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CodeSaver: The True Geek Screensaver Tuesday 12/21/10

Posted by smcgamer in Archive, Reviews, Software, Technology.
Tags: , , , ,

Have you got mountains of source code waiting to be read?  Are you a debugger, trying to parse through thousands of lines of code?  Do you wish there was a tool which would print the source, highlighted, just like somebody was typing it?  Well, look no further! CodeSaver is the free source code-printing screensaver for Windows!

(end infomercial voice here)

CodeSaver:  The Truly Open Source Screensaver

SourceForge hosts a lot of projects.  Among them are great, well-known projects, like Audacity and 7-Zip, followed by not-so-well known but still great projects such as Secret Maryo Chronicles.  However, this screensaver is really not well-known for only having two thumbs-up (one from me, as well as the comment).

CodeSaver is a Windows screensaver that prints out text as if somebody is typing it.  Its primary use is to print source code with syntax highlighting for many languages.  By default, it prints its own source files, but can be set to print any text file or source file, regardless of language.

Its features include:

  • Syntax highlighting. Using DotNetFireball, a controls library for developers, which also includes syntax highlighting.  Several languages are supported, but I can’t find a suitable list.  The ones I know to work are VB.Net, C, and C#.
  • Print any text. It can also print any text file.  You could even copy your own blog posts into a text file and have it print those.
  • Print entire folders. You can place all the stuff you want typed into a folder and have CodeSaver print them out.  You can even set it to randomize

    which one it chooses.

  • Typing variability. You can choose the typing speed, the speed variability, and even have it make typos.
  • Mock compilation. Check this at your own risk; it crashed the screen saver for me.  You can set it to mock compile your files.

Its uses for serious work are rather limited, but being able to print source files should help check for syntax errors.  It’s not really useful for debugging, though.

How I Use It

I’ve created a folder containing 358 assorted source files I’ve gathered, including a few I’ve written.

My assorted source files include:

  • Around 300 hand-picked files from the Linux Kernel version 2.6.33.  Yes, you’ve read right.  In a world where most people download the kernel to compile it, I’ve downloaded it to be printed as a screensaver.  If you want to do this yourself, just go to http://www.kernel.org/ where you can download many versions for free.  The latest is next-20101221 (today’s latest), but that’s only a patch.  The latest full version is 2.6.37-rc7, or the latest stable one (as if that matters) is  It comes in a ~60 MB TAR/BZ2 archive, which decompresses to about 300 MB, containing about 31,000 files and about 13,000,000 lines of code.  So many files will take a long time to choose from, so you could choose a few hundred, like I did, and put them in a folder.
  • The entire source of Secret Maryo Chronicles, which is conveniently packaged with the installation.
  • About 5 assorted headers from Audacity’s 60 MB source.
  • Some Linux text files people have written.
  • All of linux-0.0.01, the first ever version, released in 1993.
  • Some of my own source code for various programs, written in Visual Basic 2005 (and partially VB 2008).

The total size is 4.42 MB among 358 files.  All of linux-2.6.33, however, is 352 MB among 31,565 files.  Remember, that’s all text.

My typing settings are full speed, no variability, and no typos.  I want it to like a computer is writing it out, not a computer’s interpretation of what our typing is like.


CodeSaver is a small, but entertaining screensaver that can type out all kinds of files.  It’s a bit slow after printing a thousand lines, and its mock compilation doesn’t work for me, but it’s still a great program.

Three stars out of five:


1. Suman - Saturday 11/5/11

How to fix dark text on dark background?

Suman - Saturday 11/5/11

Ok! I find the problem, the dark text on the dark background was happening because I install this application on win7 64bit so the app actually get installed in c:\Program Files (86x) folder but it expect the config file in c:\Program Files\codesaver folder. So the application can not find any config and thus start with a default setting which actually results the problem of dark text on dark background. Now I just created a soft link of CodeSaver folder in Program Files folder and everything works fine. Thanks for the intro to this nice screensaver 🙂

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