In 1996 or 1997, when I was running engineering at Echelon, Intel sent us a computer to test. It was equipped with special hardware to allow it to go into a low power mode. We called the computer “Dozer.” Dozer occasionally had a hard time waking up. There were jokes about Rip Van Winkle.
Around 2000 it became de rigueur for operating systems and hardware to support a sleep mode. In my experience, none of the executions of this highly desirable feature have been flawless. I’ve had Macs, and I’ve had many different versions of Windows running on PCs, and every hardware/software combination has, at least occasionally, refused to go into sleep mode when by all rights it should have, or refused to wake up in spite of repeated mouse wigglings, space bar tappings, and three fingered salutes.
When I loaded Windows 7 on my main workstation several months ago, I thought I’d give sleep mode another try. At first, things went well. After a week or so, it became a 50/50 proposition whether I would get up in the morning to find by workstation asleep or awake. It never did refuse to wake up, so I continue to allow it to go to sleep. About two weeks ago, I started to occasionally wake up to a rebooted computer and a message that I’d had a blue screen — one of the rudest things a computer can do. I messed around with the system configuration to no avail. Finally, I went into the power management panel and told it to never go to sleep. Problem solved.
I wonder why this is so hard.