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Free screensaverFree Dynamic Wallpaper ?

Almost; wallpaper that is free to use, a screensaver too!  Truly just a dynamic colorful web page.  Many free wallpapers are tied to a download of a toolbar or some other obligation, no obligations here, just free FUN!  I call this wallpaper, or screensaver, PC Color Spectrum II.  It is probably the most colorful PC desktop wallpaper you will ever see.

Mini demo below

Click this link for the real
  PC Color Spectrum II
but remember it is CPU intensive!

Make sure you try the Pixels and Resize buttons!

(Sorry, but it is (was) best in Internet Explorer, very very good in the latest Opera version 9.52)

But Wow, it is fastest by far in Google Chrome!

Some Screenshots
(These are clickable!)

Color Spectrum Image
Free wallpaper

Free screensaver

Use your PC as a Strobe Light?

Really it is not quite wallpaper nor is it a screensaver, not a kaleidoscope either, it is a unique colorful dynamic Internet web page that you are free to use for non-commercial purposes.  For commercial use please contact me and "we will talk"!  For your first look please resize your browser window (Internet Explorer is fastest by far) so it is relatively small and then click on the PC Color Spectrum II link and take a look.  The display is so dynamic that it will use a lot of your CPU's power, so your percent CPU usage will jump up.  I will go into a lot more detail about using PC Color Spectrum II on the remainder of this page.  Please learn about the "Pixels" and "Resize" button on the control panel before you play too much!  Throughout the article I will use PC Color Spectrum, PCSII, wallpaper, screensaver, or kaleidoscope, interchangeably, because I am just uncertain what to call it!

Convert your TV into a massive strobe!  Don't pay ridiculous prices!  Buy three or four of these cables for less than one at the discount stores!


Instructions below:

Please you must use this at your own risk!

PC Color Spectrum II

Not really a wallpaper, kaleidoscope, or screensaver !

No it is not, but it is free!  And if you are brave you can use it as your active desktop background.  I will explain how below for Windows XP.  Sorry, but for now the kaleidoscope display is fastest by far in Internet Explorer.  Something about the math involved seems to slow down Firefox, Netscape, and Opera.

It is a CPU intensive web page

To achieve the dynamic color display, using a web browser instead of running as an application on your PC directly, does require a large CPU usage.  But this is just a web page running a Javascript, which is much, much, safer than downloading a screensaver or other executable application.  The JavaScript interpreter built into your web browser helps protect your PC.  But please do read on before playing too much with the Control Panel you saw flash onto the screen when you entered the PC Color Spectrum II web page.

Warning if your browser freezes using this free wallpaper, please be patient, it will return control to you after a time period.  If you have this problem the best thing to do is close your browser by clicking the "close" button "x" and patiently waiting.  Sorry if you have this problem.

Firefox 3.X users: There seems to be a long, long, delay if you resize the browser while PC Color Spectrum is displaying.  If you have to, use "Ctrl-Alt-Del" to get your computer's attention!

Opera users: if you have poor performance please upgrade to at least version 9.52 which seems quite fast.

Why PC Color Spectrum "II"

Why number two?  In 1985 I released a product for the Personal Computer called PC Color Spectrum.  At that time most computers had an 8088 microprocessor and anywhere from 64K to 640K of RAM.  The PC I am typing on has 512 Meg, one half GIGA-byte of ram.  That's up to 8000 times more memory!  The program Computer Chronicles reviewed my product, as did PC Magazine, in 1985.  I was astonished to see the actual video review, by Paul Schindler of Computer Chronicles, archived by the "Internet Archive".  If you have a high bandwidth link, scroll to near the end of this video and see the review of the original "PC Color Spectrum I" from 1985.  This program was a review of printers, but the "PC Color" review is toward the end.  I did not see this program or even receive a transcript, they "did not do that" at the time.  I think I saw this archived show for the first time in 2001.  The Internet is amazing!  It took me hours to find this review!  Back to the fun!





Webmasters and Copyright

Please, this is copyrighted software with "All rights reserved".  Please do not copy the web page or the Javascript software.  Please do not reverse engineer the software.  Please do use PC Color Spectrum II for some personal FUN!  Please contact me regarding commercial applications.

