Hah! Some notes on Mac Minis in the living room

Long term readers might remember when I first moved Horton (my Mac Mini) to the living room and specifically where I wrote:

The more subtle problem was this: when I turned off the display device connected to Horton, the machine went to sleep. You can wake it up if you hit a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard to wake it, but that’s not very useful for the remote situation. Turns out there is freeware called InsomniaX that fixes the problem like a charm. Run it and the Mini stays awake even with the TV off.

This turns out not to be true. This morning I upgraded Horton to Snow Leopard and I was doing a lot of screwing around with updating the web server, making sure SSL was working, blah, blah, it was even boring when I was doing it, blah. Got up to the point where everything was running but the sleep-stopper InsomniaX. I had also been working with my laptop and suffering through the "Man I really need to pair the Harmony to it stops controlling my laptop as well" sort of drills - I'd push a button on the remote and both computers would respond, that sort of thing. This was aggravated by the "Activity" macro for Horton has always started playing music automatically. I've meant to fix it, but never gotten around to hauling out the software and working on it. So I figured while I was messing around I'd look at that as well.

ANYWAY, InsomniaX is supposed to be Snow Leopard compatible but it froze every time I ran it. And while I was trying various things I switched away from the TV display of Horton and noticed that my laptop threw up a screen of a remote emitting little cartoon Zs and then it went to sleep.

Whaaa? Has the Harmony remote been putting Horton to sleep all this time? Turns out that yes it has. You don't need InsomniaX, you just need to program the Harmony to leave the mini on all the time.

(Also, the Harmony software now knows the mini remote codes, so that complaint I wrote before about needing to teach the commands is no longer valid - although it was at the time.)

So yeah. Good to know.