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So in the last couple of releases of Ubuntu (forget when it started), a window will gray out if it is not responsive/thinking too hard. Maybe "gray out" isn't the best term, it just sort of gets darker. I'm not sure what the exact criterion is to set this off.

For one program in particular (Mathematica 8.0) this gets annoying because the program grays out whenever I rotate a 3D plot for more than a couple of seconds.

Is there a way to turn this feature off, and even better, only for specific programs?

Pictures of before I start rotating, and while I'm rotating are below, in case my description is not clear. This only rarely happens with other programs, so I have no idea how to reproduce it if you don't have Mathematica.

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By gray out, you means just screen "fade out" and goes to black and display goes off? – ashutosh Apr 30 '12 at 22:49
@ashutosh, Thanks for your question. I do not mean that the whole monitor fades out, I mean that the windows of exactly those programs who are "thinking too hard" get darker. The display does not go off. – Ian Hincks Apr 30 '12 at 23:37
can u please mention your PC specs with graphics cards details? – ashutosh Apr 30 '12 at 23:49
@ashutosh: I don't think that my hardware is relevant? The question is about turning off a software feature. It's an asus laptop using the new i5 gpu and 8GB of RAM. – Ian Hincks May 1 '12 at 13:09
and I don't think its a hardware issue. Issue is only with the grub loader and corrupted MBR. Mbr recovery tools or the method I mentioned can only get it done – ashutosh May 1 '12 at 13:17
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Oh sorry for the thing I took otherway. Now I understood your problem. Graying out unresponsive window is an inbuilt feature with option, which you can turn off. It comes for compiz, which worked for me with the following tweak:

Go to System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager -> Effects -> Fading Windows and then just to option for Dim Unresponsive Window and you can set the option as per your requirement.

More changes about compiz can be found here. Not sure about gnome.

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Thank you! I'm so bad at searching through CCSM and finding what I want. – Ian Hincks May 2 '12 at 23:09

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