Russell Gordon

Prevent the Dreaded Blue Screen of Death

10 August, 2020

No, not that blue screen of death.

This one.

We've all been there: in front of a class, or perhaps colleagues, hitting our speaking groove – and then the slide deck drops out and the projector complains that there is no input.

This is caused when the connected computer goes to sleep due to a lack of keyboard or trackpad input.

In the run up to a class or presentation, remembering to adjust energy saver settings can be pretty far down the priority list.

A utility called Caffeine, appropriately, comes to the rescue.

This is a small program that lives in the menu bar of your Mac. The preferences are very basic:

Preferences window for Caffeine app on macOS.

To get Caffeine, download it, then double-click the Caffeine.dmg file. Drag the Caffeine icon to your Applications folder.

When you run the program for the first time, you can select your preferences.

As a matter of course while teaching, I always keep Caffeine enabled.

If I want my laptop to sleep, I close the lid or explicitly put it to sleep.

And I never, ever encounter the blue screen of death. 😅