Telecommuting with OS X Part III – Online Tools

Apple remote desktop:
If you have an OS X machine at work, you can enable remote desktop in the system preferences. Unfortunately, the Apple Remote Desktop application is not bundled with the operating system and you will have to purchase a license. If that is a problem, read on for some other solutions. Apple Remote Desktop is much more than just a remote access application. Here are a list of features that ARD has that make it special:

– Drag and drop file transfer from your computer to the remote computer
– Remote shell scripting and terminal commands
– Usage logs and statistics for the remote machine
– Remote software installation
– Easy location of remote machines via Bonjour
– Keyboard and screen locking the remote machine (You take control of the machine from the user)
– Silent observation of the remote machine

To turn on Remote Desktop:
Step 1. Go to System Preferences and click on Sharing.

Step 2. If the padlock in the lower left is locked, click on it and enter the administrator password.

Step 3. Check the checkbox next to Apple Remote Desktop.

Enabling Apple Remote Desktop

Step 4. Set the Access Privileges to allow what you need.

Enabling Apple Remote Desktop

Note: Either leave the checkbox next to “All Local Users” checked or add which accounts can Remote in. (10.5) For 10.4, just check the checkbox next to your account or all of the accounts so you can log in.

Due to the power involved with Apple Remote Desktop, there is a good chance you may not be allowed to use this application or it simply may be overkill for your needs. In this case, Apple includes the open-source VNC standard which you can use to connect in to your OS X machine without all the bells and whistles of ARD. With the release of OS X 10.5 (Leopard), the VNC process has changed a little. In Leopard, you can enable VNC “Screen Sharing” without enabling Remote Desktop. I will show separate instructions for 10.4 (Tiger).

Next Page: VNC Connections.

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