I just got back from a conference in Portland (Maine not Oregon). Honestly one of the more interesting/produtive academic conferences I have attended (the annual SLSA conference for those who are interested). While the quality of the presentations were high, it struck me that many a presenter could have benefited from a little free application called Caffeine.
In the middle of many of the papers I saw the presenters screen saver would kick in and they would have to walk over to the computer and jiggle the mouse to get back to the slide they were showing. Now of course the long solution to this is to change your power settings every time before you present, but Caffeine is so much easier. Just launch the application, it adds an icon to your menu bar, and before you begin your presentation simply click the icon which prevents your computer from going to sleep, or from your screen saver kicking in. Now you won’t be interrupted in the middle of your presentation.
If you are on a PC this might do the trick (thanks to Twitter and Johnnie for this).
Bonus: If you want advice on giving an academic paper seek out Tenured Radical.