Webmasters please do link to this introductory page, but please do not link directly to the PC Color Spectrum page itself.  Users need to learn about this "free wallpaper" by seeing this page before they use PC Color.  Thanks!

Regarding your CPU

The PC Color Spectrum II "wallpaper" or "screensaver" will automatically slow down and free up your CPU whenever you change "focus" to (click on) another program on your computer.  Clicking on the PC Color Spectrum display will bring it back to full speed.  The wallpaper will also automatically choose a larger color "pixel" size if you resize your browser and then "refresh" the webpage (Hit F5 key).  These features are all there to first, be conservative with the CPU usage, and let you experiment with "smaller" pixel sizes for the PC Color Spectrum display.  Using the smaller "Pixel" sizes can enhance the display in several ways BUT, your CPU usage will go UP and UP.  This does no harm but can slow your PC down quite a bit.  Please see the control panel instructions.  Pixel sizes 0,1,2 could cause your PC to start "churning" using virtual memory and going very slow, if it is a problem, please just close your browser and be patient the slowness will clear up, it could take a minute or two!

Dual or Multi-processor users

This webpage may use both of your processors, I am uncertain.  Please write me and let me know what happens.

The Control Panel

The control panel is located near the upper left side of the wallpaper, it automatically hides itself whenever your mouse is not "hovering" over it.  It will also pop up if you slide your mouse pointer over the Copyright notice at the top of the page.

The control panel of PC Color Spectrum II

F5 Key:

This is your browsers "Refresh" button and it can be thought of as a Reset Button for this wallpaper.

F11 Key:

You will get to know this button well while using this free screensaver.  Hit "F11" then "F5" for a full screen display.  By default PCS II will use a larger Pixel size to keep your CPU usage lower, being conservative now try the "Pixel" and "Resize" buttons in the "Control Panel"

Resize button:

When you resize your browser the free screensaver display will not automatically resize itself.  Remember the bigger the display the more CPU you will use unless you choose larger Pixels too!  So after you resize your browser hit this button and PCS II will resize to fit your browser window.  There will be a delay during this operation.  Unlike the "F5 key" or "Refresh" of your browser, the resize button will also clear the display without losing any of your custom settings.

Pixel button:

This button will change the size of the displayed "Pixels", picture elements, or the little colored squares.  However the Pixel size will only change when you hit the "Resize" button.  This button has values of 0 to 12, zero being the smallest Pixels.  Be careful choosing Pixel sizes of 0, 1, 2, 3, your PC may really pause attempting to show so many small Pixels.  Work your way down by selecting a smaller Pixel size then hit the "Resize" button to make the change take effect.

Also you add ?pix= to the URL when opening the page, pix can equal 0 to 9.  This is great for screen savers.

...../_bbbPCSII100/pccolorspectrum.htm?pix=9 for really big, but only a few, pixels.  Fastest update rate.


The "Pause" button will stop the display free up your computers CPU.  You may change other settings while

Amazon If you like PC Color Spectrum, please support Bobs How To, at no additional cost to you, by dragging the small Amazon  icon to your "Links" bar or "Favorites" and using it for all your shopping at Amazon, Thanks!  Amazon now carries a ton of "stuff".

Random Mode:

The screensaver starts in a "Random" mode.  Click on the "Rand" button to vary the time between major display changes.  The "time" is a count of display updates.  It is best if you set this "Rand" mode to "0" to disable the random display and allow you to have "full" control while learning the controls below.  Each button will typically change a given setting by one increment and will eventually jump back to zero or a larger number.  The numbers "wrap around" if you click each button enough times.


Once you have disabled "Random" mode, try some of the "Preset" modes by clicking on "Presets".  As you click this button you will see subtle to large changes in the display, and you will see some of the "Preset" modes.  As you click on this "Presets" button a number will increment to the left indicating the current Preset mode number.  You will see the values change to the left of many of the buttons documented below.  These are the various preset mode settings.

The modes consist of different "Patterns", "Borders", and "Colors".  The Patterns and Borders have different "Rates" and "Drives".


The "Colors" button select different color combinations for the current display "Pattern".  Again to the left of the "Colors" button is a number indicating the current color display mode.


