Use the free Windows tool Don’t Sleep to keep your digital signage awake

We’ve added a small tool to each of our Xibo digital signage clients called ‘Don’t Sleep‘, to keep them from entering a low power state.

Don’t Sleep overrides all power management settings when active. This means we can keep the displays running without local or group policy power management interfering.

Installation of Don’t Sleep is easy – unpack the ZIP file, place in a suitable folder, add to your Startup group and make sure the ‘straight to tray’ option is selected.

Just remember that if you do want to power down, don’t sleep will interrupt your shutdown command! Make sure you disable the application before issuing the shutdown instruction.

Becoming a generalist (the many hats of a technical manager)

I've been a technical manager for many years, and before that a technical specialist.

I continue to manage technical teams, so you might say that I am a technical manager. However, 'technical' is now the least demanded of my skills. Having a technical background – where the bulk of my skill was previously focused – makes some of the roles I must now fulfil pretty challenging and mentally demanding, but in very different ways than when addressing technical needs or problems. Does this make me less of a specialist, and more of a generalist?

Half Life: Information vs Updates vs Usefulness

Ever looked for a file, or piece of content, and only after you think you have found what you are looking for, you realise it’s out of date?

Every item of content has a half life. Sooner or later it’s relevance and value will decline. Maybe a little at first, but eventually its not going to be as useful as it once might have been.

How do you manage the half life of such documents? There isn’t a geigermeter for documents (none that I’ve ever seen anyway). Content management systems sometimes offer some form of scale in the form of a timestamp so you can tell when the content was last updated. This is fine to make a rough attempt at gauging how relevant the content might be, but if that content is buried inside a proprietary file, it might not be as useful as you think. Consider a strategy document – probably relevant for a longer period than a set of application release notes. Look at either from the outside and you can’t call much between them except from the name.

Is there a method for measuring or describing the half-life of digital information to illustrate how usefulness declines over time without updates and revisions? How might this transform the management of information management systems?