Since even a speedy new G3 can take forever to boot, many people leave their macs on all day and trust After Dark to keep the monitor from burning an image into itself permanently. Those of you who can't justify spending money on something that runs when you're not there are probably using the built-in Energy Saver control panel to put your computer to sleep instead. There is a more elegant solution. MacDim is a screensaver that doesn't have After Dark's obscene memory requirements but is much more useful than simply putting your computer to sleep. And it's free.
MacDim darkens the monitor to any brightness you want in a way that looks really slick. It can launch any program you choose in order to provide an even more interesting backdrop. It can also put your monitor to sleep for energy savings. It can do any or all of the above, each at separate times. MacDim can also lock your computer with a password, and has a gamma toggle feature for working in low-light situations. It's everything useful about After Dark and Energy Saver but doesn't take up nearly as much RAM while you work. If you really can't live without that one After Dark module, version 2.1 of MacDim will be able to launch it for you. And it still won't take up your valuable RAM until it needs it.
Screen shot of MacDim in action
In the author's words:
MacDim is a little, beautiful screensaver for Macintosh. It takes almost no memory. With MacDim screens that have not been used for a while can be dimmed. Monitors that support power saving can also be turned off. To dim up the screen(s), just move the mouse or press a key. MacDim does not do any annoying sounds when undimming from powersaving mode.
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