Today’s tip is very simple, yet extremely useful.

Apple claims that they have the “greenest” laptop lineup of any computer manufacturer. ?Whether this is true or not, well, we’ll save that discussion for another day. ?What I do want to discuss are OS X’s power settings. ?These can be “customized” (to a limited extent) under the Energy Saver menu in the System Preferences window. ?Apple basically allows you to create two profiles-one while on battery and one while plugged into an AC adapter-and in those profiles you can basically decide when to put the display to sleep and when to put the computer to sleep. And…. well that’s about it. ?If you close the lid on your Macbook, then it will automatically go to sleep.

Well, what if you want to close the lid and you don’t want it to go to sleep? ?Maybe you want to step away from your laptop for a little bit but want to keep a download running while you’re gone. ?Maybe you’re heading out for the night and want to leave up an away message telling everyone where you are. ?Maybe you want to keep some tunes playing in the background while you snooze. ?If you fit into any of these categories, or think this might be useful to you, read on.

It’s a shame that Apple doesn’t have a setting like this already. ?Maybe this is how they get away with their “greenest line of laptops” claim. ?Luckily there is a very simple fix for this. ?Enter InsomniaX. ?InsomniaX is a very small program that stays in your menu bar. ?All you do is enable or disable InsomniaX. ?With InsomniaX enabled then your Macbook won’t go to sleep. ?This is all you have to do:

You can get InsomniaX here or here either one is fine. ?NOTE: If you are running Snow Leopard OS X 10.6 make sure that the version of InsomniaX that you are getting is the newest one (1.3.4). ?Earlier versions will not function on Snow Leopard.

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The file that you download is a .tgz file. ?This is simply a compressed file. ?Double-click on it in your Downloads window and it should extract by itself to whatever folder you have it downloaded to. ?Simply drag the InsomniaX icon into your Applications folder to “install” it.

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Side Note: Just a small tidbit while I’m at it. ?Anytime you drag a file onto another folder, if you don’t release it right away and hold it over the folder, the window will automatically open to that folder. ?This way if you don’t want to copy to the root folder, you can keep going into deeper and deeper levels without ever dropping your file. ?Here, I held the InsomniaX icon over the Applications folder on the left and the window switched from Downloads to Applications.

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Once InsomniaX is copied, double-click on it to launch. ?You should see this little blue icon on the top left of your menu bar.

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Click on it to enable InsomniaX. ?You can tell when InsomniaX is enabled because the little blue icon will change and now have bloodshot eyes.

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Now feel free to close your lid without your Macbook falling asleep. ?You can customize InsomniaX to launch whenever you boot your computer or you can toggle it on and off by setting a hot-key. ?Mine is set to Alt-X because it is easy to do one handed if I’m in a rush, but feel free to choose whatever you like.

In addition, InsomniaX can be useful if you’re watching a movie while on battery and don’t want to delve into system preferences to change your power settings back and forth.

I hope this helped! Please let us know if it did.

Check back tomorrow for another Tip of the Day.

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