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Version (Jun 1991)
Author John Ridges
License Public Domain

Animate is a program for those people who like to have nifty graphics dancing around their computer screen.

Animate can also act as a "screen saver" - after a programmable period of inactivity, it will bring the graphic forward to fill the screen. Animate is also extensible, so there should be a steady flow of new animated desktops if anyone writes any.



When started, Animate randomly chooses a desktop from the list specified by 'desktop', which is a string of characters, one desktop per character. If 'desktop' is null, Animate will choose from all the desktops available to it.

There are four desktops built into Animate, they are:

  • 'Z' for zoom, a bouncing geometric figure that leaves a trail behind it.
  • 'F' for fireworks, a fireworks display.
  • 'S' for space, a simulation of moving through space.
  • 'W' for wallpaper, a changing wallpaper display.

Animated Desktop Extensions are specified using other letters, usually the first letter of the extension name. Example: You want Animate to show either 'space' or 'zoom', but you want 'space' to be twice as likely. You would type START ANIMATE SSZ

When the desktop has the focus, 'F' will bring it forward and another 'F' or a mouse movement will return it to the background. 'P' will pause the animation and another 'P' will allow it to continue. 'S' will bring up the screen saver dialog, and you can terminate Animate with 'F3'.

Individual desktops may have other controls, double click on the desktop to find out.