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Add personal information to login window background System
As explained in this older hint, it's pretty simply to change the background image of your login window -- just replace the Aqua Blue.jpg file in /Library/Desktop Pictures with an image of your own, using the same name. I use Gimp.app to create the images, or just export from iPhoto, and save an image file to that path with that name.

The dimensions of the original Apple-supplied image are 1600x1024, but you can really use any dimensions you want, and the image will be tiled. I use the dimensions of my screen (1280x854 for a 15" PowerBook G4), because I'm using a photo and I don't want it tiled. If you want to do the same, you can crop a photo to the desired dimensions with Gimp.app or iPhoto (crop, constrain to screen).

That part's pretty simple ... the next step was inspired by this recent hint about storing an owner's info string in open firmware -- I thought that there must be a more effective way to display owner info to non-users. It's pretty simple: use an image editor to add some owner-info text to your login window background image. If you ever lose your laptop, then the next time someone boots it up, they can't miss seeing your info! Check out a sample screenshot. Now you don't need to rely on someone checking out open firmware or otherwise working to figure out whose machine they've found.

[robg adds: In addition to the above methods, one of my favorite personalization options is to add a message to the login panel. Of course, neither of these methods work well if the machine has been stolen -- the thief will, more than likely, simply reformat the drive and reinstall OS X. But for accidental losses, such as may happen at a big show like Macworld Expo, these simple steps may mean the difference between getting your machine back or not...]
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