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IGS Twisted (screensaver)

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
igs-twisted-121.hqx (100.10 KB)
MD5: 4e11c63bcd5740e12eb7bffe2903dc92
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de
IGS-Twisted_AD1995.sit (25.32 KB)
MD5: 98ce5b19cb4d883ddb4dbf66388ae0b8
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de (2.14 KB)
MD5: e17723a1c1f841d201beaa11ac4f90c2
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS X
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us [mirror].de (60.35 KB)
MD5: 84f17854190205ad5b385a4e5693d1f7
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS X
Guides on emulating older applications

It began in '95 as a 3D graphics Demo by a college student using After Dark, evolved into a bad-ass early-OSX always-freeware screensaver, then went missing from today's internet. What happened?

At a glance, it's just another polygon draw routine, ubiquitous and typically dull. But give it a chance and, in the author's own 1995 words "Leave it [running] for a few minutes and you'll see fantastic twirls, twists, spins, inversions, and many other things." It's true; these 4 still-life screenshots here (all v1.2.1 in OSX 10.2.8) can't begin to convey the brilliant power IGS-Twisted has when animated. There aren't any demo videos of it on 'youtube' in 2017, even tho every other screensaver has spawned video recordings.

I've used v1.2.1 since it was made 2002 and have had no trouble, other than it needs a bump to get running in OSX Tiger & Leopard : get the 3rd download here and place its "IGSTwisted.plist" file into your home Library/Preferences folder, this should cause Tiger & Leopard to run it. The thing can run in Tiger without this .plist file if I use the System Preferences screensaver "Options..." panel to 'tick' the button labeled "Mono Color" and then untick it again. Looks like this only has to be done once, then, it stays working in Tiger even after rebooting. I prefer keeping all of the default settings in v1.2.1 with one exception: IGS-Twisted looks more awesome with its "Shape Outlines" option ticked (I've already gone and activated shape outlines in this downloadable .plist file). v1.2.1 includes a ReadMe file, but there is also a 2nd ReadMe built in to the saver "Options..." button labeled "Click For More Info". note: v1.2.1 intermittently chooses to draw black on black for a few seconds stretches, this is normal (esp. for a saver), soothing.


In researching today's internet, every IGS-Twisted page is a Recently broken dl link and no explanation why. I luckily scored these copies now from an edu ftp site and v1.2.1 compares uncorrupt against the file I've always possessed. v1.2.4 The Highest (2006-2009) is an altogether different story - it made many changes which caused the perfection to collapse. It draws thicker Shape Outlines, has less flowing color transitions, and draws slower, in fact, v1.2.4 slows down the whole computer system even when the saver is not drawing.

I saw a smoking crater on the Internet where IGS once was, and hints - not explicit, that the software may have been branded as malware, perhaps undeserved. I saw the name "IGS Twisted" plugged into scripted malware notices, but it wasn't convincing, it had an odor of fake news about it.

What doesn't help the author's case is that he cultivated a mystique about the motion AI possessing "psychic" powers, an AI which in truth might not exist or might be quite simple. The v1.2.1 readme file states :

There are more than 15 different [internal parameters] adapted to the "psychic vibes" surrounding your computer. Some say it synchronizes to any music playing but it may just be myth. Download and see for yourself.

The 2nd/built-in readme states :

...concurrent changes in the animation and the [user's] music is uncanny. How does [IGS Twisted] do it? No one will ever know. Maybe Apple included an emotions chip in their new hardware for sensing the "vibe" surrounding your computer.

He went overboard with his PT Barnum-like marketing tactics, and maybe scared the wrong person into fearing how deeply or not the software hooks into the system and behaves like a performance monitor. I'm running it (v1.2.1) in Tiger & Leopard now on my supersensitive MDD2003 and am finding nothing wrong, nothing slowing down, even when keeping the saver previewer open running on my Desktop. This program is too small to be 'superbad', it's only 80 kilobytes uncompressed and its Icon is what's doubling its total size.

