Old XP machines : consider iScreensaver 3.5 ?

Update – iScreensaver Designer version (Released 17-Jun-2010 has much improved OpenGL driver support – Please test this later version first if you are having OpenGL-related issues. The following note was written before this time and is now dated.

Based on a true story… a lightly fictionalized summary of an email thread with a current customer:

[Customer] iScreensaver 4 doesn’t work on XP – tried it on an XP machine and got an error that it can’t initialize the OpenGL driver.

[iScreensaver] This is most likely due to having out of date/generic OpenGL drivers. Unfortunately, Windows PCs often have them since there is no auto-update mechanism for OpenGL drivers, and the best drivers come from the video card manufacturer directly. You can fix this by following these steps:

Also, make sure the PC is otherwise meets the requirements:

[Customer] That doesn’t work for me – the problem is that I can’t ask my customers to do this driver update just for a screensaver. It’s too much to ask. I found another product “xxx” which builds screensavers for XP and it doesn’t require OpenGL at all.

[iScreensaver] We are familiar with that product, and basically it’s “old” technology - it doesn’t support macs, windows Vista or windows 7 features either.

But, if you are happy with that product, then we suggest you consider using the old version of our software (iScreensaver Designer 3.5). Version 3.5 supports older XP machines and does not use OpenGL for video effects. As a result, the effects are nowhere near as fast or pretty, but the benefit is they do work on very old PCs, even if the OpenGL drivers are missing or not up-to-date.

[Customer] I tried iScreensaver Designer 3.5, and it does work on this old XP machine. Do I need to buy it too?

[iScreensaver] We include a free copy of the 3.5 license with all purchases of iScreensaver Designer Ultimate:

[Customer] Thank you!