While Mac OS X ships with some great screen savers, most of them are merely ornamental and provide no real functionality. The concept of screen savers were introduced to prevent something called burn-in, which happened with CRT monitors. Now that most people have LCD monitors, the functionality of screen savers is reduced to entertainment and security purposes.
Personally, I’ve setup my Mac to show the screen saver after 5 minutes of idle time. And once the screen saver is up, a password is required to get back to the desktop. This ensures that no one messes around with my system or gets access to my data while I’m away from my seat.
Although the screen saver primarily shows up when I’m not at my desk, sometimes I’m just working on something with pen and paper, or reading a book, and the screen saver that comes on usually has pictures or animations which can distract you from the task at hand. Additionally, they provide no functionality.
MinimalClock is a great, minimalistic screen saver, that shows a black screen, and a digital clock on it, in a nice font, with big characters.
It does not distract, it shows you the time when you need to quickly look it up, and it is beautiful.
It has an option for 24/12 hour time scheme, so you can choose whichever you prefer. If the screensaver does not show up properly when you first install it (it didn’t work for me in the first try):
- Install the font manually by downloading it from here, and double-clicking on the files extracted from the package, and then clicking ‘Install Font’.
- Install the MinimalClock package again.