Smart Sleep

I’ve almost always had a notebook computer of some kind, but I’ve recently switched back to using one as my primary machine (in this case, a MacBook Pro).

And while I’m loving it, I’ve run into a little issue with the way the newer MacBooks handle sleep mode. By default, newer MacBooks (and the last generation of PowerBooks) will go into “sleep & hibernate” mode, where they save the contents of RAM to disk every time you close the lid or put them to sleep manually. This is a good thing, generally, but it takes a bit of time, sometimes a minute or so, for them to actually go to sleep, indicated by that ghostly, pulsating light (a solid light indicates they’re still writing out the contents of RAM to the disk).

Wouldn’t it be better, I was thinking to myself, if this machine would just go into sleep & hibernate mode only when the battery was really low and I’d be at risk of the machine crashing if it ran out of power?

The answer is yes, and now, with the free SmartSleep preference pane, you can choose exactly how your MacBook (or PowerBook) goes to sleep.

This utility isn’t new, but it was new to me, and it’s quite a bit easier than trying to remember the commands to type into Terminal.app when you’re on a plane and needing to swap batteries.

More articles in the Archive →