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8. Missing Servers Stall Startup

On my iMac G5, I have configured the Login Items pane of Accounts preferences to connect to my wife’s PowerBook G4 at startup so that we can enjoy the benefits of personal file sharing. Normally this works just fine, but if my computer can’t find hers (because it’s sleeping or disconnected when she’s traveling, for example), the startup process grinds to a halt until I acknowledge that this server is unavailable (see Figure 8).

Figure 8

Figure 8 A missing server messes up the startup process.

Nobody likes failure, but Mac users expect their computers to at least fail gracefully. In this respect, Tiger disappoints. First of all, the fact that a server can’t be found shouldn’t prevent subsequent login items from loading until the user acknowledges the problem. Second, the Connection Failed dialog box should at least indicate the name of the server. In my case, I have but a single server in my login items, but it’s possible to have many, and using a generic dialog box hinders troubleshooting.

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