Power Manager makes it easier for Mac users to be ‘green’

By Frank Petrie

As the pace of technology's development continues to gain speed, so it seems does our daily lives. Plus the more technology you use, the more energy you consume. So up goes your carbon footprint. Ideally, if I had an assistant who could remind me of my scheduled tasks and would follow me around to turn things off when I'm not using them, I'd be set.

However, I don’t, so enter Power Manager, a $49.95 tool from Dragon Systems Software that reduces the running costs of your Mac. With this software installed you will be able to do more, automate more, and make your Macs a breeze to manage.

According to the folks at Dragon Systems: "With Power Manager you can create sophisticated energy saving schedules and automate complex tasks. Power Manager can power on a Mac, run a series of tasks, and power off the Mac without requiring any interaction.

"An energy saving schedule is created from events. Events are at the heart of Power Manager. An event encapsulates three things: triggers, conditions, and actions.

"An event might tell the computer to perform a particular action at a specific time. You can create separate events to power on your Mac at different times across the day or week. By creating multiple events, you build a unique schedule for your needs.

"Events can be as simple as putting the Mac to sleep after a period of inactivity; or as complex as powering on your Mac, waiting for a user to log-in, and only then running an AppleScript or Automator workflow."

I have to be honest here, but I never though much about the energy impact, except for the obvious usage. But now that our devices are still using trickle power when we turn them off, I'm much more conscious of my actions. So, can Power Manager deliver?

Power Manager covers the most basic of your tasks; turning on and off your Mac, and sending your computer to sleep after an assigned time of inactivity. But Power Manager does so much more than that. You are able to launch scripts and tools to automate complex or repetitive tasks. You're also able to distribute schedules and remotely manage your Mac. It's an all in one personal assistant. Think of it as your electronic mother (the meals would be horrible but you'd get so much more accomplished!)

Power Manager — which requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later — is an extremely valuable asset. I can do the normal things like having my Mac wake-up before me, so that I can sit right down and get to work when I'm ready in the morning. But I can set my alarms to take periodic breaks or remind me of tasks or phone calls that must be performed at a specific time. But the setting of scripting increases its value immeasurably.

And it's not their problem; it's mine. The more tasks I wish for Power Manager to perform, the more programming I have to do. Fortunately, they give you a head start by providing you with numerous presets. The most basic of these are Student, Home Business, etc. But after that list, there's a whole other list of activities that the app is ready to perform for you.

Power Manager is what Apple provides in OS X, but juiced, enabling you to concentrate on your work and leaving the daily myriad of small tasks to the app to manage for you. There is also a Pro version for use in a small office (imagine the cost savings).

As Kermit sang, "It's not easy being green…" But Power Manager sure goes a a long way to help.