Fast User Switching Rules

I investigate the benefits of this new feature.

My family shares an iMac at home. One of the most annoying things is going to use the computer, only to find that one of my sisters is online. I don't know if she'll be back in a few minutes or a few hours, and I don't feel like writing down all of the messages that people have left her so I can sign into my account. With fast user switching, this is no longer a problem.

I just tested this, so I know it works. If I am signed on to AIM, and I switch to another user, my account continues to receive messages in the background. I can also sign on to another AIM account from the other user. This means that when I find my sister's account left open, I can just do a fast user switch to my account. She will continue to receive messages on her screen name while I talk to whoever I want on mine. Shareware programs have offered the multiple-AIM account feature (and in fact I figured out that you can do it with out shareware... you just need two versions of AIM), but fast user switching works for ALL programs. I can leave all of my apps open, and let someone else use the computer without sacrificing security.

I'd also like to note that the user switches are very fast—they only take one second—and the Quartz-powered cube effect is awesome. I can't wait to give this a real-world test next time I go home.

Posted: Sat - October 25, 2003 at 06:04 PM