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New Take Control Book Unveils the Magic of Screen Sharing

Sharing screens is fun: it feels almost magical to view the screen of one Mac from another, and even more so to control another Mac from your own. With “Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion,” Glenn Fleishman explains the many ways you can pull that rabbit out of your Mac’s hat. The 103-page ebook is available today for $10.

While fun to show off to less-experienced friends, screen sharing is an essential tool if you need to provide remote tech support (no more asking repeatedly, “So what did the dialog say?”), configure and manage remote servers, or collaborate on a document in real time, passing control of the cursor back and forth as necessary. That’s why Apple has provided a bunch of ways to share screens, including iChat, Back to My Mac, and the Screen Sharing application. Nor is Apple alone: Skype also provides Mac screen sharing, as do several iOS apps (yes, you can drive your Mac from your iPad, or even your iPhone!).

Glenn helps you choose the right screen-sharing technique for various situations, covering the pros and cons and what kind of security each method offers. He also discusses how to share screens with older Macs running 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard, and how to manage your Mac from an iOS device.

Among the tricks and techniques the ebook covers are how to:

  • Set up your Mac so that it can be controlled from your iPhone.
  • Use screen sharing to help your confused uncle with his Mac.
  • Find and launch the built-in Screen Sharing application on your Mac.
  • Control an unattended Mac over the Internet.
  • Turn on Back to My Mac with MobileMe or iCloud.
  • Get set up and begin to share your screen through Skype.
  • