Full screen web videos (especially HTML5 YouTube videos) are great. Screensavers are great. Full screen video games are great. A lot of things are great. But one thing that isn’t great is when your computer’s power saver kicks in and dims or turns off your monitor while you’re doing one of the great things mentioned above.
Because seriously, who hasn’t had that happen? You’re watching a lengthy video or playing the latest FPS video game or even reading on the computer, when suddenly the screen begins to dim, or simply shuts off. No fun at all!
For Windows users, a solution exists. A tiny utility, only a few KB in size, called Mouse Jiggler, is here to save the day.
Mouse Jiggler works by jiggling your mouse. Since mouse movements are one of the events that stop the “countdown” on your power saver or screensaver (both wait and count “x” number of minutes of inactivity before triggering, and a mouse moving resets the “timer,” so to speak), all Mouse Jiggler needs to do is jiggle the mouse, and your power saver or screensaver never kick in.
Of course, if you’re like me, and the jiggling of the cursor arrow (which is visible), is in your peripheral vision, it can be a bit annoying. Even though the movement is slight (only a few pixels, and not really enough to move the cursor off a checkbox or make you miss a button), it’s still darned annoying.
Thankfully, the Mouse Jiggler developer must have been aware of this, because Mouse Jiggler also includes a Zen mode. In Zen mode, you won’t see the mouse jiggle at all, but Mouse Jiggler is busy behind the scenes, TELLING your computer that the mouse is moving. In this way, you get the best of both worlds: a utility that keeps your screensaver from kicking in, while not being incredibly annoying.
A few weeks ago I wrote a review of a program for Linux that does much the same thing, and while the two are very similar, there is one feature that would be killer for Windows users, should Mouse Jiggler adopt it. With the Linux utility (which is always running), you set it so that it only activates while certain applications are running. In this way, you don’t have to remember to turn it on, because you’ve already told it to activate when a certain program is launched. With Mouse Jiggler, if you forget to activate it before starting watching your video or playing your game, you’re out of luck. Add that one feature, and Mouse Jiggler would be a killer application. As it is, it’s still pretty good, and it’s definitely a nice solution to an annoying problem. But it could be just a little better. But still, it’s definitely worth a look.