Turn back the clock to about a decade ago, and the screensaver was THE standard piece of software on any computer. This wasn’t because they helped PC performance – if anything, they wasted memory space. The real reason they were an accessory every PC couldn’t go without was because of our Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors. These CRT screens were the standard display used by millions of computers worldwide. However, they suffered from the threat of "burn-in." For the uninitiated, burn-in was when an image remained on the screen for too long and caused a phosphor compound that would leave a ghostly etching of the image permanently on the screen.
The development of PC display technologies over the last 30 years has taken us through many chapters: from IBM, the creator of the IBM PC, pioneering color display technologies (and ceding development to third-parties ATI, 3dfx, and nVidia); to the quest to provide both sharp text and colorful graphics; through the ever-increasing size of displays; to LCD flat panels overtaking TV-type CRTs; the move to 3D graphics rendering and, currently, to 3D viewing. Here's a brief history of these and other milestones in PC graphics history.