Mini-App of the Day: SmartSleep

SmartSleepSmartSleep is great for those who are constantly on the go, opening and closing their Macbook. SmartSleep gives the user great control over how and when the computer sleeps and hibernates.

Typically, you’ll probably want your Macbook to sleep when you close it (keep the contents of open files and apps that are running in RAM). Sleep is conveniently fast. If you’re a student like me, you don’t want to have to worry about corrupting your hardrive after throwing your laptop in a bag of some sort and running around campus or dropping it on the floor.

However, what if the batter charge is less than 10%? If you sleep your Macbook and the battery dies, you will lose anything stored in RAM that wasn’t previously saved to your hardrive. Thus, you’ll want to hibernate. But keeping track of the battery charge and changing this setting manually is cumbersome. This is where SmartSleep excels. You can set your computer to sleep until it reaches a certain charge level (e.g. 10%), at which point it will hibernate to protect your data in the event your battery dies.

Another nice thing about SmartSleep is it just sits in your preference pane; no extra menubar icons necessary.

If you don’t want to pay for the new version, I’d suggest downloading the older, free version from Softsonic.

SmartSleep Screenshor


Mini-App of the Day: Memory Scope

Apps that make life easier or more efficient are great. Especially really minimalist, lightweight apps that don’t eat up memory or CPU. Frequently, these are apps are menus or buttons that run in the menubar/toolbar. My favorire are the ones that are so simple you really don’t have to open them at all. They just run at login/boot and then they do their job or you click them when you need something. (A great example of this is the Dropbox app). Thus, I’ve decided to devote a fair share of posts to these amazing, small apps.

Memory Scope Logo

Today’s Mini-App of the Day is Memory Scope. I first stumbled upon this gem via Lifehacker, where I stumble upon most of my tech stuff. Memory Scope runs in the menu bar and displays how much RAM is available. If you want to free memory, you open it and a window appears showing you a histogram of total, used and free memory. It also displays the percentage of memory each app is using (similar to Activity Monitor in OS X–See the screenshot below). You also have the option of allowing Memory Scope to free memory automatically. I’ve found this to be quite helpful, esp. when I’m testing memory leaky code or opening memory intensive VM’s or when I just need to run a lot of apps at once. One of the greatest things about Memory Scope too is that it’s FREE!

You can download Memory Scope via the App Store if you are running OS X Lion.