I am up and down from my desk a lot. Either to or from meetings or to re-fill the liquid caffeine vessel. My Macbook Air/Pro hum away working with connections to remote desktops, VMware View environments, performing file transfers or access to my lab. When I get up and move around or get distracted my laptops screens will dim and I then go the screen saver kicks in. I’d like to keep these sessions active.

There is an app Tim Hoffman (@hoffnz) linked me to a while back. Caffeine. Found on the App store. Simply click it and your laptop will not go to sleep. It is great if you want someone to use your laptop for a while without password prompts or you are presenting off power.

Install it and it will appear on your task bar at the top.

Screenshot 2014-04-24 09.11.53

Simply click it and whilst the coffee cup is full your screen will not sleep and laptop won’t enter standby.

Screenshot 2014-04-24 09.12.00

This is just a GUI interface into what I found was the command line. If you open your Terminal.app and

aburke-MBA:~ aburke$ caffeinate -t 600

If you want to run this as a background task just append the & argument to command.

caffeinate -t 30 &
[2] 8238
[1]   Exit 127                caffeinate 30

If you need to kill this command just kill the PID exposed in the output.

aburke-MBA:~ aburke$ kill -9 8238

Here are some additional flags you can use with Caffeinate that are useful from the CLI.

  • -d  Prevent the display from sleeping.
  • -i Prevent the system from idle sleeping.
  • -s Prevent the system from sleeping on power.

So not a bad application at all. Definitely saved me a few headaches with some large transfers occurring and made my life a little easier.

There is a security consideration to think about with a screen being active. It is important to consider where you are when you ‘caffeinated’ your Macbook. You don’t want to walk away from an exposed laptop in public.

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