Holding off Standby / Sleep / Display Power-Saving

I was recently asked if PTFB Pro could be used to prevent a computer going into standby mode. Now obviously there’s already a way to do that in Windows; just head over to the control panel and edit the power-saving options. But what if you don’t want to mess with the way the computer is setup, but just want to hold off standby for one specific task, or a specific period of time? Well it turns out that PTFB Pro can indeed help in this situation, and here’s how:

  1. Record a screen-based macro that simply wiggles the mouse a bit (changes mouse position a few times)
  2. Edit the macro to turn off “Skip redundant mouse movement. This is critical, as otherwise the the skip option would suppress the “wiggle”!
  3. Set the playback speed around normal (about halfway position on the slider)
  4. Set the macro to repeat just often enough to hold off the standby. For example, if standby is set to trigger after 30 minutes of inactivity, set the macro to repeat say every 28 minutes.

And that’ll do it. The simulated mouse movement of the macro is enough to tell Windows that the computer is still in use, and it had better not shutdown. The same trick also works for holding off screensavers, display power saving and so on. What’s more, you can use PTFB Pro’s triggering options to finely control when and how long the macro runs for. You could for example:

  • Have it run daily, weekly, or monthly via the built in scheduler
  • Limit the hours it can run between, so that it only runs during work hours, or during a certain portion of the evening
  • Use the command line trigger to tie to the Windows Scheduler or other software for even more options
  • Tie it to another macro so that it only runs when a certain window is present, or a certain other program / process is running


What is jusched, and how do I stop it running all the time?

If you’ve looked at the list of running processes in Task manager, chances are you’ve seen something called “jusched.exe”. This program is set to run automatically when your machine boots, and keep running all day long. It’s installed on your system when you install the Java runtime, and it’s function is just to check for updates periodically. I’d be the first to agree that it’s important to keep things like the java runtime up to date – patches for security issues come out all the time and you don’t want to miss them but, does jusched.exe really have to run all the time, permanently confiscating a chunk of your available memory? No, I don’t think so.

A better idea would be for it to run briefly once a day when your computer starts up, then quit automatically. That way it has time to do a check for updates and prompt you about them, but it doesn’t then hang around all day like a bad smell. You can get this exact behavior with a bit of help from PTFB Pro, as follows:

1) Open up PTFB Pro’s main window, click New Macro and choose ProgMon Macro.

2) Find jusched in the resulting list of processes and select it

ProgMon jusched

3) On the next page, choose “Force the program to exit”, because we’re going to get PTFB Pro to quit jusched to exit once it’s done its job for the day.

ProgMon Force Exit

4) The next page lets you select how politely PTFB Pro goes about making jusched quit. Since justched runs without a window, you have to choose “Forced Exit”. Once you’ve done this, hit Finish to exit the wizard and create your progmon item.

5) Finally, double-click the progmon you’ve just created to make a couple of tweaks. Switch to the Triggers page and change the initial delay to something that gives jusched sufficient time to do it’s update check. Ten minutes sounds about right to me, but you can go shorter or longer if you prefer.

Jusched initial delay

Also, you can turn off the “Repeat” option because once jusched has quit, it won’t come back until you next boot (or logoff and log back in). Click OK once you’ve made your changes.

And that’s it. PTFB Pro will let jusched run for a little while when you first start your computer on a morning, but then it’ll silently tell it to quit, freeing up whatever resources  it was holding.

If you like, you can be even more specific about when jusched gets to run. PTFB Pro lets you set items to run only on certain days of the week, or between certain times during the day, so you can strike the balance that seems right to you.

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