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Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion
Control one Mac from another, or from a iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch!
Screen sharing gives you the power to control the mouse and keyboard of one Mac while you sit at another, whether it's just across the room or on the other side of the world. It's great for helping far-flung colleagues and relatives run their Macs, managing a remote server, and collaborating in real time on documents.
In recent versions of Mac OS X, Apple has piled on the options, enabling screen sharing via iChat, Bonjour, directly by entering an IP address, and Back to My Mac. Plus, Skype can do screen sharing with Macs and Windows computers, and various iOS apps let you run your Mac by tapping and dragging.
Join networking guru Glenn Fleishman as he helps you identify the best screen-sharing option for your needs. You'll learn how to set up screen sharing, get tips on using iChat and Apple's Screen Sharing application, and find directions for Skype screen sharing. A separate chapter explains how to use the iTeleport and LogMeIn apps on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to run a Mac remotely.
What hardware and software does this ebook discuss? This ebook is about screen sharing between two Macs running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but it is also your go-to ebook about screen sharing with 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard. For the iOS apps covered, you should be running iOS 3 or later.
You'll learn how to:
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Glenn Fleishman is a tech journalist based in Seattle, where he lives with his wife and two sons, both of whom are adept at accidentally pressing the power button on his laptop. He’s a contributing editor at TidBITS, responsible for much of their Web infrastructure; a columnist for the Seattle Times; a regular contributor to the Economist's Babbage blog; a senior contributor at Macworld; a regular voice on BoingBoing; and a Jeopardy winner. He appears regularly on public radio programs.
Reviews of Previous Editions
Table of Contents
Read Me First
This book will help you master sharing a remote computer screen from Mac OS X 10.7 Lion (with details for 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard) and teach you how to get a reliable connection with the greatest versatility. It also explains the use of an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch for remote access to a screen. It was written by Glenn Fleishman and edited by Tonya Engst (with Dan Frakes as technical advisor), and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Over 20 years ago, working from my desktop computer, I manipulated and saw the screen of a system that was in a server room. It was magical. I could work with the server just as if I were sitting in front of it, using its programs and moving objects on its desktop—via a 2,400 bps modem!
That sense of wonder still pervades me when I use screen sharing today. Instead of using dial-up software, or even a 10 Mbps (fast!) local Ethernet network, I use broadband feeds over the Internet to reach computers across town or 3,000 miles away.
Screen sharing, the general name for this technology, gives you access to applications and data stored on another computer, even though your keyboard and mouse aren’t connected to that computer. It lets you see a remote computer screen in real time, and it may also allow you to control the remote computer.
In Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and earlier versions of Mac OS X, screen sharing was something you had to install or spend significant time figuring out how to use. Apple made screen sharing part of the system, available on tap, in 10.5 Leopard. Improvements appeared in 10.6 Snow Leopard, and the technology reached a new level of utility in 10.7 Lion.
In Lion, screen sharing comes in several forms, and in this book I explain how to use each of them. In some cases, you must have an account and a password on the machine you want to access remotely. However, one particular method—screen sharing over iChat—requires just a buddy who gives you permission, at the time of access, to view or control his or her screen.
I also explain how to use screen sharing via Skype, and the role of Back to My Mac with screen sharing.
To learn how to set up your Macintosh or iOS device to view or control the screen of another computer, you’ll benefit from reading Learn the Basics of Screen Sharing carefully, in order to best match your situation to your needs. After that, focus on the material that describes the type—or types—of screen sharing that you want to do. However, if you have specific questions, each chapter also stands on its own.
I start by explaining how screen sharing works, then provide details on Lion’s Screen Sharing app, which is used by all of Lion’s options for remote access, whether via iChat, Back to My Mac, or Bonjour. Skype is covered separately. A chapter about troubleshooting connections comes at the end.
Learn background info to configure like a pro:
For other forms of built-in Mac OS X screen sharing:
For third-party and other ways to share a screen:
This edition of my Take Control of Screen Sharing... ebook still talks about sharing screens in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard, but it’s more keenly focused on 10.7 Lion and the introduction of Apple’s iCloud online service, which has replaced Apple’s MobileMe service.
Highlights of the most important changes in this edition include:
This ebook covers Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but it also brings 10.6 Snow Leopard and 10.5 Leopard along for the ride. We previously sold a Leopard and then a Snow Leopard edition of this ebook, but because the details about services like Back to My Mac and Skype have changed a great deal over the years, we no longer sell or update those older editions. Instead, everyone running 10.5 Leopard or later should use this Lion edition.
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
July 22, 2012 -- We are planning a 1.0.1 update to this ebook, just to correct a few typos. After that, however, we do not plan additional updates. We are working on an ebook about Messages in 10.8 Mountain Lion, so a few of the topics discussed here will be updated for Mountain Lion in that ebook.
July 25, 2012 --
If you wondered if this book remains relevant with today's release of Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the answer is a resounding "yes." Mountain Lion uses screen sharing almost identically to Lion (10.7), with two small improvements.
First, the contents of the Clipboard are automatically passed back and forth with the remote machine when you switch to a Screen Sharing app's session. Whatever is in the Clipboard on your local computer is automatically transferred to the remote machine's Clipboard when you bring its window to the foreground. While using the remote machine, anything you copy to its Clipboard is likewise transferred back to your local Mac when you switch to another application.
This can be convenient, but you might dislike such behavior as well. If so, you can disable this option in Preferences by removing the check from Use Shared Clipboard, or, in a screen-sharing session, select Edit > Disable Shared Clipboard or click the Shared Clipboard button in a sharing session's toolbar to deselect it. The manual Clipboard transfer buttons are now labeled Get Clipboard and Send Clipboard, are available in the Edit menu when the Shared Clipboard option is disabled, or from any shared window's toolbar.
The Screen Sharing app also now allows drag-and-drop file transfers, whether from a local computer to the remote one or vice-versa. Just drag a file into the window or out of it, and it's copied with the progress shown in the File Transfers window (Window > File Transfers). That is a great help as it means you no longer have to set up an AFP file-sharing sessions or use another means to move files between your local and remote computer.
February 2, 2012 --
On page 61 and 66 of Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion, Glenn wrote that you can't use an iCloud account to access an AirPort Disk or Time Capsule via Back to My Mac, even though you can with a MobileMe account. As Glenn had suspected when he drafted the manuscript, Apple has now added iCloud-based access to Time Capsule drives and USB-attached AirPort drives. Of course, accessing those drives just lets you work with the files on those drives—there is no screen to share on a Time Capsule or AirPort base station! Glenn wrote much more about this topic in his TidBITS article, AirPort Utility 6.0 Adds iCloud Support but Removes Many Features.
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