouse in the Sleep Corner of your monitor. (see Sleep/Wake Settings). While Magic is asleep (animating the screen), if you move the mouse or hit a key, Magic "wakes up" and returns your normal Windows display.
Note: If you put Magic to sleep manually (putting the mouse in the Sleep Corner), only a mouse movement will wake Magic up. If your copy of Magic is unregistered, hitting the spacebar will bring up a credit screen, as opposed to waking up Magic. Hitting any other key or moving the mouse will wake up Magic.
In normal operation, Magic appears on the Windows desktop as an icon, but selecting the Control Panel.. menu option (or double clicking on the Magic desktop icon) opens up Magic's Control Panel options.
The Control Panel
Magic's Control Panel allows you to change every feature of its operation to suit your preferences.
Sleep Preview Window
At the top of the Control Panel is the Sleep Preview Window. This area shows a preview of the graphics that will fill the screen in Sleep Mode. If you change the moire graphics settings, the Sleep Preview Window will reflect those changes.
Below the Sleep Preview Window is the Magic version number and an About button. Clicking on the About button presents more information about Magic, how to contact its creators, and how to register your copy.
Moire Graphics Control
The moire graphics can be configured to your liking with three scrollbar controls and the Mirror button. The number of lines in the moire pattern can be varied from 1 to 150. The MAX setting (beyond 150) sets the moire to infinite length. The speed of the animation and the speed of the colour changes can be varied from 1 to 100%. You can use the mouse to click on the controls' up and down arrows, or you can use the up and down arrow keys.
The Mirror button allows you to vary the symmetry of the pattern on the screen. Clicking the Mirror button steps you through the mirroring options. You can choose no mirroring, vertical symmetry, horizontal symmetry, or both horizontal and vertical symmetry.
Magic appears as an icon on the Windows desktop. You can select from 3 different behaviours for the Magic icon. These modes for the icon affect only the icon, not the Sleep animation.
Moire - A small moire pattern animates in the icon (except when the control panel is shown). This animation shows how busy your computer is. The more your computer is doing, the slower the icon animation gets.
Nova - The Magic icon is a star. The longer your computer is unattended, the smaller the star shrinks. As the computer goes to Sleep, the star visually goes Nova and explodes to indicate that Sleep mode is starting.
Magic - The icon displays the Magic logo (a rabbit coming out of a Magician's hat). In this mode, the icon does not animate..
Magic resides in background, takes very little memory, and should not interfere with well-behaved software running under Windows. However, programmers developing Windows software may wish to have a completely clear system for debugging their own programs. Therefore, Magic has an on/off switch to completely enable or disable Magic without actually closing it. When the switch is in the OFF position, Magic is totally disabled and will not animate the screen or look for a Sleep timeout. When turned OFF, the Magic icon changes to an overworked software developer catching some much needed rest (Z's).
Sleep Time Setting
You can set how long the computer must be inactive before entering sleep mode. Similar to changing the Moire graphics settings, you can click on the arrows or use the arrow keys to change the number of minutes of inactivity before entering Sleep mode.
Sleep Button & Sleep Window
You may wish Magic to enter Sleep mode on command. By putting the cursor in the Sleep Corner (of your screen), Magic enters Sleep mode (starts animating) immediately. You can also invoke Password mode by holding the Ctrl key down when putting Magic to sleep manually.
Conversely, you may want Magic to not sleep, regardless of the timeout. By putting the mouse in the Wake Corner, Magic will be inhibited from going to sleep. If you put the mouse in the Wake Corner, the cursor will change to a small 'W' to show that Magic will stay awake.
The 'Sleep' button leads to the Sleep window, where the Sleep/Wake Corners can be set, and you can enter the password window.
The Sleep window shows the current Sleep Corner and Wake Corner settings on 2 rectangles which each represent your monitor. The smaller squares in the corner of each 'monitor' represent the Sleep & Wake corners respectively. By clicking the mouse in a different corner of the rectangle (representing your monitor), you can move the Sleep & Wake corners. Magic will not allow you to set the Sleep & Wake corners to be the same.
For example, if the Sleep Corner is set for the lower left corner of the Sleep rectangle (in the Sleep Window), this means that placing the mouse in the lower left corner of your monitor will put Magic to Sleep immediately.
The Wake Corner works similarly with the Wake rectangle in the Sleep Window. By default, the Wake Corner is the lower right corner of your monitor. Placing the mouse in the Wake corner of your monitor keeps Magic from going to Sleep. If you put the mouse in the Wake Corner, the cursor changes to a 'W' for a couple of seconds to show that you are in the Wake Corner.
Magic can be used for computer security, as well as saving your screen. If Password mode is enabled, the correct password must be entered before Magic will come out of Sleep mode back to your Windows display.