Architecture: 68k PPC x86 (Intel:Mac)

v1.2.4 is said to be slow, PPC/intel Universal Binary year 2006 runs on OSX 10.3+
v1.2.1 is PowerPC-only for all OSX resembling that. Tiger & Leopard need help installing (see the 3rd dL or the description above).
After Dark module prototypes from 1995 run for both 68k and PowerPC, but isn't intended to be used in 68k, only for comparing 68k vs PPC. 68k version requires FPU.
AD module is standalone so runs in each of the big three: After Dark, DarkSide of the Mac, and Intermission. The module draws very slow in Demo mode, get it going in real Saver mode to appreciate it.


SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, December 12 - 7:37am

Brad Anderson wrote some of the Configs for G-Force music visualizer under the name "Sound of Light" (filenames that begin with "SOL"). Makes you wonder if any of Brad's work made its way into Apple's iTunes visualizer.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, September 27 - 2:24am

IGST v1.2.4 isn't so bad. Now I find most screensavers slow down the computer to some extent. 3 of the fastest are Flurry, IGST v1.2.1 and "Hotel Gadget 1". I'd gotten bad test results for IGST v1.2.4 because it turns out the built-in saver "Computer Name" is equally slow when I assumed it would be the fastest, like turning off any screensaver. The computer is fastest after rebooting, before running any screensaver, no matter which saver you've selected. Then just like my paper-printer Driver mentioned before, use the saver just once either fullscreen or in preview, and the computer slows down even when the saver isn't drawing, until you reboot again - OR in this case, just change savers. Keep your saver set upon one you know is fast, and when Done playing around with other savers like IGST v1.2.4 (and "Computer Name" because it's equally bad), then commit your chosen saver back to a fast one. Without having to reboot, this removes the drag caused by a slow saver! End of problem, which was never Brad's problem to begin with (except Brad promised his program wouldn't drag down the computer). [note this I'm first testing in OSX Tiger 10.4.8]

I find I can't change the active saver directly between v1.2.1 and v1.2.4 instead I must commit to a 3rd saver and quit System Preferences, then relaunch. This too is not IGST fault, two versions of Any saver does this.

IGST v1.2.4 makes many changes over v1.2.1 that attempt to mimic "electropaint" more closely. Now that I can compare them to the real SGI video, the thicker outlines, less subtle color gradient, and shapes more distant as to resemble confetti that v1.2.4 adds are all for restoring electropaint-ness which v1.2.1 lacks. Except, the v1.2.4 default settings activate most of Brad's add-ons and so "Options..." must be simplified to look like Electropaint. I think "IGS Twisted" v1.2.4 can be shared here and elsewhere, with the right explanation (= this page). I've uploaded the v1.2.4 file I've been testing, now the 4th-dL, it's a lot smaller than the 1st-dL because Brad ditched the customized icon and readme.txt file, but remember it has a built in readme. This v1.2.4 webpage (WebArchive) wants us to wonder if there's a hidden microphone, it says IGS Twisted plays so well to music "some will even swear that it has ears". Facepalm

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, September 22 - 5:44am

This story is intriguing. There is no "electropaint" page on, kind of like no "IGS Twisted" vid on youtube. Maybe electropaint is better remembered as "the SGI Demo". Now since it played at Grateful Dead shows I wanna change my "IGS Twisted" vote back to 5star. I started with a 5star vote but quickly lowered mine to 4star after finding malware and plist problems. Anyway, the story of "SGI" on is frightening and full of stuff I didn't know; I hate corporate politics.

