I am currently playing with some GPS receivers and video capture. The problem I had is that even as the recording was in progress the laptop shut down to conserve power. I know that I can change the sleep / screensaver behaviour by entering the corresponding power usage plan in the Control Panel:
While this works, it does seem that the screen saver and the power options are controlled by different settings. Also manually going to control panel and switching the power settings every time I need the computer not to sleep seems a bit tedious, not to mention that you also have to reverse the settings afterwards.
I did some research online and found out that Insomnia is somewhat popular program which prevents the computer from going to sleep, it however doesn’t seem to affect the screen turn-off and screen saver (at least that seemed to be the case when I tested it).
The data I was recording are captured directly from the screen so I’m not really sure what would happen to the recording if the screen shuts down for power saving. To prevent power saving and screen shutdown I finally found a simple program called MouseJiggle. What this program does is it emulates mouse moving slightly every few seconds. This effectively keeps your laptop alive and awake 😉
The mouse movements may be a bit frustrating if you are actively using the computer, but they seem to be small enough not to interfere with normal use. Also Zen jiggle function is available which emulates the moves virtually, not really moving the cursor (I haven’t tested this function). Then again if you are using the computer you probably don’t need the program to keep it awake…