Clicking on the Password... button (in the Sleep window) opens the Password Configuration dialog where you can type in a new password or toggle Magic's Password mode. When entering a new password, all keypresses show up as asterisks (*) for security. You must type the password in both the Password and Confirm fields to ensure that it is correct. When what you type in the Confirm field matches what you typed in the Password field, the OK button will be enabled. Clicking on the OK button stores the changes you have made to the Password settings. The Cancel button disregards any changes and reverts to the previous password (if any).
The Always Use Password checkbox allows you to toggle Magic's password mode. If checked, Magic will always require your password to wake up.
Leave the box unchecked if you only occasionally want Magic to require a password. To invoke password checking with this mode, hold down the Ctrl key and put the mouse in the Sleep area. You must hold the Ctrl key down until Magic falls asleep to enable password checking.
To let you know that you do have Password mode enabled when Magic goes to sleep, Magic will display "Password Mode will be Enabled.." on your screen for 3 seconds before starting the moire animation.
Magic's colorful animation can be very interesting and pleasantly distracting, but in a shared work area or during a meeting, such a distraction is not good. Therefore, you can set Magic to not animate the screen, just blank to solid black.
Holding down the Shift key while you manually put Magic to sleep will force Magic to not animate. By selecting a Moire Length of 0 in the control panel, Magic will always use the plain blank screen while asleep.
Wrap-around Password Protection
In Magic v1.13 (or later), password security works across system restarts. If Magic is asleep with the password mode enabled and someone restarts your computer, Magic will enter password-protected Sleep mode as soon as Windows restarts. Of course, Magic must be set to load automatically with Windows for Magic to protect across restarts (see How Do I Install It?). Until the proper password is entered, Windows cannot be accessed.
Magic takes very little memory and processing time. It should not interfere with well-behaved Windows applications or DOS programs. In fact, Magic only gets processing time when all other applications are idle, such as when a word processing program is waiting for keyboard or mouse input. If you see Magic's animation slow down, it is usually because some other program is busy on your computer (for example, printing a letter). Only when your system is idle will Magic's animation operate at full speed, since it will not be slowing down any other program.
If you do not set Magic to monitor serial ports, it won't detect serial port activity and may slow down communication programs. By default, Magic does not monitor any serial ports. The Moire icon mode can slow down communication programs. Therefore, when you are going to be using communications, we recommend that you use the Nova or Magic modes for the icon. Since printer servers, networks, terminal programs, etc. all use communications, you should use the Nova or Magic icon modes for minimum interference.
Previous to v1.11, Magic did not detect communications programs and could slow down serial communications activity. With v1.11 or later, the user can select up to four (4) serial ports for Magic to monitor. If a communication program uses a monitored serial port, Magic stops animating until the serial port is freed again. In this way, Magic does not slow down communications programs (uploads/downloads) on your computer.
Telling Magic to Monitor a Serial Port
All the settings for Magic are in the MAGIC.INI file (in your Windows directory). You need line(s) like the following in your MAGIC.INI file to tell Magic to monitor a serial port.
(other Magic settings)
WatchComPorts=n, n, n, n
(where n = 1 for COM1, 2 for COM2,...)
Note: If you use a serial mouse, do not set Magic to monitor the mouse's serial port.
Since DOS applications do not report messages to Windows, Magic currently disables its screensaving whenever a DOS program is active.
Other Screen Savers
You should not try to use Magic and other screen saver utilities at the same time. The nature of screen savers causes them to interfere with each other and may cause a system error.
Magic V1.20 is a fully-compatible Windows 3.x application. It will run only under Win 3, not under Windows /386 or 2.x (old versions of Windows).
Who Made Magic?
The Magic Screen Saver is a shareware program by Bill Stewart and Ian MacDonald of Software Dynamics. Much thanks to the many users and programmers who have supported our efforts & provided constructive criticism from around the world.
As shareware, you are entitled to try an evaluation version of Magic out for 15 days free, upload it to online services, and give copies to associates, subject to the following conditions:
1)A lot of time and effort went into writing and testing Magic. If you don't use Magic, you'll throw it out. If you do use it, pay the modest shareware fee of $20 U.S. (or equivalent) to the authors. Add $5 if you wish a copy of the latest version on disk.
By paying the shareware fee, you will become a registered user of Magic. We will send you a registration code to allow you to personalize your copy and remove the periodic credit screen.
Paying the small shareware fee for something you find useful encourages the free exchange of information currently enjoyed by the software community. It also encourages us, the authors, to support and upgrade the program. Not paying is both unlawful and uncool.
2)You may give an evaluation copy (non-personalized) of Magic to others, but may not distribute Magic for direct or indirect profit by any means, except through agreement with the authors.
