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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver System
I have noticed this Desktop & Screen Saver (D&SS for short) System Preferences panel oddity since at least 10.3. I have tested it on 10.3 and 10.4 machines, and it's still an issue. Here's a description of the issue, and how to avoid it...

The D&SS panel remembers which of the two tabs (Desktop and Screen Saver) was used last, and always re-opens to the last tab viewed.

So here's the problem, which only occurs if two conditions are met:
  1. You open the D&SS panel by right- or control-clicking on the Desktop and choosing Change Desktop Background from the pop-up menu.
  2. The Screen Saver tab was the last-active tab, meaning it's the one that will come to the foreground.
If both those conditions are true, then the "Computer Name" screen saver appears as a folder instead of an actual screen saver. Clicking on it brings up an Open Folder dialog. If the Computer Name screen saver is the one you're actually using, then the dialog box comes up immediately after the D&SS panel opens. Even if you try, you'll find you can't select the Computer Name screen saver from the dialog box.

If you get to the D&SS panel any other way -- opening System Preferences, using the Apple menu, even right-clicking on the background and choosing the Change Desktop Background menu item when the Desktop tab was the last one opened, etc. -- then the Computer Name screen saver appears in the list as a normal screensaver.

So the quick fix is that if you want to choose the Computer Name screen saver, then you must open the Screen Saver prefs any way other than right- or control-clicking on the Desktop.

[robg adds: I confirmed this on two machines here, and I've since filed a 10.4.3 bug report on it with Apple (#4337467). Until/if it's fixed, at least now you know why you might see this odd behavior!]
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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver
Authored by: Anonymous on Nov 10, '05 12:25:39PM

I thought I was the only one that saw this happening! Thanks to kholburn for taking the time to figure it out.



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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver
Authored by: pchinn on Nov 10, '05 02:23:04PM

Yes, thanks for posting this hint/bug. I *though* I had solved it by deleting the preference file, only to discover the problem has "reappeared".



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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver
Authored by: durin42 on Nov 10, '05 04:04:20PM

It also seems to happen if you directly open the prefpane using Quicksilver or something similar.



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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver
Authored by: jacobolus on Nov 10, '05 09:10:34PM

This happens whenever you open the preference pane directly, instead of opening System Preferences, and then navigating to the pane. I was sure I had filed this as a bug months ago, but it looks like i never did. Too bad.. I even took screenshots to show what was happening. Lesson: Don't ever navigate directly to the Desktop/Screen Saver pref. pane if you want to change your screen saver.



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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver
Authored by: jacobolus on Nov 10, '05 09:12:57PM

Note, this one also has the effect of removing the ability to actually select a picture folder as a screen saver. You might add this to your bug report, rob.



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Avoid a glitch with the 'Computer Name' screen saver
Authored by: Ilgaz on Nov 10, '05 09:46:29PM

Funny is, I have never right clicked desktop to change anything in my life (screensaver etc) and that bug has hit me somehow. I always use sys prefs application for such things.

I remember thinking "Oh even if that thing broken,time to fresh install os x"

Thanks really!



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