The Apple Energy Saver control panel provides basic functionality for placing your processor, screen and hard disk in a low power mode after a certain amount of inactivity. This can of course save energy and extend your PowerBook battery life. But if you want a bit more control over these events, as well as get some nifty extra features, be sure to check out Sleeper.
Sleeper has five major groups of features. The Disk Sleep feature, unlike the Apple equivalent, allows one to select specific drives to be put to sleep after a certain amount of inactivity. There are also selections to determine when drives should spin up or spin down.
The Screen Saver portion of Sleeper will let you specify the length of keyboard and mouse inactivity before the screen dims, and by what percentage it should dim. You can allow mouse movement to wake up the screen, and can also define 'dim now' and 'dim never' corners for the cursor.
A group of Energy Star settings let you further control the power saving of your monitor if it supports Energy Star low-power modes. You can also tell the computer to sleep (if supported) or shut down after a certain amount of inactivity.
A Password feature allows you to require a password upon screen wake-up or after a certain amount of time, and more interestingly, upon system startup. Of course you're probably thinking that one could just hold down the Shift key to disable this feature. True, so you need something to disallow the use of the Shift key during startup.
Additional features include the definition of a hotkey to initiate sleep, flashing keyboard LEDs if attention is required, and muting speakers during sleep. Detailed Balloon Help explains each feature thoroughly.
Extra Added Bonus Gadget
Enter Shift Key Suite 1.0.2 (Shareware, $5, Marc Mennigmann) a collection of three applications that will enable, disable, and show you the state of the Shift key, respectively. By using these applications in conjunction with Sleeper, you can effectively password-protect your system against causal inspection by annoying siblings, parents or co-workers.
This Handy Tabbed Interface is Used for Setting All Options
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at