Sleep vs. Shut Down on a Macbook?

Thank you to all who have answered my “new computer” question. I really appreciate the responses :slight_smile:

I have one more computer-based question. So, like many of us, I’m trying to cut down on time I waste on the internet. Not super great at impulse control, and so if I want to stop a bad habit usually I need to erect one or more barriers.

What I was thinking was that maybe I could leave my computer on sleep (and make a list of things I needed to do/look up whenever they came to mind offline) and then take it off sleep 3-4x a day for about half and hour each time to do those tasks. Would going in and out of sleep mode 3-4x/day harm my computer?

Actually, it’s not really the computer that’s the problem so much as the internet. Is there a way to set limits on your browser time? I know in OS X you can create an alternate user who can’t access the internet. However, when I created the alternate user, I didn’t realize that he wouldn’t have access to all my documents, which I need.

Thank you very much for the responses!

I have an OS X machine that hasn’t been turned off in 4 years, and spends most of it’s time sleeping.
All my other machines are only shutdown when absolutely necessary, which is very, very rarely.

I don’t understand your concern with the Internet - you aren’t going to be accessing it when the machine is asleep.

Well, that was the thing . . . I was wondering if could put it to sleep frequently without damaging stuff, in order to avoid the internet temptation.

Anyways, I stumbled upon this app called “Freedom for Mac” which appears to be EXACTLY what I’m looking for. It seems to work well, so I recommend it.

If you are looking for a barrier to you spending too much time on the internet, then you should shut down rather than sleep. I always use sleep because is an “instant on”. A Macbook can sleep a long time without running down the battery, and it wakes up instantly.

When it is in sleep, it is very easy to walk over, open the lid and hop online. If you have to wait for it to go through the whole startup, it’s a little more of a hassle, and maybe a little more obstacle to wasting your time.

Use Firefox as your browser and add on leechblock to restrict how long and when you can be online surfing your favorite websites.

I guess you’ve already found a solution that works for you, but I just wanted to throw another idea out there.

Recent versions of OS X come with parental controls that you can enable on your account. It’s in Apple Menu > System Preferences > Parental Controls. You can set time limits on use of your account per day, make your account only accessible in certain times, disable access to certain programs and websites, etc.

I don’t think Apple would give you an option to do something that would break the computer. All “sleep” mode does is turns off the hard drive and CD drive, turns of the screen and graphics chipm puts the CPU in a “halt” state, and leaves the memory powered. it’s probably less stressful on the system than turning it off and on is, but in practice I think the difference is minimal.

The most effective control I’ve seen on time wastage is to make a rule for yourself about what you’re allowed to do based on your physical location.

Paul Graham wrote a short essay about this. He uses a physically separate computer for the Internet.