: ? Best Way to remote control a Mac Tower ?

Jan 24th, 2004, 01:02 PM
This is what I want to do.

My new MDD G4 Tower is in the basement. I figured the extra power and storage would useful for it's intended purpose of FCE and iDVD work. It's rather antisocial of me to be down there all the time - but I can't stand watching TV upstairs with the family. I need my Mac for entertainment.

Since I can't carry my tower around with me I have been think that I could:
1. Sell the Tower and get a nice PowerBook with Superdrive.
2. Keep the tower for heavy lifting and get a Lombard or Pismo that I could use with Apple RDC and Rendezvous to keep in sync or control the MDD Tower.

Are there other options? Are the any RDC clients for Linux that could connect and control a Mac? For Windows (MS RDC works in the other direction Mac -> PC)?

Any of you guys try doing something like this?


Post edited because it did not make any sense.

[ January 24, 2004, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: lewdvig ]

Jan 24th, 2004, 02:06 PM
A little cabling and a remote might work. RF remotes work through walls; IR remotes can send to non line-of-sight devices with repeaters (Radio Shack sells them, for example).

ATI and Keyspan make remotes; you can also use a PDA or certain cellphones with Bluetooth enabled Macs (bluetooth can be added to towers or newer Macs can come with it). Programs are available for these devices to act as a remote.

ATI Remote Wonder (http://www.drbott.com/prod/db.lasso?code=0822-REWO) to get you started.

Jan 24th, 2004, 02:34 PM
I edited the original post to clarify what I am trying to do.

Bluetooth is only good for about 5-10 feet (in my experience). I would be on a different floor so I don't think that would work. Upstairs/downstairs like. I have bluetooth and an 802.11b network. I think the WiFi is the better option.

RDC is Remote Desktop Control - You run the client on a notebook or other desktop and you can control a machine in another room, building, city, country. I think a small client app for Pocket PC exists and maybe even a Citrix client for Palm (just a guess), but both of those are for connecting to Windows machine. A small tablet would be perfect - but I don't one of those exists.

It's too bad there isn't a Mira smart display like device for Mac. That would be perfect.

[ January 24, 2004, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: lewdvig ]

Jan 24th, 2004, 02:54 PM
Bluetooth is only good for about 5-10 feet.Bluetooth works up to 30 feet from a receiver.

Jan 24th, 2004, 03:15 PM
That is the official spec but in my experience with three Bluetooth phones and two Bluetooth anabled Mac - it's a llittle optimistic.

And thanks Lars, for getting nother thread off topic, but your post isn't very helpful in the context of the original post.

Jan 24th, 2004, 03:48 PM
I'm just starting to look into this myself (remote control of a Mac at work across the Internet) and I'm not sure how helpful this will be...

Timbuktu (commercial software)

VNC (I've heard lots about this but don't know if this is it)

Jan 24th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Sounds to me like you're a candidate for a laptop.

Jan 24th, 2004, 11:13 PM
I find things like Apple Remote Desktop and VNC are pretty slow when it comes to controlling a computer. Neat, but slow.
Like Virtual PC on valium.
Maybe drill a hole in the floor, get some monitor & USB extension cables and get an LCD display and keyboard/mouse for upstairs. Haven't seen much longer than 15' though.
Personally I'd like to try something like this so I could use the power of the tower in the livingroom, so I'm interested in this topic too.
Or get a good laptop.

Jan 24th, 2004, 11:51 PM
Virtual PC on Valium?

Oh no!

I was really hoping that a Pismo or soemthing would let me manage my tower.


But I can still use Rendezvous and iSync to keep the machine synced. I only really need a laptop for email and surfing. And maybe to check on FCE and iDVD projects.

Jan 25th, 2004, 10:41 AM
We're using OSX VNC server (free) and Chicken of the VNC client (free) to access our office machine from our home machine. The connection goes out our Cable modem on our end, and into the less-than-ideally-managed University LAN on the other end where the office iMac (DV 500) is.

The lag is certainly noticeable - you're not going to play Unreal Tournament remotely, but it's more than sufficient to allow us to use Eudora remotely, access files, etc. The only thing we can't do (though we know the workarounds) is drag a file from the VNC window onto our desktop at home - that would be very cool.

Your home network should be considerably faster, and the lag may not be so bad. Maybe even try IP over FireWire to gain a mega speed boost... ;)


Jan 25th, 2004, 12:26 PM
Oh, just for the record, I meant that it was like the computer was on valium, not the user...
With Remote Desktop (ARD), it's just that the screen doesn't refresh fast enough for anything serious. If both machines are pretty fast, though, it's obviously going to be better.
But, if all you want to do is check on projects, either one (ARD or VNC) will do nicely.
VNC is free.

Jan 25th, 2004, 12:30 PM
Thanks everyone - lots of useful info here!