This week's how-to is how to make an application automatically start up in Mac OS X when a specific user logs in. Also, the application we're going to use as an example will give you alerts when we post a new story or feature here.

You'll need Mac OS X 10.3.4 and an application you wish to have start up. For our example, we're going to use "Engadgeter". Engadgeter is a status bar application which checks www.engadget.com every so often to see if there is a new post or feature, if there is, the icon will flash and you can select the story right from your status bar. There are other applications like one that alerts you of earthquakes as well.

Download Engadgeter here, and place it somewhere on your hard drive, it doesn't really matter where, but we placed ours in the Applications folder.

Next up, open your System preferences.

Click users, and then click "Start up items".
start me up

Open the Applications folder on your hard drive (or wherever you placed the Engadgeter application) and drag the application in to the main panel.

Any application you drag here will automatically start up once you log in, you can also choose the order the applications start as well.

If you wanted to, you could also click the option "Hide" if you didn't want to see the application. We suspect this would be good for some security apps or things that you won't actually use, but wanted to start as service or something.
start up

If you always start up Mail, IRC, Safari, iChatAV, this could save you a few seconds or so a day. Hey, at the end of your live, that adds up to a few weeks that could spend, um, using your computer more.

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