Screen Saver Fails At 1920 X 1200


Hello and congratulations for your initiative. I've tried it directly with the new Help app, but the "Submit Question" button generated an error as follows:

AppleScript Error
sh: -c: line 14: syntax error near unexpected token '('

Probably your script doesn't like seeing double quotes and parentheses in the question text. Hope this helps.

Now, the question I meant to ask...

Since I upgraded to a 1920 x 1200 wide screen, the screen saver fails to display pictures, no matter which fancy options I check or uncheck. It only displays a black screen. Thankfully, the login controls still work fine, so it's just a minor annoyance. Screen savers which do not rely on displaying bitmap pictures work fine, e.g. the "Computer Name" preset. Another similar issue: when iPhoto enters slideshow mode, it switches the resolution to a measle 640 x 400, making a mess of my open windows in the process. All of this worked fine with my previous 1600 x 1200 screen.

I suspect this may be related to my graphics card reaching its limits with this screen size, but I regard it as a bug of Apple's screen saver code anyway. Your ideas for a workaround or a fix will be much appreciated. Machine details are in my profile.

I'm still on Panther but I found a user reporting the exact same problem on Tiger at That page is rather long, so I've copied the relevant snippet here:

May 9, 2005


Craig Schultz
Edouard Poor reported an issue with the slideshow function in Finder: "Secondly - I tried the "Slideshow" option from the Finder context menu (when you select one or more pictures). All I get is a black screen..."

I didn't have this problem until I purchased a 23" Cinema display. When the resolution is set to the native 1920 X 1200, I also get a black screen when a slideshow is invoked via Finder or Spotlight. On a hunch, I dropped the resolution to 1024 X 768 and the slideshow works as expected. Has anyone reported a fix for this bug?


The video card in my -- almost vintage -- G4 Cube has just enough memory to drive a wide 1920 x 1200 display with 24 bits per pixel (millions of colors). Screen savers, iPhoto slideshows and Keynote presentations need more video memory for their transitions and effects. So either reduce screen size or reduce color depth to fix it. Only Keynote was friendly enough to tell me that my video card could not handle this. The screen saver just remained black and iPhoto was nasty and switched to 640 x 400. Apple, please be consistent next time!

The free fix: Reduce screen depth to thousands of colors instead of millions. Or reduce screen resolution, but then why buy this gorgeous Sony Wide Trinitron FW900 then?
The costly fix: Buy a new machine.