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Session Manager?
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opti
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Jun 24, 2004, 10:04 PM
 
In Gnome (and some other X environments) there's a fantastic feature that's generically called a "session manager". It basically saves the programs you have running on logout, including their location (both placement and virtual screen), and even all the web pages you have open. This is a fantastic feature that, once you've gotten used to, you can't live without. Especially for a laptop (I'm on a new PowerBook), this would be great for web browsing; my web browsing habits have basically conformed to taking this for granted.

However, it seems that Mac OS X, at least by default, behaves much the same as Windows XP -- it saves your Finder windows, and that's about it. Any way to enable session management for everything?
     
rag on a muffin
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Jun 24, 2004, 10:40 PM
 
well you have not enabled user switching. it does that by default.

to do this:

click the apple menu>system preferences

click on accounts in that window

click on login options at the bottom

check the box that says enable fast user switching.

this will bring a new menu option on the right side of the screen with your name on it. click that, and do whichever thing suits you.
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opti  (op)
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Jun 24, 2004, 11:27 PM
 
Originally posted by rag on a muffin:
well you have not enabled user switching. it does that by default.
I'm not entirely sure you understood me, or perhaps I misunderstood you... but to be clear:

Are you saying that enabling user switching automatically enables sessions management as I described, even when you shut down the computer, regardless of whether or not I really want multiple users?
     
JKT
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Jun 25, 2004, 07:25 AM
 
There currently isn't anything like you described for OS X that will save sessions when shut down or log out (who knows, maybe it'll be one of the new features of 10.4 which will be previews next week?). Multi-user fast-switching will preserve what you have open if you switch between accounts, but not if you switch off...

However, for web browsing, try out OmniWeb 5 - it has a feature called Workspaces which allows you to save "snapshots" of your browser state and also a "Save windows" option for each workspace that records what sites etc. you have open at any time so that the next time you open that workspace (e.g. on re-launch) it restores the window(s) with those sites open.

It's still in beta at the moment, but works well enough to use as your main browser.
     
sandsl
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Jun 25, 2004, 08:00 AM
 
Use fast user switching and put your computer to sleep instead of switching off - then you'd have exactly what you've described.

You can still use Fast User Switching even if you don't have multiple users - you simply 'switch' to the login window.
( Last edited by sandsl; Jun 26, 2004 at 07:24 PM. )
Luke
     
absmiths
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Jun 25, 2004, 10:30 AM
 
Originally posted by JKT:
It's still in beta at the moment [...]
And has been for a looooooooong tiiiiiime . . .
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 26, 2004, 03:16 AM
 
Originally posted by sandsl:
Use fast user switching and put your computer to sleep inside of switching off - then you'd have exactly what you've described.

You can still use Fast User Switching even if you don't have multiple users - you simply 'switch' to the login window.
I don't see the point though -- what would this give me that simply putting my computer into sleep mode, as it is now w/o fast user switching, does not?

A question related to this: how much battery power does sleep mode use? This being a laptop, I was under the impression that you don't want to leave it running for a long time on the battery even on sleep mode. And I don't know if I want to keep plugging it in every time I put it away.
     
sandsl
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Jun 26, 2004, 07:31 PM
 
Originally posted by opti:
I don't see the point though -- what would this give me that simply putting my computer into sleep mode, as it is now w/o fast user switching, does not?
Multiple users logged in. Mutiple sessions open. Security.

A question related to this: how much battery power does sleep mode use? This being a laptop, I was under the impression that you don't want to leave it running for a long time on the battery even on sleep mode. And I don't know if I want to keep plugging it in every time I put it away. [/B]
Very little power is used during sleep, I can't give you an exact answer - try it and see! Make sure everythings saved, put your computer to sleep and see how long it can go before it safely turns off when its out of battery.

I can't imagine turning off my powerbook - I always use sleep.

There is no session management like you've described on OSX so far, so use fast user switching/sleep/or a combination of, or conclude that session management is not yet possible in OSX.
Luke
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 26, 2004, 09:46 PM
 
Originally posted by sandsl:
[B]Multiple users logged in. Mutiple sessions open. Security.
I don't think I'll be using this computer for multiple users any time soon. How is it more secure?

Very little power is used during sleep, I can't give you an exact answer - try it and see! Make sure everythings saved, put your computer to sleep and see how long it can go before it safely turns off when its out of battery.

I can't imagine turning off my powerbook - I always use sleep.
You're right about sleep mode -- I had been told by the guy that runs the shop I bought the PB from, that if I'm taking a nap on a flight for example, I'd probably want to turn it off rather than running it on sleep mode. This gave me the impression that it was only good if you have the computer plugged in, or you're just taking a short break. However, last night I had it on sleep mode for around 15-18 hours, and it was at 93% battery life when I started using it today. I'll have to mention that to him.
     
sandsl
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Jun 26, 2004, 10:01 PM
 
Originally posted by opti:
How is it more secure?
That depends if you have "Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver" enabled in the Security system preference.

