- After Dark (software)
"After Dark" is a series of
computer screensaver softwareintroduced in 1989 by Berkeley Systemsfor the Apple Macintosh, and later for Microsoft Windows.
Following the original, new editions followed including "More After Dark" and "Before Dark", as well as editions themed around licensed properties such as "
Star Trek", " The Simpsons", Looney Tunesand Walt Disney Companycharacters. The screensaver modules often referenced each other, such as the flying toasters appearing in the "Fish" screensaver, and the cat from "Boris" screensaver appearing in the "Bad Dog" screensaver.
As well as the included animated screensavers, it allowed third-party modules to be included since, at the time of the original release, screensaver launching functionality was not included as a part of the Macintosh or Windows
A book was published about After Dark called "Art of Darkness" by Erfert Fenton (
Peachpit Press, 1992).
Of the animated modules included, the most famous is the iconic "Flying Toasters" which featured 1940s-style chrome
toasters sporting bird-like wings, flying across the screen with pieces of toast. An updated "Flying Toasters Pro" module added a choice of music: Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyriesor a flying toaster anthem with optional karaoke lyrics. Yet another version called "Flying Toasters!" added bagels and pastries, baby toasters, and more elaborate toaster animation.
The toasters were the subject of two lawsuits, the first in 1993, "Berkeley Systems vs
DelrinaCorporation", over a module of Delrina's "Opus 'N Bill" screensaver in which Opus the penguinshoots down the toasters. Delrina later changed the wings of the toasters to propellers in order to avoid infringing the trademark. The second case was brought in 1994 by 1960s rock group Jefferson Airplanewho claimed that the toasters were a copy of the winged toasters featured on the cover of their 1973 album " Thirty Seconds Over Winterland". The case was dismissed because the cover art had not been registered as a trademark by the group prior to Berkeley Systems' release of the screensaver. [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/2.10/eword.html?pg=9]
A 3D version of the toasters featuring swarms of toasters with plane wings, rather than
birdwings, is available for XScreenSaver.
After Dark Games and onward
Sierra Interactive and Berkeley Systems released After Dark Games for the Macintosh and Windows platforms, which contained several games modeled after their previously released screensavers. These games included "Mowin' Maniac" (a
Pac-Manclone based on the "Mowin' Man"/"Mowin' Boris" modules), "Roof Rats" (similar to SameGameand variants), " Solitaire" (After Dark themed), Toaster Run (a 3D adventure game featuring several After Dark Characters, more notably the Flying Toaster), Zapper (a trivia game), Hula Girl (another 3D adventure game based on the "Hula Twins" module from After Dark 4.0), two word scramble games - Bad Dog 911 (based on the "Bad Dog" modules) and Fish Shtix (based on the "Fish" modules, mainly "Fish World"), Foggy Boxes (a connect the boxes type game based on the "Messages 4.0" module), MooShu tiles (a Mahjong-like game featuring many After Dark characters throughout the years), and Rodger Dodger. "Rodger Dodger" had been a module several years back, but also a playable game inside the module. There is not much of it changed from the module aside from some of the music and most of the level's set-ups. Many fans liked the games, but some felt it lacked games based on more fitting modules, such as "Daredevil Dan", "Lunatic Fringe" (which was a game inside its module, like "Rodger Dodger"), and the After Dark re-working of "Rock, Paper Scissors" (also a game inside its module).
In fact, it was the last time Berkeley ever touched the series. In 1997, the owners sold out to the
Sierra On-Linedivision of CUC International. Joan Bladesand Wes Boyd, the founders of Berkeley Systems, went on to create MoveOn.org. [http://MoveOn.org]
Fans have made modern versions of several of the screensavers in the years since. An official version of After Dark was released for
Mac OS Xby Infinisys Ltd (of Japan) in May 2003. It has yet to be converted to Universal binary, so at the current moment it can only be run on PowerPCcomputers with OS X.
Sierra released a Flying Toaster video game for cell phones in 2006.Fact|date=October 2007
*Several "After Dark" modules were featured in the background of interviews for the
VH1show " I Love the '90s".
*A Flying Toaster appeared in the Simpsons episode
The Computer Wore Menace Shoeson Homer Simpson's website full of animated GIFs, one of which was the Flying Toaster. The module "Starry Night" was also referenced in The Simpsons episode, " 'Scuse Me While I Miss the Sky". At the end of the episode, while looking at the stars, Marge Simpsonsays "This is better than our screensaver, and I love our screensaver." The "Starry Night" module is famous for its star filled night sky. In the episode "Radioactive Man", the Flying Toasters screensaver can be seen on Comic Book Guy's computer.
*A Flying Toaster appears in the episode of
Futuramatitled " The Honking", where it, along with the Microsoft Windowslogo and other computer icons of the 1990s, chase Bender.
*A Flying Toaster also appears in the "
Rugrats" episode "In the Dreamtime", in which Chuckie Finstersees a Flying Toaster in his dream.
* On the television show
Beverly Hills 90210, the Peach Pit After Dark Night Club used a flying toaster as its logo.
* A flying toaster is seen in
The Fairly OddParentsepisode "What's the Difference?". Another one (previously a bird) is also seen in the episode "Nectar of the Odds".
* In the King of the Hill episode "
Earthly Girls are Easy", Buck Strickland has a flying toaster screen saver that keeps him happy.
* [http://en.infinisys.co.jp/product/adx/ After Dark X] , the official version for Mac OS X by Infinisys.
* [http://www.wurst-wasser.net/cgi-bin/wurst-wasser.net/wiki.pl?SoftwareProjectsOverview Freeware OS X Flying Toaster clone] .
* [http://lowendmac.com/thomas/07/0209.html Aggressively Stupid: The Story Behind After Dark]
* [http://lowendmac.com/thomas/07/0212.html On Mighty Toaster Wings: More After Dark History]
* [http://lowendmac.com/thomas/07/0213.html How After Dark Came to Windows]
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