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I need a program to always run and always be in the background.

Any suggestions?

Update based on comments: By "add it to the menu bar," I mean that I don't want it to run in the dock. I want to access it from the top right of my screen -- near the clock. That feels more minimalist to me and less intrusive.

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It's not clear what you want. Please enhance your description. –  Daniel Beck Dec 3 '10 at 16:12
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You can configure applications to start at login via System Preferences, Accounts, Login Items. If you want a graphical ("menu bar") application to start at startup, i.e. before any user logs in, I doubt that is possible. –  Daniel Beck Dec 3 '10 at 16:14
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Daniel, you answered the first part of my question, about how to run when my computer startups. Thanks. Now I'm just wondering how to get the program to run from my menu bar, instead of the dock. –  Andrew Warner Dec 3 '10 at 18:38
    
The Dock is the indicator for running applications. The menubar is for system (and sometimes software) status information. You can reduce the Dock icon size, if that's what you're concerned about. –  Daniel Beck Dec 3 '10 at 20:59

1 Answer 1

Regarding running it at login (not startup though):

You can configure applications to start at login via System Preferences, Accounts, Login Items. If you want a graphical ("menu bar") application to start at startup, i.e. before any user logs in, I doubt that is possible.

Regarding running it "in the menubar instead of the Dock:

There is absolutely no way to achieve this as a user. You can hide the Dock icon for certain applications, but this will remove the application menu bar. And just as it's not possible to remove menubar icons in all cases, it's not possible to "move" applications to the menubar, if they're not specifically designed for that.

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Regarding your desire for minimalism: If you want to have some minimalist desktop setup, I suggest using Launchbar, Quicksilver or Alfred, or the Finder toolbar or sidebar, to launch applications and documents, and use the Dock exclusively as an indicator what applications are running, not as a launcher. Minimize the number of Dock and menubar icons to the bare essentials, using the latter only for essential things (otherwise clutter). Additional resources: this, this and some of this. –  Daniel Beck Dec 3 '10 at 20:58

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