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Order/timing of startup programs

Posted on 2004-04-20
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I have an iBook G4 1 GHz running OS X 10.3 and recently installed MSN Messenger for Mac and Virex from the .Mac service.  I have an Airport Extreme card for wireless networking with an older but perfectly functional Linksys 802.11b gateway router.  Intenet access is though Earthlink DSL.

On startup both Virex and MSN Messenger try to connect to the Internet before my Airport Extreme sets up a connection through the Linksys.  The result is that both report errors - Virex because it can't update and MSN Messenger because it can't contact the server.  I can tell both apps to retry almost immediately and they work fine - the connection is there moments after they fail.   Is there some way to adjust the timing of startup applications so that the network connection is established before Virex and MSN Messenger attempt to connect?

Thanks...  Bill
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Question by:William Polymenakos
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 10879426
If the apps are listed in the startup items section of the Accounts control panel, sure. Otherwise, no.

On a side note, there is no reason to run Virex on OS X. There are a grand total of 0 virii for OS X. Yep, 0.

You may be able to fix the problem by telling your Airport Base Station to maintain a connection and not "connect when needed". Then it's ALWAYS connected.
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Expert Comment

by:holleron
ID: 10882465
There are easier and harder ways to accomplish what you are looking for.
The more difficult methods can also give you more options for choosing schedules or if the application is triggered by an event.

There is an excellent article at http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/excerpt/runmacxpanther8/index.html

You may wish to look to a Mac OS X scheduling application like Cronnix or iBeeZz.

http://www.koch-schmidt.de/cronnix/
http://www.ibeezz.com/en/index.php
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Expert Comment

by:brettmjohnson
ID: 10885916
> You may be able to fix the problem by telling your Airport Base Station to maintain
> a connection and not "connect when needed". Then it's ALWAYS connected.

This is not the problem.  I've noticed that the Airport client and Base Station take 3-10
seconds to establish a connection (handshake, DHCP, DNS, etc).  I have a cable modem
"always on" connection, so establishing a [dial-up] connection is not the problem.  But
if any network aware software attempts to do anything before the 802.11 link is completely
established, I get errors similar to billpoly (especially when waking from sleep).
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 10890201
If you tell the ABS to maintain a connection, there is no connection to establish. It's already established permanently. The ABS maintains it. You CAN actually "log out" on a dsl or cable modem even if its "always on" and you'd get the same delays. But if you let the ABS force it to be active all the time, your machines wont have a delay.
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by:William Polymenakos
ID: 10895834
I have to agree with brettmjohnson - the problem isn't that the ABS (not what I'm using in this case, but an example nonetheless) needs to maintain a broadband connection.  The problem is that the CLIENT AirPort Extreme card needs to establish the connection (handshake, etc.) with the ABS during boot.  It is while this process is taking place that some network-aware applications will start and fail due to the lack of an established connection between the client AirPort Extreme in the iBook and the ABS.  Once the connection process between the two is completed then I can retry the network-aware apps and all works fine.  I'm looking for a way to have these apps wait (or be delayed) until after a network connection is established to attempt their connections.
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Accepted Solution

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brettmjohnson earned 50 total points
ID: 10897105
Since I don't use MSN Messenger or Virex, I don't know if they have true OS X  style StartupItems.
If so, you should find directories for them in the /Library/StartupItems folder.  

Inside each of those directories you should find a StartupParameters.plist file.
In the StartupParameters.plist file is a line called "Requires" which details which startup
services must already be running before this new service can start.

Network aware apps like Messenger obviously require the Network service to running.
On OS X this simply seems to mean the hardware is alive and a link is present.  Naming
services may be running, but an attempt to actually resolve a name may fail because the
Network may not yet have a route to the outside world.

I suggest creating a new service (WWWaccess) that tests for a route to the outside,
perhaps using dig to resolve the name of a well known site that is not likely to be cached locally.  
This will test that external DNS is working.  If that is working, then MSN Messenger should be
able to connect up to its service, so modify Messenger's StartupParameters.plist to Require the
WWWaccess service to be active before starting.

Now WWWaccess is not a true "Service" in the Unix daemon sense, but it just runs dig with a
short timeout recording its success or failure - possibly delaying the startup sequence by a
couple of seconds (I did say short timeout).

This is all theory.  I didn't try it out.  This also will only work for StartupItems.  It probably
won't help with wake from sleep issues at all.
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