Make an interactive screen saver
Most screen savers will terminate when there is any mouse or keyboard activity, but a screen saver is just a program: it can do whatever it wants in response to input.
Below is 40 lines of sample code to make a Visual FoxPro screen saver which consists of a form with a textbox on it. When Explorer comes up at the end, right click on TEST.SCR and choose Install to install it as a screen saver. You can even copy the VFP exe file to VFP.SCR and install it as a screen saver!
When the screen saver is active (see prior blog entry for a shortcut to start the current screen saver immediately), you can type commands into the textbox much like you can in the VFP command window.
If you make your screen saver password protected, it will run in a different desktop (or WindowStation): Alt-Tab allows you to switch between applications running on a particular desktop.
Try typing this into the textbox
Now you can alt-tab between 2 tasks: the task manager and the screen saver.
Try typing these 3 lines into the textbox:
I have my screen saver randomly showing photographs out of my 15000 picture collection): users (my family) can interact with the photo app (What was that picture?: go back and see, make a different query, etc)
TEXT TO myvar TEXTMERGE noshow
IF parm1="/p" &&"preview mode in the config dlog box not supported
ON KEY LABEL f4 clear events
DEFINE CLASS myform as Form
ShowWindow=2 && in desktop
ADD OBJECT txtCmd as textbox WITH ;
CATCH TO oErr
MODIFY PROJECT test nowait
BUILD EXE test FROM test
COPY FILE test.exe TO test.scr
!start . && start Explorer in the curdir