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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintWhen using a desktop Mac under Mac OS X, I have had trouble (in the past) saving energy (by sleeping the computer and display after ten minutes of inactivity) because there are many iPhone applications, along with sharing applications, that I use which require that my desktop Mac be awake and available on the local wireless network. I have found a perfect, yet simple solution to my troubles: Snow Leopard's new "wake for network access" feature.

One example of an app for my iPhone that I use is FileMaker's Bento. It syncs wirelessly (on my local network) with my Bento database on my desktop Mac. With this app, I can view and edit my entire business database, all from my iPhone. Anyhow, in order to sync the changes I make on my iPhone back to my Mac, the same wireless network needs to be active on both my iPhone and desktop Mac, which both need to be on and running.

However, for years I have been using the option (in the Energy Saver section of System Preferences) to sleep my Mac after 10 minutes of inactivity. If my Mac (not necessarily my Mac's display, however) is asleep, it cannot accept incoming network connections (which the Bento iPhone app needs to sync). I have always had to move my Mac's mouse to awaken it, so I could make the connection. Another example is my iPhone's 2Do app. It's a wonderful app, however, to properly sync connections with iCal and Mail's To Do function on my Mac, it also needs to make a network connection with my Mac via my local wireless network.

My solution: One new and relatively unpublicized feature of Snow Leopard: "Wake on Demand." Wake on Demand it allows your Mac, using your Airport or Time Capsule Base Station and Bonjour, to wake for network access. Just check the "Wake for network access" button in the Energy Saver panel of System Preferences.

Not only does this help with my iPhone app synchronization problems, but it works beautifully for iTunes music sharing, printer sharing, Back to My Mac (MobileMe), screen and file sharing, and more, all using just your local AirPort or Time Capsule Base Station. I am disappointed that Apple has not made this function more popular with the release of Snow Leopard, but it's there, and it works.
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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy | 18 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: tonyy on Dec 28, '09 09:20:53AM

Check out ShareTool from Yazsoft:
http://yazsoft.com/products/sharetool/information/

Extends Bonjour over the internet with Wake over Lan support - absolutely brilliant!



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Requires 7.4.2 firmware on older extremes
Authored by: dmackler on Dec 28, '09 09:38:52AM

Which I upgraded to twice, only to back out down to 7.4.1 each time as it goes braindead and no longer recognizes the USB-based airdisk. This is on the original (non-simultaneous dual-band N model).

---
David



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: Dr. T on Dec 28, '09 10:40:59AM

The newer Macs use little energy when their monitors and hard drives are sleeping. There is no advantage to putting them to sleep for short periods. The hint is most useful for older Macs that use significant power while idle.



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Saving energy by spinning down the disks...
Authored by: gabester on Dec 28, '09 11:47:52AM

Except that, as far as I can tell with OS X virtual memory management, there's almost always a need to access something on the boot volume, which for the vast majority of people is a spinning platter hard disk. Believe me, on all my Macs I have "put hard disk to sleep when possible" checked but it is a rare day when I hear that disk spin down... and invariable it spins back up within 2 minutes of spinning down.
g=



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: robogobo on Dec 28, '09 11:02:43AM

I liked the old wake on lan much much more, since I have no need for bonjour access and no desire to have my machine wake up every 90 minutes. Unfortunately Apple decided to disable magic packet access, even when the required WOD equipment/firmware is absent. Thanks for nothing.



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: clh on Dec 29, '09 07:08:35AM
I thought that Wake On LAN required hardware support at the Ethernet level, so I don't understand the phrase "even when the required WOD equipment/firmware is absent." But is it true that recent Macs (like the new Mini I just bought) can't be waked with a magic packet? That would be a drag.

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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: clh on Dec 30, '09 05:13:02PM
Okay, in case anyone's interested: Wake On LAN (in which a "magic packet" containing the Ethernet MAC address is sent on the local area network's broadcast address) does still work - at least, on my late-2009 Mac Mini. This is enabled or disabled by the wake-on-demand option in SysPrefs>EnergySaver.

