A screensaver is a type of computer program initially designed to
prevent damage to CRT and plasma computer monitors by blanking the
screen or filling it with moving images or patterns when the computer
is not in use. The screen saver starts automatically if your computer
is idle for a specified amount of time.
One increasingly popular application is for screensavers to activate a
useful background task and participate in so called distributed
computing applications, like different science projects. This is
convenient because these applications only use resources when the
computer would be otherwise idle.