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snorkler 12-12-2015 01:17 AM

Is SereneScreen at an End?
I believe serenescreen is at an end. I have given thanks to Jim for this wonderful program. Then I realized that much of the "fun" was - is - due to this forum! Thank You Feldon for all the years of enjoyment!


feldon34 12-12-2015 05:59 PM

After 15 years, you're probably right. We're still on year one of the 5 year plan that Jim had planned for SereneScreen. It's frustrating and saddening as it didn't have to be this way. Jim is an incredible character artist and environment designer and, paired with the right people, SHOULD be making some of the best computer software/animation out there. How'd we get here?
  • Jim was burned many times over the years by publishers and other developers.
  • As a result, Jim only trusted Reichart, who did not turn out to be the ideal shepherd for this project.
  • A huge amount of time and effort was spent early on modularizing the Aquarium into a "platform" that other screensavers could be built upon, such as Flags, Goldfish, etc.
  • Jim never got the programming help needed to move forward with the creature pack and the other 4 screensavers he had planned.

If Jim would go for it, I'd do a crowdfunded Kickstarter with Jim as Art Director and Environment Artist with full veto right on how everything looks, animates, etc. Nothing would get released without his approval. I'd fly out to Oregon and have meetings that hash out absolutely everything that's expected. I'd find a couple of programmers and we'd do mockups and prototypes and collaborate until it meets Jim's standards.

And then I woke up and of course this is a dream because Jim's trust has been all used up and there's none left. :( :(

snorkler 12-12-2015 08:17 PM

The idea of Kickstarter is very good. I would happily contribute! It is sad that Jim finally "gave up". Even sadder that he could not collaborate with others to make this program what it could have become, as well as the other savers he had planned.
Again, I thank you for keeping this forum going all these years and for your passion for Jim's art.

harris 12-12-2015 08:31 PM

It is a sad situation indeed. I would also like to publicly thank Feldon for all he has done to make this an enjoyable place to visit.

To be involved in the early stages (beta) of the SereneScreen Aquarium's development through this board with other great members will always be a cherished memory. If I remember correctly my first download version was .99g, sometime in 2001. I know my 'join date' shows 2006, but that is because I changed my original membership account - long story.

Ralph 12-13-2015 08:17 AM

Time moves on, technology changes, the mind is no longer as nimble. Jim was #1 while programs were developed by a team of one. That.. did not last long and now programs are developed with big budgets, big teams and the latest technology. The days of one person keeping up is long past.

And.. I think the concept of screen savers has changed. There is so much "live" action out there now one expects a screen saver to have the same qualities.

And.. I think Jim bit off more than he could chew trying to build his dream castle.. at the same time some deals he hoped would pan out financially went sour.. And he had to dedicate a lot of time to take care of his mother.

I also want to thank Feldon for his continuous upbeat attitude, keeping this forum running (along with others and Jim's financial support).

And I thank Jim for his SS, all his comments and his enthusiasm to follow his dream. :TU:

cjmaddy 12-13-2015 08:40 AM


Originally Posted by snorkler (Post 156703)
The idea of Kickstarter is very good. I would happily contribute! It is sad that Jim finally "gave up". Even sadder that he could not collaborate with others to make this program what it could have become, as well as the other savers he had planned.
Again, I thank you for keeping this forum going all these years and for your passion for Jim's art.

Hear, hear!

P.S... Though perhaps with my history, I should resist commenting on Prolific!

fly911 12-13-2015 08:56 AM

All things must pass..... but the awesomeness of Jim's creation will live on and on. Many thanks, Jim for many hours, days, weeks and months of enjoyment.

feldon34 12-13-2015 10:54 AM


Originally Posted by cjmaddy (Post 156708)
Hear, hear!

P.S... Though perhaps with my history, I should resist commenting on Prolific!

I never had a problem with Reichart being a smart ass. I'm a smart ass. It was his overconfidence and lack of delivery that I always objected to.

Jim Sachs 12-13-2015 01:56 PM

My day:
I get up, wolf down some breakfast, answer a few emails, then head over to the care facility to deal with my mother's breakfast. She's in the Independent Living section, but really shouldn't be. Then we head out to the lot, where I've been building my house for the past decade ( On the way, we stop by Goodwill to look for some used DVDs to keep her entertained for the day. The videos have to be comedies or musicals, because she thinks whatever is on the screen is really happening, and if there's anything with chases or gunfire she keeps wanting to call the police.

So we get to the lot and I leave her in the car for a few minutes while I try to warm up part of the house with electric heaters. Then I get her settled in what will eventually be the living room, start a DVD for her, and try to get a little construction done. I have to work in nearby rooms, because she keeps getting up to look for me, asking where her parents are. I tell her they've been dead over 40 years, and tuck her back into her chair.

AT noon, 3 days a week, a caregiver comes and takes Mom to lunch, hair appointments, etc., which gives me 3 hours to work on the house and regain my sanity. Then it's back to her facility to deal with her dinner. At 6:30 every night there's a movie in their on-site theater, so I tuck her into a seat and hope she can remember how to get back to her room afterward. With the help of some other residents, she usually can.

Then I go home, waive to my wife as she heads off to work (night-shift nurse), eat whatever she left for me, and sit down at the computer to create the Next Big Thing. After about 20 minutes, I awake with my face on the keyboard and drag myself off to bed.

