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Normally in Ubuntu (11.10) you either configure the screen to go to stand-by after some amount of minutes has elapsed with no user activity. Or you can configure the screen to keep turned on always.

Is there some software or script (cron?) that I can use to have the screen go to stand-by after x minuets during non-working hours, and having the screen turned on always during working hours?

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You can run a simple script that uses xdotool to move mouse for one pixel every x minutes (here is how). Additionally you can do this only when idle, what you can find with xprintidle variable.

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