Windows XP Power Settings

Click Start > Control Panel > Power Options

Windows Power Option Settings

Select a 'Power Scheme' - any will do because we are changing the settings.

Change the settings to the following or your own settings. If you use a laptop, these setting should be more conservative to extend battery life... 5, 15 and 30 minutes.

Monitor: 10 minutes
Hard Disk: 20 minutes
System Standby: 20 minutes
Hibernate: 45 minutes
Click the Hibernate tab
Make sure the "Enable Hibernate" box is checked
Click OK

Enabling the hibernate mode puts the computer into a zero power use mode compared to standby which is a low power mode. Hibernate essentially turns the computer off, but saves all current tasks so you start where you left off. Waking up from hibernate mode takes a few seconds longs than sleep mode, but a shorter amount of time than starting up from a full shutdown.

The UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) tab is particularly important to use with POS systems. The UPS will supply power to the computers in case of a power outage, thus saving any information that would have otherwise been lost - like credit card authorizations. The settings under this tab allow the user to configure how the computer reacts if the UPS is in use, on low power etc.

Turning off the Screen Saver

In the control panel, double click Display (Start > Control Panel > Display)
Click the Screen Saver tab.
Choose 'None' in the screen saver pull-down menu
Click OK

Windows Display Settings

Macintosh Power Settings

Click System Preferences > Energy Saver

Macintosh has good default settings if you choose "Better Energy Savings." On PowerBooks, these settings are even more conservative than what is recommended on this site.

Check the "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep..." if it is not already.
Drag the slider to your desired settings.
If you are connected to a managed network, check the "Wake for Ethernet network administror access" box under the Options tab so your computer receives any updates from the network admin. In most cases the IT guys will have already taken care of this.

If your computer is connected to a UPS, an additional tab will be displayed for the UPS settings. These settings should be more conservative than standard setting to protect your information in case the UPS also loses power.

Close the window and the changes will be saved

Mac Energy Saver Settings

Macs also have the added ability to schedule a shutdown and startup (lower right of Energy Saver Window). This is a great fool proof option for turning your system off for the night or the weekend. Even in sleep mode, computers consume a small amount of energy which is just waste if no one is in the office.

Turning off the Screen Saver

Click System Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver
Drag the slider to "Never"
Close the window

Mac Screen Saver Settings

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