50 Mac Essentials #21: Caffeine

Caffeine keeps your computer awake

Don’t you hate it when you’re watching some streamed video in your web browser, and just when it’s getting interesting your screen dims, or the screensaver activates?

It happens because your computer doesn’t consider video playing in the browser to be “activity”. It doesn’t care what the browser is showing; if it thinks you’ve wandered off to make some coffee, it will do what you’ve told it to do in the Energy Saver preferences. Hence those mid-stream dimming moments.

Caffeine is a tiny utility that solves this problem in a single click. It sits in your Menu Bar, doing nothing until you need it. When you start watching some video and you want the screen to stay alive, you just click the Caffeine icon. Now your screen will stay bright no matter what, until you click Caffeine again to put things back to normal.

The aptly-named Caffeine gives your computer a temporary boost, keeping it alert enough so you can watch your video uninterrupted. It’s free, it’s great, and you should go get it now.

(You’re reading the 21st post in our series, 50 Essential Mac Applications: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more.)

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About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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