I help people out with their computers.  This series of cool tools is a part of that, and an outgrowth of that.  This week’s cool tool comes from a need that someone had.

She and her husband have a computer in a back bedroom that’s been converted to an office.  They have a subscription to NefFlix, so that they can stream movies to their PC.

Problem: They want to watch movies on their nice big flat screen TV in the living room.

Hardware solution: get a VGA splitter and a long cable from NewEgg (they’ll need another cable to get from the PC to the splitter, but that’s getting technical and off-track).

New problem: The screen saver kicks on and turns the movie unwatchable just as the hero is getting ready to catch the bad guys.

Unusable solution: Run back to the PC every fifteen minutes to move the mouse.

Possible solution: Turn off the screen saver whenever you’re planning on watching a movie.  And forget to turn it back on, wasting electricity and losing some security.

Cool Tool solution: use the Mouse Jiggler.  It’s as simple as its name: it is a piece of software that automatically moves your mouse.  Not much, and the next move is back to the original position.  It doesn’t bounce the mouse all over the screen.  And it has a pretty nifty Zen mode that moves the virtual mouse without moving the on-screen mouse.

Normal routine for these little (50k) executables: download it, unzip it, put it somewhere findable, and put a shortcut to it on your desktop.  No installation other than that.  And running it is just as easy: double-click it, and check-mark the boxes you want.

And it works.  The movement, whether in regular or Zen modes, keeps the screen saver from kicking in.

And that will make my friend and her husband very happy.

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