Two Great Mac / OSX Apps: Caffeine and TotalTerminal.

Caffeine is an app that keeps your computer in an active state.  When you have Caffeine activated your computer will not go to sleep, and you don’t have to deal with waking it up and logging back in just because you stepped away for a quick break.  Waking a computer from sleep may not seem like a big deal, and many times it is not.  Where it annoys me though is that sometimes I  use a TV as a second monitor for my Mac, and every time the computer goes to sleep the TV/monitor shuts off.  It takes a while for everything to power back on and get up to full usage.  This can get annoying quickly, especially if I’m only away from my computer for an hour or two and then want to go right back to using it.  Caffeine keeps my computer in an active state, so it is always ready for me to come back to it and instantly start using it.

Caffeine is easy to turn on and off.  Once installed, a small coffee cup icon is placed in the upper task bar.  Just click on the cup to turn the app on or off.  Downsides are that if your computer is set to stay active all day, you will burn through battery power quicker, so it is a good idea to keep the computer plugged in.

Caffeine can be downloaded in the App Store or you can check out the official Caffeine website.

The other app I am enjoying is TotalTerminal.  It is similar to the built-in Terminal utility, but better (in my opinion).  TotalTerminal replaces the older Visor, which was built to model Linux’s Quake.  The application allows you to set a hot key to drop down a terminal window.  This gives you super quick access to a terminal window from any desktop, which I am finding is a utility I use on an almost-daily basis.

TotalTerminal allows you to change the background opacity, as well as background color, to give you a customized experience.  To customize the program, click the TotalTerminal icon, then click on TotalTerminal Preferences.  Choose the Settings tab, then scroll down to the profile for Visor.  You can also choose your shortcut key under the TotalTerminal preferences screen.  I use Fn-F6 (F6 on my full keyboard) for my shortcut key.

TotalTerminal is not in the App Store, but can be downloaded at

By Alison

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