Flying Toasters Screensaver for the Apple II

for those of us who lived through the 1990’s and the computing world, the Flying Toasters screensaver was a common sight on many a computer screen during off hours or when people were not at their desks. The idea of a toaster flying across the screen to clear it, keeping the screen in good condition and preventing burn in was one that was not farfetched when one stopped to actually think about it.

While initially on Macintosh and Windows computers, After Dark produced what is the most recognizable screensaver in the history of computing. There were then the knock offs on platforms not covered by the After Dark series, including on the Apple IIGS. Now, Apple II enthusiast Bob Giddings has created a version of the Flying Toasters for the Apple II series computers using a graphics library for the Apple II. According to Bob, “

Not quite all in basic. Uses the ampersand to draw to the double hi-res screen. Animation is nothing new to the Apple II. The DRAW routine calculates the position on the double hi-res screen and using special routines to draw one of 3 shapes from the shape table. The shape table is organized much like Applesofts, but the shapes are stored using bitmap information, instead of up/down/left/right direction. Storing as a bitmap allows the color of each pixel to be stored.

The Basic program handles the direction of travel for the animation. It is then just a simple matter of drawing the shape to the screen. The shapes themselves contain black borders on top and right side of the shape. This allows for a simple erase method to erase the shape as it moves across the screen without leaving a trail. Applesoft is slow and the animation should be run at 4 Mhz for a smoother animation. Screen flicker may be noticeable at slower speeds.

Minimum requirements are any computer that can display double hi-res graphics including the Apple IIc.

A discussion with Bob Giddings

If you would like to try the program, you can download it from the A.P.P.L.E. website at:
https://www.callapple.org/soft/ap2/demos/FlyingToasters.dsk

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