MonitorES, or Monitor Energy Saver, is a little Google Code project that is so simple in its functionality it’s hard to believe it’s been overlooked for so long. If you’re in a corporate or public environment with your computer, you probably lock your computer every time you get up and walk away from it. It might even automatically lock after being idle for so many minutes. If this isn’t the case, I would recommend this configuration/habit. Every time I walk away from my machine at work, a quick hit of the keyboard shortcut Windows key + L locks my Windows PC and means anybody trying to use it is going to need to authenticate as me.
MonitorES pays attention to when you lock your machine and it automatically turns off the monitor immediately following the lock sequence. This way, instead of waiting for the idle timer to kick in when you’re obviously not using the computer, the monitor turns off immediately and stops wasting electricity.
Alternatively, you could set the power saving options down really low to have the monitor power off after one minute of being idle. I think you’ll find that to be very annoying though since you could be reading an article or spreadsheet for a minute without touching your computer and suddenly the monitor would power off.
MonitorES is the perfect simple solution to saving more power so easily. Beyond the power-saving, it also has some other features integrated into it. When you lock your machine, it will automatically pause all media that is playing and set your IM status to ‘Away’. Right now these last two features only work on certain media players (WINAMP,AIMP ,WMP) and IM clients (Google Talk), but it looks like further development is heading in the direction of increasing the number of compatible applications. These options can be disabled in the preferences at your choice.
MonitorES acts as a service running just over 1 MB in size and includes a system tray icon. Other than that, it stays completely out of the way. If you also just want to power off your monitor (or activate the screen saver, if that’s the option you have chosen) you can do so with a keyboard shortcut in MonitorES, Ctrl+F2.
Download MonitorES and watch for improved versions at its Google Code page.