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Old 10-02-2014, 09:47 AM   #1
Registered: Feb 2012
Distribution: ubuntu
Posts: 44

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Place to criticize energy savings policies in computer labs?

Is it appropriate to start a thread to gripe about 5 minute auto-logouts in computer labs? This includes some Linux computer labs. You see, I used to use public computer labs a lot, and I have a pet peeve about them. Some public access computers constantly lock me out and dim my screen after only 5 or 10 minutes of inactivity, so if I'm studying a book and using the computer at the same time it means I have to keep publicly using my password! Frustrating! Do I need to write to Energy Star? Should I contact the secretary of the UN? Should I call 911 perhaps? Is there someone here who can make all the bad computer labs change their ways?
Old 10-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #2
Registered: Mar 2011
Location: MA, USA
Distribution: MINT Debian, Angstrom, SUSE, Ubuntu, Debian
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It's not inappropriate to gripe about it; however I think you'll be hard pressed to convince the managers of those labs to see things exactly to your preferences. I'm also thinking that their methods are chosen not with malice nor 100% directed to save energy; but instead they decided that unattended logins get logged out or password locked and at the same time of the lock/logout action, they also dim the screen. They're accounting for cases other than your particular use case.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:44 AM   #3
Registered: Apr 2013
Location: Massachusetts
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Is there no way you can temporarily disable the screensaver or screen lock on the computer you are using?

Maybe launch a movie player. On some systems, this will keep the screen on. I don't know if it is actually necessary to have a movie playing.
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Old 10-02-2014, 12:03 PM   #4
Registered: Feb 2012
Distribution: ubuntu
Posts: 44

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Good ideas.

Once in Windows 7 lab I used some VBscript I found online to imitate mouse motion, but I think allowing users to run VBscript on Windows seems by itself a security lapse.

A script might work for Linux computer labs using KDE, GNome and other Xorg display managers. Maybe I could add a background process in bash that would reset the screen timers every 4 minutes. I'm not sure if there would be a simple way of doing it though.

Maybe just attach a buzzer to the mouse to keep it moving?


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