Tech Lolz: When Computers Are On Standby Do They Dream?

Hello everyone, for today's episode we are going to talk about sleep-deprivation in computers and also address their worst nightmares and wet dreams. What happens when we turn off, put to sleep or set on hibernate our computers? Dreams are for everyone, aren't they? Sofas dream about a smaller behind making an imprint on them, fridges dream about that good scrub that you have been avoiding since forever and cats dream about world domination. But what do computers dream about and most importantly, when do they dream?

Sing me a lullaby before putting me to sleep

I had the fortunate accident to come across this thread in a forum the other day and just thought it would be a good material for today's episode: When computers are on standby do they dream?.

Whoever said there is no such thing as a stupid question clearly didn't live in the digital era, since I have proven week after week that there are such things as stupid questions. However, despite their being stupid, there is always something to learn from them. Let's take a look at this life lesson.

Sven Richardson is the author of this great question:

"When computers are on standby do they dream?"

Despite public opinion, I am going to burst your bubble and tell you that computers don't dream. However, they DO day-dream. Like when they run during the day and when you leave them alone a bit, a day-dream appears on the screen. It's referred to as a screensaver and it could be anything. For example, in the winter, most computers day-dream of a well lit fireplace with a decorated Christmas tree. If you are a photographer, your computer can day-dream about all your pictures. Lovely, isn't it? If you are also unaware of this awesome feature called screensaver, check this out: Simple Questions: Why are they called Screen Savers?.

Windows 95: Screen Saver

Let's take a look in the comments section of the above thread and pick the "creme de la creme", as the French say.

steve gave the most sane explanation to this question:

"Not in standby but they do in sleep mode".

It does make sense, doesn't it?

Another addition to this answer comes from chloe:

"Not on standby. But in sleep mode they dream of all the games you may one day download onto them. And in hibernate, they're just thinking about getting through the winter."

I think that when they sleep, all computers dream about Watch Dogs or perhaps, for some of us ladies, Sims, GTA, Assassins Creed and so on. These are good games to look forward to having them run on you, as a computer.

Also, have you ever heard of the term beauty sleep? Yup, computers need that too. During the beauty sleep, little people get inside its case and clean it up a bit, so that it is all good and shiny in the morning. But on the outside so you won't notice any major differences and your keys will still be sticky from what you spilled on it last night. By the way, if it was vodka, I can help.

Getting back to business, machines, in general, tend to adopt the premise "sleep is for the weak". So let's try and get some valuable information out of this question so that we can call it a day.

Shut Down vs. Hibernate vs. Sleep

It's That Time!

Usually, people are divided easily enough in two categories, at least when it comes to computers:

  1. People who shut down the computer entirely quite often in order to avoid a "huge" electrical bill or a fire hazard;
  2. People who leave their computer running for years without stopping it;

Now, be honest with me. What type are you? It's obvious enough that both the categories above are quite exaggerated but they do speak the truth.

First of all, a computer running will not cause that much damage to your monthly bill. And of course, computers do need some OFF-time now and then to get the chance to cool off. So I see no win-win here.

Most likely, for this reason, Microsoft has implemented the Sleep and Hibernate options. Even though Hibernate is not available on all computers, Sleep is. Even so, not so many people actually use them for their intended purpose.

Let me explain them to you a bit so that you can understand them better and hopefully apply them when they seem to be most efficient.

Despite its name, Sleep doesn't really imply that the computer will take its favorite blankie and go in the other room with the lights off. Sleep will use very little resources to keep your computer in a semi-working status and boot up where you left it as soon as you command it to. This function is a pretty awesome one since the boot is done almost instantly and you just carry on from where you left off.

You might think that "Oh well, this won't work for me, I have a lousy battery on my laptop and I will lose everything." Well, you are neither right, nor wrong. If you have a lousy battery on your laptop, the Sleep function might drain it out. However, Windows will save everything once it notices that your battery is struggling. Good guy Windows, right?

So, when can you use Sleep? Well, mainly, when you are taking break from the computer and do not want to leave it running. Or when you want to think to yourself that your computer deserves a small, happy, peaceful nap, or whatever gets you going. Any way you put it, the Sleep function is a pretty awesome one to be honest and I personally use it regularly, each night, I put the desktop to sleep and in the morning it is up and running in a jiffy.

But what about Hibernate? No, the computer doesn't crawl in a dark space and sleep throughout the winter, but it mainly brings the idea of long term not use to mind, doesn't it?

Well this is not available with all computers. I, for example, lack the Hibernate function. What Hibernate does differently from Sleep is that it uses even less power. It is mainly designed for laptops for what Sleep lacks. It uses even less power from the battery making it a good solution on a long term but will take a bit longer to boot up. So, in this case scenario, why not go for the Shut Down all together?

Shut Down unlike the other two, uses NO power. Hooray for earth-loving, energy-preserving kinds of you out there. But, on the other hand, doesn't preserve your work and return you where you left off, but more like gives you a fresh start. Similar to rehab one might say.

Sorry -- We're CLOSED... Internet Cafes Shut Down Again in Jackson County (Feb. 8, 2012)...item 2.. World's Saddest

So, whatever type of extremist you are, know that there is a middle ground for you as well. I suggest that you start using these functions for their intended purpose and give your computer a break.


In theory, you now know what to use best for when powering off the computer. Now, I want to know how many of you have actually applied this throughout the days? Have any of you given any thought to this? Do you think that your computer dreams? And most importantly, what does it dream of? Let's keep this suitable for work. :)

Let me know in the comment section below.