This menu item is more powerful than its name implies. Choosing it opens a dialog box that offers several variations on “off” (see Figure 2-5).
Stand By puts your computer to “sleep.” This special state of PC consciousness reduces the amount of electricity the computer uses. The machine remains in suspended animation until you use the mouse or keyboard.
How the PC sleeps depends on its power-saving features. Usually, the hard drive stops spinning and the screen goes dark. Whatever programs or documents you were working on remain in memory.
If you’re using a laptop and working on battery power, the Standby mode is a real boon. When the flight attendant hands over your microwaved chicken teriyaki, you can take a food break without closing all your programs or shutting down the computer. And best of all, Standby mode consumes only the barest trickle of battery power.
Use the Standby option when you want to put your computer to sleep on cue. It’s worth noting, however, that you can set the computer to go into standby automatically whenever you haven’t used the mouse or keyboard for a while. You can even make it so that the computer won’t wake up again unless you type in a certain password. Page 271 has the details on these extra features.
Turn Off quits all open programs (or, in some cases, prompts you to do so), offers you the opportunity to save any unsaved documents, and then exits Windows. Most modern PCs then turn off automatically.
If your older model requires ...