If you do have that enabled, then using fast user switching is no more secure than it.
Luke
     
Graymalkin
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Jun 26, 2004, 10:40 PM
 
Whoever told you it was only alright to use sleep mode for a short period of time was a buffoon. Sleep mode on a laptop, almost any laptop, only sips power off the battery. You could leave your Powerbook asleep all day long and not have any trouble with it. Also don't worry about leaving it plugged in. Leaving it plugged in is not bad for the laptop (despite the claims of the ignorant) nor will you end up with an overcharged battery.

As for the session manager I don't know of any OSX programs that provide that. You can set programs or documents as login items so whenever you log into your account they'll launch. That you can set in System Preferences -> Accounts. If you want particular web pages to open you can save a .webloc file to your disk and have that open as a login item. You can also write a login AppleScript that will launch whatever programs with whatever parameters you want. Both of these methods will pretty much simulate the functions of a session manager.
     
diskgolfking
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Jun 27, 2004, 12:10 AM
 
What exactly does this idea of session management give you that setting login items won't?
     
wataru
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Jun 27, 2004, 01:34 AM
 
Originally posted by diskgolfking:
What exactly does this idea of session management give you that setting login items won't?
With session management, the states of the apps are saved. That means that the open windows, the window positions, etc. are exactly as you left them. Login items, however, merely result in launching the app, which may or may not remember the state it was in the last time you used it.
     
Synotic
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Jun 27, 2004, 03:22 AM
 
Originally posted by opti:
You're right about sleep mode -- I had been told by the guy that runs the shop I bought the PB from, that if I'm taking a nap on a flight for example, I'd probably want to turn it off rather than running it on sleep mode. This gave me the impression that it was only good if you have the computer plugged in, or you're just taking a short break. However, last night I had it on sleep mode for around 15-18 hours, and it was at 93% battery life when I started using it today. I'll have to mention that to him.
Turning on and off your laptop constantly will do more harm to your battery life than simply putting it to sleep. Take this with a grain of salt, but I read that turning on your computer is the equivalent of the computer sleeping for 8 hours.
     
diskgolfking
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Jun 27, 2004, 01:23 PM
 
Originally posted by wataru:
With session management, the states of the apps are saved. That means that the open windows, the window positions, etc. are exactly as you left them. Login items, however, merely result in launching the app, which may or may not remember the state it was in the last time you used it.
Well it sounds like it's up to the apps then and not the OS. If an app won't remember the state of itself there's nothing the OS can do about it. The only thing the OS could do is basically save off the contents of RAM to the HD. But with OS X the only times you really need to reboot are when you install an update or something crashes *BAD*. In neither case is it a good idea to save off the contents of your RAM.
     
opti  (op)
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Jun 30, 2004, 02:20 AM
 
Originally posted by diskgolfking:
Well it sounds like it's up to the apps then and not the OS. If an app won't remember the state of itself there's nothing the OS can do about it. The only thing the OS could do is basically save off the contents of RAM to the HD. But with OS X the only times you really need to reboot are when you install an update or something crashes *BAD*. In neither case is it a good idea to save off the contents of your RAM.
Nope, it's something general to Gnome that works with most gtk/Gnome apps in *nix, so it's a litttle of both app support and desktop environment support, just as a lot of things are. Like a sound daemon -- the desktop environment runs it, but individual apps still need to be programmed to use it.

In any event, I've been running sleep mode at night for several nights now and everything is just peachy. It's much better with sleep mode (and more stable in general) than Gnome on top of Linux; I've had Safari crash on me once and that's about my only problem. Oh, and I can't find where my trash is going in Mail.app for the life of me, but that isn't a stability issue.
     
JKT
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Jun 30, 2004, 06:33 AM
 
Originally posted by opti:
<snip>Oh, and I can't find where my trash is going in Mail.app for the life of me, but that isn't a stability issue.
In Mail, check your Preferences>Accounts>"name of your account">Special Mailboxes

Under the Trash setting it will tell you what has been selected as the destination for deleted messages and how long you store them for.

HTH
     
absmiths
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Jun 30, 2004, 04:08 PM
 
Originally posted by Synotic:
Turning on and off your laptop constantly will do more harm to your battery life than simply putting it to sleep. Take this with a grain of salt, but I read that turning on your computer is the equivalent of the computer sleeping for 8 hours.
Phyiscally that is probably not true. The main strain on a hardware system is putting parts in motion (spinning up an HD or CD/DVD) and warming parts up (resistors/capacitors/ICs) - both of which occur when you wake a computer from sleep or switch it on. This is the same reason why light bulbs tend to burn out when turned on.

EDIT: I just reread your post - if you are saying that it takes as much battery power to start the machine as it does to sustain sleep for 8 hours then that sounds likely. I thought you were comparing wear on the machine.
     
opti  (op)
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Jul 1, 2004, 03:22 AM
 
Originally posted by JKT:
In Mail, check your Preferences>Accounts>"name of your account">Special Mailboxes

Under the Trash setting it will tell you what has been selected as the destination for deleted messages and how long you store them for.

HTH
Well it was rather bizarre, I decided to switch off the "Store deleted messages on server" option, so they'd show up in the Trash... then when I turned it back on, suddenly a "Deleted Messages" folder appeared *below* the Trash can (not in the drop-down list or anything). I didn't see this anywhere on the web site front-end for my e-mail though, and I'm not sure if other clients would see it... which would make it no more useful than not storing messages on the server. So I switched to that again.
     
   
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