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Loading the Java VM at Navigator startup

Many Web Sites, including Longhurst.Com, use Java applets to add features and make your experience a little nicer. However, you may notice a significant time delay when a Java Applet (like the scrolling banner on the Front Page of Longhurst.Com) is loading. This tip, sent in by a Java expert, can help those of us who use Netscape Communicator.

If you used the default installation to set up Netscape Communicator 4, it doesn't load the Java Virtual Machine (VM) during Navigator startup. Instead, Navigator waits until you load a Java-enabled page before calling this VM. This results in the wait message "Starting Java..." and a delay of about 30 seconds.

You can avoid this delay by automatically loading the Java VM as you launch Communicator. Doing so will also prevent Communicator from restarting the Java VM each time you browse pages that contain Java applets or audio files played for the LiveAudio plugin. The end result is that Java-enabled pages load faster.

The command you'd use to load the Java VM as you launch Communicator is

C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\netscape.exe -start_java

You can enter this command when you click the Start button and choose the Run... command to load Communicator. If you usually double-click a desktop shortcut to load Communicator, you can right-click the shortcut, choose Properties, click the Shortcut tab, and replace the entry in the Target field with a slightly modified version of this command:

"C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\netscape.exe" -start_java

Note that the -start_java parameter falls outside the double quotes. If you normally load Communicator from the Start menu, you can implement this change in the way Communicator loads by clicking the Start button, choosing Settings, and then clicking the Taskbar... option. When the Taskbar Properties dialog box opens, click the Start Menu Programs tab and then click the Advanced... button to explore the Start Menu. In the folder tree on the left, click the folder containing the Communicator shortcut. Then, right-click the Communicator shortcut and proceed as directed for modifying the desktop shortcut.