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Indicator of iMac sleep status Desktop Macs
On an iMac use the Caps Lock key to indicate whether or not the computer is awake. It is useful for those that use their iMac as a wireless access point to quickly check the status of the computer.

If you leave the Caps Lock active, the little green LED will be glowing when the machine is awake and go dim when the iMac sleeps.

[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. This should work with the built-in keyboard on a laptop, as well. I don't use any of my desktop Macs this way but do use the MacBook as an access point when I travel.]
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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: fracai on May 11, '11 07:55:30AM

i'VE BEEN USING THIS METHOD FOR A WHILE NOW AND HAVE NOTICED NO DRAWBACKS!

---
i am jack's amusing sig file



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: stevebr on May 11, '11 08:22:52AM

Bravo!



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: cuban321 on May 11, '11 10:29:41AM

Subtle, yet hilarious. Well done.



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no go for MB (CD)
Authored by: CHM on May 11, '11 08:12:11AM

Just tried it on a MacBook (1st gen. Core Duo). Doesn't work. Caps lock goes dark when it sleeps. Pressing caps lock wakes it up. Not that it's needed on this machine since there's a sleep indicator, but there was the suggestion that it would work on laptops as well.



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no go for MB (CD)
Authored by: CHM on May 11, '11 08:18:41AM

Also tried it on my 27" iMac (2009) with the same result. Caps lock light doesn't stay on when sleeping, pressing it wakes up the machine. Am I missing something here?



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Nevermind
Authored by: CHM on May 11, '11 08:19:53AM

I misunderstood the hint. Got it now. Works as described.



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: IWT on May 11, '11 09:04:16AM

Very closely related to this hint; one way of determining if your computer is "hung up" or just taking its time over executing something is to select (via preferences) for the clock in the toolbar to show a blinking colon. If the computer freezes, so does the time colon; but if the colon continues to blink then at least you know the machine is still operative.

Not the same as the hint, I know, but useful in its own way.

Ian



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: CHM on May 11, '11 12:25:41PM

excellent! You should submit that as it's own hint.



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: Anonymous on May 13, '11 10:41:39AM

Didn't he just do that?



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: trainiac on May 11, '11 11:04:09AM

I must be dense.... what are the actual steps to set this up? Thanks



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: Anonymous on May 13, '11 10:52:33AM

What he's saying is, if you press Caps Lock just before you walk away from your computer, you can use the Caps Lock indicator LED as an *wake* indicator -- it will be lit if the machine is awake, and dim if the machine is asleep. It's the complement to the glowing power LED. And I'm kinda surprised new iMacs don't have that.

The massive drawback with this is that you have to manually switch Caps Lock on before you walk away, and off when you return, which is what the first commenter was poking fun at.

What would be truly useful would be a method for DSW (or similar) that activates Caps Lock when the screensaver starts or the display sleeps. (Don't have to worry about deactivating it, because the user would deactivate it manually when unlocking the computer.)

That said, this is still a nonsense "hint", because the screensaver and display sleep settings could be configured more wisely on a desktop machine, and for portables, the power LED blinks in sleep mode. Still find it hard to believe the new iMacs don't have that... or do they?



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: everkleer80 on May 12, '11 10:33:27AM

Heh, this is the kind of hint I like - really simple and obvious, yet when I see it I think "why didn't I think of that?!" I'm sure most users have run into the issue where their computer is set to sleep after X minutes, but it never goes to sleep. Because this happens to me a lot, when I sit down at my iMac I like to know whether it was sleeping or if just the display was sleeping - or sometimes I even walk by it and just wonder if it's actually sleeping. Thank you for providing a simple way to tell!

BTW, is there some extension/program I can use to have the caps lock light always on regardless of the actual caps lock status? In order to use this as a sleep indicator, it would be a lot more convenient if I didn't have to remember to hit caps lock every time I leave my machine.

Edited on May 12, '11 10:44:58AM by everkleer80



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Indicator of iMac sleep status
Authored by: apta on May 17, '11 05:46:05PM

Another way to tell if an iMac is awake or not is by placing a hand on the exhaust vents and sensing whether warm air is coming out due to the fans. The fans always spin while awake but not when asleep.

On the white iMac models the exhaust vents are on the back near the top. Don't know about the newer iMacs but I guess they'd be in a similar place.



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