Unlike many of the supposed power saving devices available, the IntelliPlug works and can be seen to work.

IntelliPlugIt is a mains adapter with some smart logic inside. You plug your computer into the master socket and peripherals like the screen, printer, scanner, external hard drive and speakers into the other sockets. When you shut down the computer, the device detects the drop in power requirement on the master socket and, after a short delay, switches off the peripherals as well. Clever eh! No more finding all the switches or worse still, leaving them on all night. There is a trickle of power still available at the computer so things like the soft-power button and Wake-on-Lan still work. When you switch back on, the peripherals come back on in plenty of time for them to be detected by the boot sequence if needed. The list price is £17 but I have seen it available for £14.

You should only connect devices to it that are not needed when the computer is off so, in my case, I haven’t connected the printer as that is networked for other people, but it is still quite useful. But, you say, there are only two peripheral sockets. Well, yes, but they do a power strip version with 7+1 for about £30 or, much easier, you put the plain powerstrip that you used to use into one of the available sockets.

Because of the unique features of laptop computers you have to have a special version for these. This will be because the charging current is somewhat independent of whether you are using the computer so it has to use a USB connection to detect the shutdown which is a bit of a fiddle. I am not sure if it would work with a docking station—are the USB ports on there live all the time?

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  1. Order of the Bath » Blog Archive » Migrating to Mac (Part 1)

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