Saturday, November 22, 2008

Cleaning your MacPortable

Recently I wrote about SmartSleep. A brilliant little piece of software that will let your MacPortable sleep faster than fast (most the time) without sacrificing the benefits of SafeSleep.

Well I just came up with another use for it.

See every week or so I have my cleaning the computer ritual. I wish I washed my car thoroughly every week, but that takes a lot of effort. Washing my computer takes just a few moments, and keeps it looking nice and clean. Seriously, have you seen how grody some people let their laptops get? 

Love it or hate it, the black glass screen and black keyboard on my new ProBook show fingerprints even more than the old matte screen/silver keyboard, so the need to clean is even more serious before. Also, gunk between the keys really shows up on the new machine too, since it's basically an open tray there.

Anyway, this presented a challenge for cleaning, especially cleaning of the keyboard. Proper keyboard cleaning means pushing all the buttons on your keyboard. Ideally I'd do that with my computer powered off, but rebooting is a pain -- who reboots these days anyway? I could put the computer to sleep, but as soon as you start smashing buttons it wakes up, and then you're swinging around your laptop with it's hard-drive buzzing away as you hit all the keys. Due to lack of a better solution, this is how I'd always done it in the past.

Enter SafeSleep. Now just to be fair, in Windows you can just tell the machine to Hibernate whenever you please, so +1 for windows there. But in my experience my Mac sleeps and hibernates more reliably than a PC, especially coming out of "SafeSleep" or hibernate on a Mac is light-years ahead of coming out of hibernate on a PC, so +1 Mac. Anyway while pondering this quandary today, I realized that SafeSleep makes it very easy to hibernate the Mac.

So I opened the SafeSleep control panel and swapped my selected sleep mode to "Hibernate Only." If you've used SafeSleep this will make sense. If you have not used SafeSleep go download it now! Then I put my laptop to "sleep" and waited for the power light to go out. At this point the machine was totally powered off and the only thing that would turn it back on was the actual power key. I was able to mash away at the keyboard to my hearts content, and when I was done I hit the Power button and was up and running again within about 30 seconds, at which time I set my computer back to SmartSleep mode.

There you have it. Now go get SmartSleep and give your mac a little cleaning!


orangemily said...

I should really clean my laptop!

amru said...

Hi Ryan,

I found your blog via anothers..

Quick question, is there any order you have to install the apps in? Because installing smartsleep then safesleep.. doesn't let 'hibernation' work for me. If it matters I am using 10.5.5 and everytime I press a button while sleeping it wakes up, which I dont want happening. I'd like it to override sleep and go to straight to hibernation.

Maybe I don't have them setup correctly?