"eSheep", "Sheepy" or "Screen Mate Poe" is a 16-bit Windows program by Fuji Television, in which a sheep runs around on the users desktop, interacting with open windows as well as with randomly generated objects, for instance flowers. If several copies are running at the same time, they will interact with each other. It can also alert the user about upcoming appointments. It is also partly comparable in function with later screensavers, although the user can continue working while the program is running. Multiple instances of the program can be run simultaneously.

The program is based on the "Stray Sheep" franchise by Japanese writer Tatsutoshi Nomura. The program originally (1996) distributed for 3,200 yen as a retail version, or 2,560 if bought by conventional mail. Computer students quickly translated the software to English and distributed that version over the internet for free illegally. As a reaction Engrish banners appeared on the official website where the sheep informed people "I am not a free". In 2000 the distributor stopped selling their software through snailmail. Similar programs, known as "screenmates", featuring other characters appeared as well during the same time.


Other than running around the computer screen, the eSheep can do an abundance of other things such as:
*Do a handstand
*Eating spontaneously generated daisies
*Falling from the top of the screen
*Be adopted by aliens
*Fly like a burning comet into a bath
*Meet a black sheep

To access the debug mode and all the different actions, perform ctrl+shift+double click on the animal.

ee also

* Neko (computer program)

External links

* [ Official Stray Sheep website]
* [ Albino Blacksheep reference]

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