Tagged with mac

How to keep your Mac from sleeping using Terminal

I knew there was a Mac app called Caffeine that did this, but Brett explains that it's indeed possible to do the same using a CLI for use in scripts etc.

We'll worth knowing.

Brett Terpstra

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Why the awesome Bonjour Sleep Proxy is... awesome.

Every so often I come across something that I somehow managed to miss the first time around. Rarely, it's something that is so awesome that I then spend the next few hours reading everything I can find online that even remotely links to it.

Today, that thing was Bonjour Sleep Proxy.

Sometimes also simply referred to as Sleep Proxy, I stumbled upon this little gem earlier today, completely by accident. Here's the background...

iStat Server

I've been playing around with Bjango's excellent iStat Server software that allows me to, thanks to the accompanying iOS app, monitor my Windows server and MacBook from anywhere. CPU usage, disk usage, network traffic, processes - you get the idea.

What I noticed when monitoring the MacBook was that even when the Mac was asleep, I could still see up-to-date stats. I assumed that the MacBook was simply being woken up via WOL, so I wandered into the office to have a look. The screen was off. The external monitor was in standby. But the standby indicator on the MacBook itself wasn't flashing. Something was afoot!

iStat for iOS

So, fast-forward to now, and a few hours of Googling later. The answer, apparently, is Bonjour Sleep Proxy.

From what I can glean, and I've been doing this while trying to keep a 15-month old from wrecking our house1 so I'm still a bit sketchy, any Bonjour advertised service can 'Dark Wake' a Mac assuming you have a Sleep Proxy in place. And it turns out I do, even if I didn't know about it.

According to Apple's own resources:

... works by partnering with a Bonjour Sleep Proxy running on your AirPort Base Station, Time Capsule or Apple TV (when no AirPort Base Station or Time Capsule is present on the network). Note: Apple TV will act as a Bonjour Sleep Proxy even if it is in sleep mode.

I told you it was magic.

So, to cut an already long story short, it seems that when I launch the iStat app on my iPhone or iPad the Apple TV knows where my MacBook is on the network, and asks it to allow access to the required Bonjour service - the iStat Server in this instance. The beauty of the whole thing is that the Mac never wakes up. At least, not properly. Oh, and once you're done using the service, OS X puts the Mac back to sleep.

The upshot of all this is that you can have a shared printer, or an iTunes library, or just a shared drive that can be accessible even if your Mac is asleep. It works for SSH too, for those of us that like that kind of thing. If not, screen sharing works as well.

Now if none of that made too much sense, allow me to point you to Stuart Cheshire. The website doesn't seem to have been updated in quite some time, but from his LinkedIn profile it seems he works at Apple. And he knows is....Apples, too.

I can't be the only person that didn't know this existed, can I?


  1. And I managed it too. For the most part. 

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Is your computer on 24/7?

Since I managed to score myself something of a man cave a couple of weeks ago, I've had my 2008 (the first of the metal unibody designs, thank-you-very-much) MacBook plugged into a 24-inch monitor. For writing downstairs I've been using the MacBook Air, but generally the MacBook now lives upstairs, in the 'office.'

The machine has spent the last five years being put into standby - or hibernate depending on what version of OS X it had running at the time - when not being used. Now though, it's left on 24/7. I don't even put it into standby. Which got me thinking.

Power Saving

Back when I was a lad, and when the idea of a PC in the home was something rather new, the consensus was that turning a computer on and off too often would damage it. Components warming up and cooling down, and all that malarky. Probably completely unfounded, but they were heady days back then.

While that's obviously not the case now, I wondered whether people do leave their machines on 24/7, or whether they put them to sleep or even turn them off when not in use. It's not as daft a question as it first seems, either.

Take my other computer as a reference. It's an old-ish Core2Duo PC that runs Windows 81 and has three virtual machines running on it. These need to be live 24/7, because one powers this website and takes care of Time Machine backups, one takes care of DNS and DHCP on my network and the other handles DLNA duties for media. If this machine, or one of its VMs gets switched off, literally everything stops working. It needs to be on.

Obviously, this isn't the case with my MacBook, but I know some of you will have a Mac Pro, or perhaps an iMac that it is beneficial to leave on because it does things like share media across the network, or perhaps it needs to be powered on so that some fancy Hazel rules can work their magic. Or maybe I'm talking rubbish and I'm singlehandedly killing the planet by having everything running all the time.

So, the question I have is a simple one; do you turn your machines off, or at least put them to sleep?

Seeing as I've gone all comment-less here, I'm looking for replies on Twitter - if only because it's where everyone seems to be these days.

Oh, and if your machine's always on, tell me why!


  1. I actually rather like it! 

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Mac OS X is merely a locked down version of Linux

This post over on Google+ made me chuckle greatly 1.

Umm

It is meant to be funny, right?

Mac OS X is merely a locked down version of open-source Linux

Oh.

My favourite quote?

Macs are ridiculously overpriced. Not only do you get much less for your money when you buy ANY type of Macintosh computer compared to your other options, but you get royally screwed whenever you want any halfway-decent Mac machine. Compare 17-inch MacBook Pros starting at an astounding $2500 with thousands of 17-inch alternatives starting at just $599.

Yep. You do that.

The fact that so much work went into writing all that is rather mind-blowing to me. So much effort, so little insight.

Well, it is Google+ I suppose.


  1. Not a full on laugh, obviously. 

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The wonderful world of text files

They may seem like arguably the most boring thing in the world, but text files are actually quite brilliant. Honest.

In a world where we are far from short of options when it comes to getting words out of our heads and onto a computer screen, the humble text editor has become one of the biggest app categories on both of Apple's App Stores, with the Mac and iOS alike seeing almost as many text editors as they do flashlight apps. With all that choice, it's often difficult to know which to use.

And that's where the brilliance of the '.txt' file comes in to play.

![The humble .txt][]

I recently tweeted that I was testing just about every editor I could find, especially on iOS. What I found was a lot of options, many offering similar features and functionality, and ultimately I couldn't decide which I preferred to use. Which should I choose to be the home of my expertly crafted prose?

Then it dawned on me that I didn't need to choose. At least, not yet.

See, I always use Dropbox as my syncing method, and it's a prerequisite for any text editor that I use. It also means that, once I tell all the editors to save their files in the '.txt' format, they can all edit each other's files. It's true cross-application compatibility, and it's all made possible by the simple text file.

If you ever wondered why people like apps that don't force users to sync content to its own servers, using its own proprietary file format, then this is why.

So, I can write in Markdown, using any text editor I like, and it all gets synced across every device I own.

As for which text editor I will use long term, I figure I'll end up gravitating towards one more than the rest, and I'll then have my answer.

There's a method to my madness, after all.

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