Despite what Rick thinks, I don't hate the Earth and want to see it bleed. I just think that putting your PC to sleep is a smarter way to use your PC than turning it off completely. But whether you want to turn off your computer, put it in standby, or even hibernate, you can use Vista Shutdown Timer to automate the process of shutting down your PC.
This free, no-install-required little app does one thing, and it does it pretty well. Choose what to do -- hibernate, standby, shut down, restart, even logoff -- and set the timer. At the appointed time, your machine will take the indicated action.
Vista Shutdown Timer comes in handy when you want to ensure your computer is running for some reason -- remote access, perhaps -- but still goes into low power mode overnight.
In fact, I've started using it as a way to "fire and forget" my shutdown setting during the day, and then leave my office without worrying about shutting down at the day's end. And that's great, because when I'm running out to catch the bus, putting my computer to sleep is the last thing on my mind. [via Lifehacker]