The "Patterns" button selects the pattern that appears toward the center of the display.  These patterns primarily affect the colors toward the center of the display.  Again to the left of the Pattern button is the number of the current pattern.  Associated with, and below, the "Patterns" button is a "Drive" and "Rate" button.


The "Borders" button selects the colors that will appear around the border.  A setting of "zero" will drive the border toward darkness or black.  A setting of "one" allows the border color to "float" or match that of the display within.  This setting will allow the colors of the display to spread toward the border.  Border mode "two" will periodically set the entire perimeter of the display to a new color.

0. Make border black

1. Make border float to match interior

2. Set entire perimeter to a random color.


4. Close the door.


6. Pick up sticks.

Please play with these and see what they do!

Drive buttons:

The "Pattern" and "Border" buttons have associated "Drive" and "Rate" buttons below them.  The "Drive" button controls how much the "Pattern" and "Border" buttons affect the amount of color the pattern or border produce.  The "Number" displayed to the left goes up to 3 and returns to .5 or 1 when it "wraps".

Rate buttons:

The "Rate" buttons control how frequently the "Pattern" or "Border" is refreshed.  The Rate button for the patterns has values from 0 to 20.  The larger the number the more infrequently the pattern will be painted onto the "wallpaper".  The "Rate" button for borders has values of 0 to 30 in increments of 5.  The larger the number the less frequently the borders will be "painted' or "driven". 

Using PC Color Spectrum II

Just play with it!

Although many small pixels tends to go slowly over time, the resultant "painting" can be very impressive.  To free up your CPU fully hit the "Pause" button.

Using larger Rate settings will allow exotic shapes to form that you would never see otherwise.

The Drive settings will provide more diverse, more closely spaced color lines at higher values.

If you are brave? Windows XP Active Desktop

I know this is a bit dated but there are still millions of copies of WIN XP in use.  The Active Desktop lets you put a Internet browser window on your PC's desktop.  To do this in Windows XP:

  1. Right click on your desktop
  2. Click "Properties"
  3. Click the "Desktop" tab
  4. Click "Customize Desktop"
  5. Click the "Web" tab
  6. Click "New"

Here is the part I am a little leery about.  I cannot and I am sorry I will not guarantee the availability of this, nor am I sure it is a good idea for you to link your desktop like this, so be forewarned.

  1. Now for the location
  2. Right click the the PC Color Spectrum II link below and copy the properties.

This will set you up with Active Desktop potential.  This is  like a hidden web browser on your desktop.  Any trouble?  Just go through the sequence above and uncheck PC Color Spectrum II.  Move your mouse to the top of your desktop and you will usually get a Title Bar that will allow closure of PC Color Spectrum II as well.  If you right click on the desktop you can make it cover your entire desktop.  Again be very careful with small Pixels sizes!

PC Color as a screen saver

It is easy to use PC Color Spectrum as your screen saver with readily available apps.  I have used the DJ Mclean screensaver software:

HTML Screensaver

Please virus scan the screensaver before you install it!  Look at his instructions and remember the Caps Lock key.  To save CPU do not forget the ?pix= option on your link to PC Color  which lets you reduce CPU usage by setting a larger value (up to 9).

WARNING: I don't know why but on win 10 do not set ?pix= to less than 4!  If you do the screensaver will probably hang and the screensaver settings dialog box will be unresponsive.  If you have set pix= to a value smaller than 4 you will have to reboot and using the screensaver settings dialog box choose a value of 4 or larger.  I think this is because html screensaver is using Microsoft Edge, which I've found has very slow javascript execution and PC Color Spectrum is a big CPU user.

PC Color Spectrum II

Future features

  1. More patterns and presets.
  2. For commercial purposes text in the display area.
  3. More speed!
  4. Document the additional diagnostic numbers on the display.

Potential Problems:

02/17/2014: Version 1.0.7  Added ?pix= URL options, pix can equal 0 to 9.  This is great for screen savers.

I hope you enjoy this free wallpaper?










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BHT Created: 04 Apr 2006

BHT Revised: 22 Oct 2016


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Copyright 2003-2016 Robert Matheson.  All rights reserved.  Email Bob at BobsHowTo.com - . 

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