I’ve been getting tired of the Cosmos lately. No, not the actual Universe, but the lovely yet small set of astronomy pictures in the Mac OS X (Tiger) screen saver “Cosmos”.
I knew that there would be gorgeous images like I’d like to branch out, see more nifty stuff… like the image above, of Saturn’s rings and the moon Tethys,
Astronomy Picture of the Day page, and even more at APOD’s archive site.
If I were into scripting on the Mac, I could have written a script to fetch new content from APOD, but instead I simply grabbed a few dozen of my favorites via the archive site. Now, how to get them into my screensaver?
The net is mighty– I soon found out how to diddle with /System/Library/Screen Savers/Cosmos.slideSaver to get what I wanted. Copy it into another directory (after authenticating to unlock it), and rename it APOD.slideSaver. Select it, right-click for a menu, and choose “Show Package Contents”. The “Contents” folder contains a “Resources” folder full of slides.
Remove the ones in there, substitute your own, and then copy back into /System/Library/Screen Savers/ to deploy it. You’ll get a dialog about not being able to copy it, with an “authenticate” choice to let you do so. Or just use the command line and sudo.
Ta-dah, I get an APOD option in the Screen Savers section of the System utilities. And now I have more shiny galaxies to watch, and to light my livingroom with when I’m sitting quietly and petting the kitties in the evening.