Screen Antics: Johnny Castaway

Tech support

Since this screen saver was the one of the first ever designed for Windows (3.1), you can imagine it can be pretty hard to make it run under newer operating systems. First off, since it is a 16-bit program, it can not run under Vista. Secondly, since the screen saver was designed for Windows 3.1, the files should be in the folder "C:\Windows", so if you get an error "can't find data files", then the files are most likely in a different folder. This is particularly the case with Windows 2000, where files are by default installed in the folder "winnt".

Screensaver won't run
The title screen comes up as normal, but then, instead of Johnny and his island appearing, the saver flips off and the desktop reappears. However it runs correctly in Preview under Control Panel / Display Properties / Screen Saver. The problem is caused by the McAfee VirusScan program. When installed, VirusScan creates an extra tag under Control Panel / Display Properties called "ScreenScan". When the "Enable scanning while in screen saver mode" box is checked, scanning for possible viruses goes on in the background, while the screen saver runs. While this works with most screen savers, it stops Johnny in his tracks, so if you want him to run, you'll have to uncheck the box to disable this particular feature. If you install VirusScan using its default setting, the box is initially checked.

Screen saver won't run (option 2)
Do you have CyberMedia's "UnInstaller" on your PC? If the CyberMediaAgent is on the taskbar by the clock, it won't let Johnny run. The only thing to do, is to close it, and all should be well.

How to run it under XP

Method 1
Gary Neilson managed to get it to run on Windows XP by creating a small application in Visual Basic that takes control of the screen saver. The ZIP contains 2 files named JohhnyCastawayXP.SCR and JOHNCAST.BAT. These files should be extracted into C:\WINDOWS and users should then be able to use the screen saver as normal. Johnny Castaway was originally written for Windows 3.1 users, who mainly worked with screen resolutions of 640 x 480. Today, most people work with screen resolutions of 1024 x 768 and upwards which means that the screen saver appears in a small window in the centre of the screen. To overcome this, the program Gary created also takes control of the screen resolution so that Johnny Castaway fills the entire screen. The file is only 5K and can be downloaded below.


Method 2
A good fast fix, even though it does not take care of the resolution. Johnny will run as a screen saver if you rename "scrantic.scr" to "ssScrantic.scr" or "ssJohnny_castaway.scr", so just add "ss" in front of the name - the file will be in the Windows folder on your C: drive. If you then click the Start button again, select Control Panel, and then Display, and then Screen saver, you should see Scrantic as one of the available screen savers.