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The "Oxford Computer Group" and "Aris" (Aris UK Ltd, as part of Aris Inc) screen savers

[Camel Services Ltd is not in any way connected with any of the current "versions" of these companies. But did have a historical, indirect, connection with the screen savers' creation.]

Corporate History

The first of these screen savers was written by "Oxford Computer Group" (OCG), a UK-based (Oxford) training and applications development company, in 1995. In 1997 OCG became part of (US-based) "Aris Inc" (in turn bought by Ciber Inc in 2001), the screensavers were later available on the "Aris Education" web site (Aris Inc having sold the UK training department in 2000 to Mentergy (in Israel)), and this was later renamed to "John Bryce Training". In July 2002 it ceased to exist, and the  assets were acquired by Xpertise Training (in the UK). Camel Services had an involvement in the development of the screen savers, and keeps them here as an alternative download location. They are also now available from the reformed Oxford Computer Group website.

Design and Technology

These screen savers were developed as an alternative to corporate Christmas cards. They rely on the animation of hand-painted images to create a "natural" loook and feel.

When first developed (1995), no suitable "graphics engine" (ie "multimedia development program") existed, so a (Visual) C++ based solution was developed (which had to work with the constraints of 16 bit Windows 3). It had to be very efficient and frugal in order to deliver a good performance on the machines available at the time, not to mention be small because of slower download speeds.

The last of this "series" of screen savers was produced in 1999 (the 2000 screen saver (a toy shop) was built using one of the new multimedia tools and is not available here).

Note that these savers are designed to run during December, and that (with the exception of the Grotto) they develop day by day during the month. Please be careful if you change your computer date (especially if you are a corporate user, in which case you may not be able to).

The savers may be downloaded, used and distributed (unchanged) freely.
Camel Services has the savers here for "posterity" and takes NO RESPONSIBILITY for consequences of their use.
The contact details (in readme files and About boxes etc) and similar details are out of date.

Year Title Corporate Identity Bits, Platforms and  Install method Download (includes readme file) Online Readme
1994 Advent House Oxford Computer Group Ltd 16bit Not available
(see below for 2004 rebuild)
1995 Victorian Room Oxford Computer Group Ltd 16 bit, but rereleased (with enhancements) as 32 bit in 1999 Not available
(see below for 2nd ed.)
1996 NSPCC Happy Kids Oxford Computer Group Ltd and Microsoft UK 16 bit, self-extracting .exe file, no installer (see readme),  tested for Windows 3, 95 and NT3. 215KB Click to read
1996 Santa's Grotto Oxford Computer Group Ltd 16 bit, self-extracting .exe file, no installer (see readme), tested for Windows 3, 95 and NT3. Not available
(see below for 2nd ed.)
1997 Advent Castle Oxford Computer Group Ltd in transition to "Aris UK" 32 bit, self-extracting .exe file, no installer (see readme), tested for Windows 95, NT3 and 4 1,235 KB Click to read
1998 Village Life "Aris UK" 32 bit, with installer, tested for Windows 95 and 98 and NT4 2,955 KB Click to read
1999 Victorian Room (2nd Ed.) ARIS 32 bit, with installer, tested for Windows 95 and 98 and NT4 2,360 KB Click to read
2000 Toy Shop ARIS Multimedia Not Available here -
2001 to 2002 None Various None Produced - -
2003 Kaleidoscope Oxford Computer Group Ltd 32 bit for XP, 2000, 98 and 95. See OCG -
2004 Santa's Grotto (2nd Ed.) Oxford Computer Group Ltd 32 bit for XP, 2000, 98 and 95. See OCG  
2004 Advent House (from 1994) Oxford Computer Group Ltd Rebuilt for XP, 2000, 98 and 95 without any updates See OCG  
2005 None Screen saver production was not possible

 

2006 Camel Services Ltd. www.camel.co.uk