The Matrix Screen Saver
Version 1.15 - 10th October 2020
Copyright 2000-2020 - Meticulous Software

Supported Platforms

The screensaver has been run on Win98, Win2k and WinXP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 - 10.  It seems to work fine on all these.  Version 1.15
hopefully resolves code rendering issues reported by some people.

How to install...

The installer comes as a single executable file that will install itself when clicked... just follow the prompts.

Once installed you turn on the screensaver by using the Windows screen properties dialog (right-click on the Windows desktop and select 'Properties' or from the Display option in the Control Panel)

Move to the 'Screen Saver' tab then and select 'TheMatrix' from the screen saver list. 

And that's it.


Multiple Monitors

The screensaver now supports multiple monitors.  I have tested it on a few dual-display systems, but in theory it should work on any number of displays if you have enough CPU horsepower...  So go on, The Matrix really does have you this time.

Note that only the logo and matrix-code sequences appear on all the monitors.

Juddery Animation

If you have an intensive task running on your computer when the screensaver starts up then the animation can appear hesitant and juddery.  Very little can be done about this.  I have attempted to regulate it more effectively, but if your computer is too busy then the screensaver simply won't get enough time to run properly. The screensaver may yield to other programs on your computer.

If for example, you are encoding a movie, you certainly don't want the screensaver sucking time away from your encoder such that it ends up taking twice as long!

Animation and Computer Performance

The screensaver will run on older and slower computers (e.g. <1GHz.) It tunes the animation accordingly, such that less happens on a slower machine, but the screensaver much prefers running on faster machines (>2Ghz.) Everything is so much better.  The animation is more intricate and detailed and the matrix-code is more fluid and dynamic, with many more changes.  If you plan to run multi-monitor then for the best results a faster machine is a essential.

Accessing new default settings

New versions often tweak the default parameter sets.  To see these new parameter sets you must either delete the TheMatrix.ini file from your windows directory, or select the settings button (from the screen setup window) and click "Defaults"

Screensavers and Climate Change - How green is the Matrix?

Screensavers are EVIL.  There is no getting around it.  Burning CPU cycles with abandon and keeping the monitor(s) fully powered up are small steps towards ultimate DOOM!  Personally, I don't use the Matrix Screensaver.  I think it looks great, and it was fun to create, but it is too much for my conscience to bear.  Instead my monitor turns off after 10 minutes. 

But I can't speak for others, you must do as your own conscience dictates.  One possible compromise is to set the screensaver to load after 5 minutes and set the monitor to turn off after 15 or so.  Many people have this sort of setting and you can still tell if the Matrix has you or not...

To this end the screensaver contains two new (v1.10) settings on the "Power Save" tab of the settings.

The first "Suspend After" sets a time limit.  After that period of time the screensaver will stop animating and the screen will go black.  It will consume minimal CPU cycles in this state.  If you set the Windows monitor power down settings to be a little smalle that the screensaver suspend, then set the screensaver to suspend after the monitor has powered down.  This will allow the computer to go into a minimal power state.  This is also good for laptops.  A setting of zero disables this feature.

The second "Use Escape/LMB Exit" when enabled will only allow the escape key or left mouse button to exit from the screensaver.  If you move the mouse or press any other key then the screensaver will come out of suspend and carry on animating until that period expires again.  Hence, once you come back to your computer you can see the screensaver in all its glory unless you want to cancel it.

So - this is my bid to help save the world.  Please use it wisely.

Release Notes

Version 1.15 - 10th October 2020

1) Changed the task priority so that the screen saver now runs in 'normal'
by default.  This means it should be less glitchy on modern computers which
ironically steal more processor time from the screen saver than older ones did.
Note this means the screen saver will use more electricity...

Version 1.14 - 2nd August 2010

1) Fixed a problem with multi-monitor support when the primary screen is not    number 1.
2) Fixed a problem I noticed with rotated resolution that are tall and narrow.

Version 1.12b - 1st August 2010

1) Employed a simple installer by innosetup to automate installation but download is now much larger.

Version 1.12 - 31st July 2010

1) Overhaul of the phone scanning section.  It is much for faithful to the movie
2) Massive reduction in CPU usage without significant loss of animation quality
3) Tuned some of the text message times during the infiltration section
4) Tuned default colours
5) Improved matrix-code character images

Version 1.11b - 11th July 2010

Package update only

Version 1.11 - 18th August 2007

1) Fixed colour mapping problem with the character codes
2) Adjusted CPU resources allocation to use less power on fast machines and give more back the the system so that it doesn't always max out your processor. Note that the animation might be slightly less smooth on some systems. 

Version 1.10 - 08th March 2007

1) Added support for multiple monitors.  Yes, I know it's been 5 years, but I've been busy.  It is worth the wait.
2) Improved "Trace Program" visual effects.
3) Improved speed regulation to the Matrix code emulation. 
4) Significant improvements to the matrix code emulation, head fading and the activity levels of the code now subtly change over time.
5) Adjusted alignment of intro sequence and trace program
6) Tweaked default colours of matrix code, default variability, and speed.
7) Optimisations increase performance up to a factor of 2.
8) Fixed bug with repeat opening of Settings window.
9) New power-save features, good for laptops and those wanting the Matrix but without the CO2.

Version 1.07 - 19th June 2002

1) Added new options to configure matrix code speed and distribution.
2) Fixed timing problem on Dell PC's by bypassing faulty counter timer.
3) Fixed power save problem

Version 1.06

1) Fixed Defaults button on settings window didn't reset all the settings.

Version 1.05

1) Added new settings window with lots of settings

Version 1.03

1) Fixed speed regulation problems with the phone decode section.

Version 1.02

1) Modified for differences in the way Windows 2000 caches and handles GDI calls that was interfering with the animation flow.

Version 1.01

1) Plugged some resource leaks.

Version 1.00

1) First Version

Installing the old way

For those installing manually, simply copy the THEMATRIX.SCR file into your Windows directory.

If you are running Win95, Win98 or WinXP then this will probably be called C:\WINDOWS

If you are runnging WinNT 4 or Win2000 then this will probably be called C:\WINNT


There is absolutely no warranty of any kind whatsoever, either expressed or implied on this software.  It is provided free and in good faith.  You use it entirely at your own risk.

Copyright and Distribution

This screen saver is the copyright of Philip Symons, Meticulous Software.

All Warner Brothers copyrights acknowledged

This screen saver is Freeware.  This means that all users are free to distribute this screen saver without any restriction provided that it is distributed entirely unmodified with this accompanying text file.

Last Updated : 02nd August 2010