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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: LucasTizma on Dec 29, '09 06:56:56AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this feature only work if you're using a Time Capsule or Airport Extreme base station?



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: ajmas on Dec 29, '09 04:18:44PM

Details of the technology can be found here: Knowledge Base article HT3774

It can technically be implemented by any software/hardware, but as of now only Apple implements this. More specifically this is available in any Apple Airport Extreme and Snow Leopard set up.

I had planned on using this with my home server, which is on the web, but alas it requires a service to keep its external IP address to host name updated (dyndns.org) and the Apple Extreme does not support this. Ideally, as an alternative, I would have found a $10 piece of hardware that could do this while consuming less than a watt, but I haven't found anything that could do this for me. In the meantime the idle usage of my Mac mini is 25W.



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: everkleer80 on Dec 30, '09 09:22:22AM

I have found that this seems to work for me (at least I think it does) even though I don't have an Airport Extreme or Time Capsule. My router is just the 2wire gateway provided to me by AT&T. I do have an Airport Express as a client on the network, but I haven't seen the Express listed as having this feature anywhere...



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: Sesquipedalian on Jan 09, '10 07:43:07AM
Ajmas,

You can simply install DynDNS Updater on the server itself.

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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: everkleer80 on Jan 11, '10 09:32:05AM

I think Ajmas is probably currently using DynDNS updater, but the goal here is to have it still update while the server sleeps. Some routers can update DynDNS, but the Apple ones don't have this feature. I would also like to be able to do this but I don't have the required hardware.



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: Baeda on Dec 30, '09 10:01:18AM

Is there any hint, to keep the display dark when my Mac is waked up on demand ?



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: chadvonnau on Jan 07, '10 01:39:06AM

A workaround for laptops is to just turn the brightness all the way down to 0 before sleeping the computer.

The problem w/ this is that when you come back later, it is _very_ easy to forget about the brightness being down. On a few occasions I've cursed my computer for dying and restarted it when it was just the brightness being down.



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10.6: Use wake-on-demand to help conserve energy
Authored by: boothefox on Jan 07, '10 02:08:40AM

I still don't get it - does it work over wifi ? If so - how do i wake my MBP - do i send something specific ? or do i just start ... say VNC connection and it automagically wakes my MBP ?



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wake works, followed by insomnia
Authored by: m_steiger on Jan 08, '10 08:51:39AM

Half of the hint works great for me:
I can wake up my late 2008 MacBook Pro (first unibody model) by using the Remote app for iTunes or the EyeTV Live 3G web app on my iPod touch.
The second half though (the part that saves the energy) does not work: My MBP won't fall asleep on its own any more although the system profiler tells me that Wake on WiFi is supported.

I can put my computer to sleep manually by pressing the power button and 's' or by mousing to the Apple menu or by a short AppleScript.

Does anybody have an idea what I should try? (Resetting the SMC did not help.)

As a work around I would be satisfied with a way to trigger my AppleScript either by a system event or manually over the Internet with my iPod touch.



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wake works, followed by insomnia
Authored by: Sesquipedalian on Jan 09, '10 07:56:06AM

One way to do such things manually would be to use SSH (a.k.a. remote login) to get access to the command line on your Mac. There are a few paid apps in the App Store that will let you SSH to Mac, or you can install WebShell on your Mac for free, which will give you a secure shell connection through Safari on your iPod Touch. Of course, the free option requires more work on your part, and the interface is a bit quirky, but it does the job for me.



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wake works, followed by insomnia
Authored by: m_steiger on Jan 10, '10 05:04:07AM

Thanks very much for your hint.
In the meantime I found out, that my problem of insomnia is caused by the EyeConnect and the EyeConnec*censored*chDog processes that are set up by EyeTV. Those two processes provide the functionality of accessing EyeTV remotely via the Web. If I kill them my MBP sleeps like a baby.
But of course: the reason for which I activated Wake-on-Demand in the first place (connecting to EyeTV remotely) is gone as well ;-(



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