3)You may not alter MAGIC.EXE, MAGICLIB.DLL, or this documentation in any way. When distributing Magic, you must include this documentation with the package.
4)While every effort has been made to test Magic in various environments, neither the authors nor Software Dynamics are liable for any damages caused directly or indirectly through the use or misuse of Magic. We provide Magic *as is*, & provide no guarantee that any specific features will be added in the future, nor any guarantee of its fitness for any specific purpose. We do not guarantee compatibility with future versions of system software, Windows, or any other products, although future versions of Magic will be upgraded to stay current with changes in DOS and Windows if we continue to receive user support through shareware.
When we first started Magic, we aimed to make the ULTIMATE screen saver for Windows. That's why we later developed After Dark for Windows. After Dark is a screen saver for Windows featureing 36 fantastic graphic displays (one of which is Magic), password security, and many other useful features. Since it does much more than Magic, After Dark is commercial software and costs more than Magic. If Magic suits your needs, we encourage you to pay the shareware fee to become a registered user. If you want something beyond Magic, please check out After Dark at your local software stores or direct from our publisher, Berkeley Systems. Please direct purchasing requests for After Dark to the Sales Dept. at Berkeley Systems (510) 540-5535.
We appreciate and encourage all user feedback that will help us improve our products. For any questions, comments or complaints, you can contact us by mail, voice, or online services as detailed below:
5221 Central Avenue
Bayside Park, Suite 8
Richmond, CA 94804
Voice: (510) 524-9027
Fax: (510) 528-1456
CompuServe: 71621, 1163
Features of Version 1.02
1) Magic 1.02 (and earlier) was written for Windows 2.x.
2) V1.02 does not try to sleep if a DOS program is the active application.
Additions with Version 1.10
1)First version designed specifically for Windows 3.x.
2)Password system is more robust and passwords are encrypted.
2)Magic can be set to blank without animating (to not interfere with meetings).
3)Sleep/Wake Corners replace the Sleep/Wake areas used in previous versions.
4)All registered copies of Magic now show the name, company, & serial number of the registered user(s) on the Control Panel. All unregistered copies indicate that they are Evaluation Copies.
Additions with Version 1.11
1)If an application tries to come to the foreground, Magic will try to wake up. If Magic is in 'Password Mode', it will remain asleep and a message banner will scroll across the top of the screen indicating that an application requires attention.
2)If Magic detects an active communication port, it stops animating the moire patterns until the communication port is freed again.
Additions with Version 1.13
1)Magic's password system now works across a restart of Windows.
Additions with Version 1.20
1)Magic is more robust and well-behaved under Windows.
2)Magic's preferences are now stored in MAGIC.INI file, not in WIN.INI.
3)Magic can be registered by phone or mail, once payment is received.
The Shareware Fee
To register as an authorized user of Magic, please send us the modest shareware fee. If you send us $20 U.S. (and your serial number) you will be registered in our database, we will send your registration number to you and instructions for personalizing your copy.
Note: If you want us to send you the newest version of Magic on disk, we require an extra $5 U.S. to cover shipping and handling.
We also offer group licenses for sites or LANs that have many Magic users. The sliding fee scale makes Magic less expensive per user as the size of your group increases. The fee scale is as follows:
# of UnitsCost per Unit (U.S.) (not including disk)
500 or more$5
Add $5 U.S. for each master disk you require. Also, please specify the size and format (DSDD 3.5 inch, for example) of the disks you need. If you do not provide your disk preference, we will use DSDD 3.5 inch disks.
Feel free to fax us purchase orders for Magic group licenses. Orders for less than 10 users must be prepaid by check.
Minor upgrades will be posted on major online services (such as CompuServe). Registered users can use these online services to get new versions. If you do not have access to online services, you can request that we mail out the new version (send $5 for shipping and handling).
Please send payment by check in US or Canadian dollars, or pounds sterling, since these currencies are the easiest to negotiate. If using a currency other than US dollars, calculate the registration fee in US dollars and send us the equivalent in your currency.
To register as an authorized user of Magic, send your shareware fee payable to:
5221 Central Avenue
Bayside Park, Suite 8
Richmond, CA 94804
Please include the following information with your shareware payment to help us make Magic even better. It will also make it easier for us to inform you of upgrades, etc.
Phone No: (voice)
Phone No: (fax)
Amt of Memory:
How you obtained Magic:
Concerns, Questions, Feedback:
Thanks for your support,
Will S. Stewart & Ian C. MacDonald
Software DynamicsompuServe: 71621, 1163
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Concerns, Questions, Feedback:
Thanks for Helv,
Will S. Stewart & Ian C. MacDonald
Software DynamicsompuServe: 71621, 1163