We’ve shown you how to make Windows load up your desktop and startup apps before you log in, and it turns out it’s even Simpler in OS X, as TUAW demonstrates. All you need to do is head to System Preferences > Accounts and click Login Options to enable Auto-Login (that’s right, you want to enable auto-login). Then, copy and paste the following code into TextEdit:
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC “-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN” “http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd”>
Go to Format > Make Plain Text and save the file as
com.luomat.loginhook-2.plist and put it in
~/Library/LaunchAgents. After rebooting your computer, you’ll notice the login screen shows up, but when you log in, your desktop and all your startup apps will be loaded and ready to go.
What this setup does is automatically log you in, but invoke fast user-switching as soon as it does. That way, your desktop begins to load, but it prompts you to log yourself in before you can actually do anything. This way, you can turn on your computer and step away for a moment while your programs load — without anyone else being able to get into your system. Hit the link for more ways to configure this setup.