Blank Screen Screen Saver in Leopard November 05, 2007 TweetThis quest actually started out as a possibly lame attempt to consider how much energy my monitor is using just leaving it on with the screen saver. Before Leopard I was using Sleep Display and it worked pretty well for what I wanted, except that it didn't lock the display like a screensaver does. After Leopard I found out that Sleep Display just plain doesn't work. Turns out I don't REALLY care about the energy aspect, although it'd be nice to contribute in a small way like that, I just hate the wall display my 24" monitor displays when the screen saver comes on. So really I just wish that Apple shipped OS X with a "blank screen" screen saver. Wouldn't that make life a little simpler? Enter Quartz Composer. With a little Google searching I came up with this howto on quartzcompositions.com, which wasn't EXACTLY what I was looking for, but pointed me in the right direction. So, without further ado, a how-to on making a blank screen screensaver for Leopard with Quartz Composer.
- Install XCode Tools from your Leopard CD, or download it from the Apple Developer Connection
- Open up "Quartz Composer" from /Developer/Applications/Quartz Composer.app
- Create a new "Blank Composition". You can do this by choosing the "Blank Composition" template or you can File->New Blank
- In the Patch Browser search type "Clear". It's likely there should only be one patch in there of the type "Renderer". Drag that patch to the Root Macro Patch space
- Save your composition; It's probably helpful to name it "Blank Screen"
- Copy your composition to /System/Library/Screen Savers
- Open up Desktop & Screen Saver pref pane from System Preferences and choose "Blank Screen", or whatever you named your composition, from the list
And there you have it. I personally have my top-right hot corner setup for screen saver, so this works perfect for my usage pattern, blank screen and lock the machine. Note I also have to my Energy Saver setting to sleep the display after 1 hour to feed my inner tree hugger, but it's all preference I suppose. Hope this helps someone out!