They say SGI invented "Open GL" the graphics language "IGS Twisted" OSX version is written in. SGI the company imploded around year 2009, around when IGST began to implode too, and SGI was bought by vulture-capitalists who then used their position to engage in patent lawsuits against AMD (who took over ATI) and later against (drum roll...) Apple Inc for court cases which lasted many years. Now look at IGST and Brad's nonsense about secret chips with supernatural powers and I'm not surprised IGST's last version became the target (not originator) of malware coming from nervous control freaks. 1Hell of a ScreenSaver.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, September 22 - 3:13am

bingo. "IGS" equals "SGI" spelled backwards.

"Electropaint on SGI" video here:

Brad's "IGS Twisted" takes the "SGI Demo" aka Electropaint and adds his own twists to it, literally. The SGI version and some other clones maintain a vertical column always, whereas IGS twists and rotates every spacial axis. There's the difference. It's only coincidence my 4 screenshots appear mostly as vertical columns.

History says electropaint was used in live Grateful Dead shows during the early 1990's, and Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995. Perhaps all this inspired Pennsylvania college student Brad to begin IGST. Another clone of electropaint is named "Stoner View" by Andrew Plotkin, yes The Andrew Plotkin. It doesn't dazzle as much as IGST, close but no cigar.

butterburger's picture
by butterburger - 2017, September 21 - 7:31pm

This looks like a clone of electropaint / Electro-Paint, by David Tristram, since 1989.
A little bit of history and description by "Ornette" (Jon Lin). His longer history write-up was here. (Saved for now by Internet Archive.) See also tranquility or TQ.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, September 21 - 6:55pm

tricked v1.2.1 into running on Leopard, just now.
I guessed right its problem is with its 193-byte .plist file : program expects (assumes) the ten properties to be in some particular order whereas Leopard (and Tiger slightly) internally shuffles these .plist bytes. Has me wondering how many other Panther-ok Tiger/Leopard-fail programs can get fixed the same way! I uploaded the verbose "IGSTwisted.plist" file which OSX Jaguar builds, now folks using Leopard-only or having Tiger-trouble shall overcome.


I don't have my System Preferences > ScreenSaver crashes any more, I found what was causing my intermittent crashes with only a few particular savers. It was that I deleted the entire /System/Library/ScreenSavers folder and moved only the ones I wanted to keep into a single folder just /Library/ScreenSavers. The problem was that "Random.saver" must remain in /System/Library/. I was launching my Random from within the list of names, the trouble is: that way Random can choose Random as its player, leading to recursion etc.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, September 1 - 1:03pm

ah, wayback-machine circa 2009, thanks for the assist -
I suppose nobody ought to download v1.2.4 because I tried it and it really does slow down one's computer a lot, outside of saver mode of course, and in saver mode, v1.2.4 doesn't draw as brilliantly as v1.2.1 - so to hell with v1.2.4

mrdav maybe remove the link in your comment, or edit your comment?

All ..., there's no cause for panic (contrary! to the leading Google search results about "IGS Twisted") -- just erase the .saver program AND Reboot, then the computer returns to its previous speed. Lots of lame software makes your computer slow down, I don't see justification for singleing out IGST with hysteria. I've wrote about the Logitech mouse drivers for OS9 here on mg, also: my paper-printer's Driver slows down the computer. I get full speed on rebooting, then if I print anything, the computer stays slower even after the job is done and I switch the printer off. I need to reboot to restore full speed. But who mouths off to million and billion $ corporations about this? Why pick on Brad, who had a public reputation to uphold as admin/programmer/radiohost and his real name on the software. I doubt this is intentional malware.

mrdav's picture
by mrdav - 2017, August 31 - 7:54am

Hi SkyCapt. Here is version 1.2.4 for Mac OS X. I will leave it to you to DL and upload here since you are managing the page.

->no PeeCee counterpart?<--- You will also find a Win version 1.2.1 on the DL page.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2017, September 1 - 12:46pm

One of the best screensaver animations!, I'd post a link to a 'youtube' video, but youtube has no video of this. Is IGST a Mac-only phenomenon, no PeeCee counterpart?

The v1.2.4 program I could not locate.