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In this course, Macworld senior editor Christopher Breen provides a comprehensive overview of Mac OS X Lion, complete with insider tips for getting the most out of the operating system. The course shows how to configure system preferences, personalize the interface, and master gestures, as well as achieve fluency with applications such as Mail, iCal, and Preview. The course also includes tutorials on browsing the web with Safari, automating complex tasks with Automator, sharing over a network, and performing maintenance operations using the disk utility, along with timesaving techniques for using the Mac efficiently.
Over the years Apple has made efforts to produce devices that are more energy-efficient but the energy efficiency of your Mac is only as good as the energy settings that you use. We look at configuring those settings in the Energy Saving system preference, so back to System Preferences > Energy Saver. Now what you see in the Energy Saver tab depends on the kind of Mac you are using. If you have a desktop Mac you see one set of settings as you don't have to worry about battery settings. On laptops-- I am recording this on a laptop-- you'll see settings for both Battery and for Power Adapter.
You can figure in each separately because with the battery you want to be miserly with the power and not so much when the Mac is plugged in. So let's look through the options. You have the option to put your computer to sleep. Currently I have this set to Never, which is not energy-efficient. If I were using a battery on this I would probably set it to about 15 minutes. You can also sleep the display separately. So knock that down to say 5 minutes or so. What will happen then is if you're not doing something on your computer, the display will go to sleep, which saves power.
After 15 minutes the entire computer goes to sleep, which really save a lot of power, but now we are going to set these to about an hour. And as you see it will warn you for doing something that isn't terribly energy-efficient. You can also put your hard disk to sleep when possible. Again, this saves power but if you do this and they go to sleep it takes your Mac a little bit longer to boot back up because the hard drive has to spin up. You can also slightly dim the display. Depending on how cheap you want to be with your power, this can or cannot be a good option.
I often find when I have this set that I have to press the Brightness button to increase the brightness on my laptop because I find it dims down just a little bit too much. And you can automatically reduce the brightness for the display it goes to sleep at which is fairly intuitive. And you can also automatically restart your computer if the computer freezes. If while you're away, your computer freezes up, this will cause it to restart automatically. This can be helpful if you have a computer at home and one on the road and you need to communicate with that computer at home and you have had some kind of power failure or freeze.
That will bring it right back up. Now at the top there's an option that you may not see. This laptop I'm using has two graphics cards. One of them is a high resolution graphics card and it uses more power. It also has a low resolution graphics card that doesn't use nearly so much power. Using this setting it will choose which one to use based on how much you want to save your battery life. So if I turn this off it will always use the high-performance card instead of switching between the two cards.
Now with Power Adapter because you are plugged into power you can be much more free with your power settings. So you can have your computer sleep never ever. You can change the display, so maybe it takes an hour and 45 minutes before it goes to sleep. If for some reason I have got to put hard drive to asleep when possible. What do I care? I am using power? And I am going to turn that off. Wake for internet access is a reasonably good idea. Let's say for example you have walked away from your computer. It's the middle of the night, the computer has gone to sleep, and something's happening on the Internet that your computer needs to know about, let's say that you've got that tweet for example and your Twitter client needs to get.
It will wake to get that or you have your e-mail client set up to automatically download your e-mail every half hour or so. So it will wake in order to do that and we've gone through these other settings here. It's possible that if you have an uninterruptible power supply, also knows as UPS, you will see an option for that as well here. If you have plugged that UPS into your Mac via a USB cable. This lets you check the status of the battery. One other thing. Check Schedule at the bottom and you see that you have the option to start or wake your Mac at a certain time every day.
Also you have an option to have it go to sleep or shut down or restart at a certain time every day. This is a good power saving tip. If you routinely work on your Mac from say 9 in the morning until 6 at night and then you walk away, there's no reason to leave that Mac going all night unless you need it to do something. This can set up a schedule so that it will say wake up at 7:30 in the morning. It will automatically launch Mail, it will grab your e-mail for you, maybe it launches Safari and it will grab your Safari pages for you, so that when you sit down at your computer it's ready to go and then at 10 o'clock that night maybe it shuts itself off and you're not using up power unnecessarily.
For now I will turn those off. Click OK, quit System Preferences, and that's Energy Saver.
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