Except for very rare days off, that's how it's been for nearly three years, since my Mom got Alzheimer's. Sure, I dream about doing Kickstarters for lots of different projects. I'd like to add some things to MA, and I've got a Grand-Prize-Winning screenplay which would make an incredible graphic novel, but until my situation changes I simply have no energy left to pursue anything.

feldon34 12-13-2015 02:37 PM

Jim, I've watched the incredibly touching and masterfully done short film your daughter created about Alzheimer's.

Watch the film (click Work at the top) | Kickstarter project

I understand the social contract. I understand the feeling of responsibility. But should the last years of your life be spent in misery? Does your mother even know what's really going on? Do you think people would think any less of you if you put her in the full nursing home she likely needs? A good friend's wife had early onset Alzheimer's. The 3 years before she was put into a full nursing program were complete hell for him. He looks like he aged 15 years in that time. Now that she is getting the care she needs, he is having some kind of real life again.

I know these are hard and personal questions for an internet forum about a screensaver.

Jim Sachs 12-13-2015 06:11 PM

Yeah, Jill's film is actually very close to what my mother goes through every day. That short film has won a few awards at film festivals, and helped get Jill into the Director's Program at AFI Film School. A big Thank You to everyone who contributed to her Kickstarter.

A nursing home is far too expensive for us. Mom's got a house in California rented out, which covers the cost of the facility she's in now, but only for Independent Living. Between that and her part-time caregiver, there's nothing left.

drfish 12-13-2015 06:14 PM

That's heartwrenching stuff to read Jim.

Take care of yourself.

Don't know what else to say. :(

Jim Sachs 12-13-2015 08:06 PM

Hey, I have no complaints - just filling you guys in on why there aren't more updates to MA.

dmgm1234 12-14-2015 12:05 AM

Dear Mr. Jim,

I’m the one who is enjoying your music so much as well as your new fish & coral.

I have been reading your post about the pocket your life has fallen into because of your Mom. So commendable. You will never regret this later down the road.

I would like to describe a scenario that took place at my daughter’s office building. The building is very luxurious and in the entrance there was an aquarium about 10’ long. (guessing). Two people were cleaning the tank. Algia, dead plants, cloudy water etc. Since this was Saturday no one was working and I was just being shown around the building. The BIG boss came in while just passing by. I met and casual talk was being made.

Be aware that I have been a great lover of aquariums for years. Even raised fish, spawned egg layers for a pet store to feet their fish as well as many types of live bearers.

As I was watching this one man try to scrape the algia off the inside of the glass a thought came to me. This is what I want to pass on to you now. I have no idea how, if, or possible but here goes.

I spoke to Mr. John, the boss, and asked if he had ever pictured a projected aquarium similar to a screen saver on the front & ends of the tank. He even had his engineer cleaning the tank. I told him, you will never have to clean the tank again, feed the fish, keep the water clear and the right balance etc. He even possible already had the man to invent it cleaning the tank right now…..

Well Mr. John, being a brilliant Korean (I think), stared at me a little while then spoke to the engineer & said I bet you could do that, couldn’t you?

Well that is all of that but I was thinking about you. When it is not quiet time to go to bed at night and you have a little bit of inventiveness flowing you may could just think on this.

Usually something new for me on the computer will perk me up and pull out more energy. Just a thought. You surely do know how much everyone appreciates all your past years of work even if you don’t ever feel like doing anything but coasting for a while.

jleslie 12-14-2015 06:23 AM

As always my best wishes for the future Jim...

I looked after my Mother while she was dying, which took a fair while, and I don't regret it (it was lethal on relationships though). Luckily she didn't get a form of dementia other than briefly due to a kidney infection, which caused her to see stuff that wasn't there and was super-scary for me, but luckily cured by anti-biotics (the prospect of looking after her otherwise was very worrying). Take care and I hope the future includes a fair number of good moments along with everything else.

fly911 12-14-2015 11:41 AM

Wide-screen monitors
Hi Jim. We are seeing more and more of the 21:9 ultra wide-screen monitors replacing the 16:9 wide-screen monitors. Do you see any issues with MA3 compatibility, as far as picture stretch or chop-off?

Jim Sachs 12-14-2015 12:00 PM

The tank should be plenty wide for such a monitor, and should automatically fill the screen. There probably wouldn't be a lot of extra room for the scene to pan, but it should look great.

drfish 12-14-2015 04:37 PM

Can confirm.

Amstergrind 05-03-2016 07:47 AM

Running for years
God Bless you Jim Sachs.
Having only visited here because my app requires P/W everytime.
Jim have you ever heard of GcMaf?
Alzheimers moves quickly at the end, feel for you.
GcMaf cures over 98% of ALL known cancers within a year.
It attacks 20 auto immune diseases. Everyone has it in their bodies, but if you don't, you got cancer, or many other types of conditions.
BANNED in the UK !!
There are two clinics, one in Germany and the other in Switzerland, they only take Terminal cancer patients at stage 4 with 3 months or more to live. They all go home! The rest get protocols to use the medication and are cured in 3 months, usually, breast, (most) colon, testicular and bowel cancers, all in 3 months total cure, no secondaries.
Finish with cancer completely.

Jim Sachs 05-04-2016 11:56 AM

Thanks, Amstergrind - my mom doesn't have cancer, just dementia. In fact she's very healthy physically, takes no pills at all, and will probably outlast me. She's with me most of the day, but sleeps at an Assisted Living facility at night. Last night she wandered into someone else's room and got into bed with them, so we were called to the principal's office this morning. We toured the lock-down unit in the basement, and that's as grim as it sounds (it's also an additional $2000 per month, at a time when I just lost 2/3 of my income due to the Mindspark contract expiring). Bad times...

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