Customizing the login screen

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Trendy reader Paul Mauro would like to tattoo his Mac’s login screen. He writes:

A couple years ago you published a tip on putting a personal note on the login screen. I implemented this on two machines as an SOS in case I lost my computer and a kind soul found it. It said the computer was mine and how to contact me. But I have upgraded to OS X 10.5 and I can’t get it work now. Could you check it on 10.5 and tell me what I should do now?

I have and I will. Although you could use Terminal and a hunk of text to do the job, why bother when you can simply download Titanium Software’s free OnyX?

OnyX performs any number of tricks, including checking the viability of your hard drive, sweeping out old log files and caches, and customizing the Mac’s interface in ways not possible without some stern Terminal twiddling. One of these customization options allows you to place a personal message in the Mac’s login window.

Just launch OnyX, let it do its startup things—checking the S.M.A.R.T status of your hard drive and verifying that drive—enter your Admin password when prompted, and then click the Parameters icon. Click the Login tab within the window that appears and enable the Show Message in the Login Window option. Now just type a custom message in the field below—Property of Paul Mauro,, 555-555-1212, for instance—quit OnyX, and log out of your account. When the login screen appears you’ll find that custom message near the top of the login window.

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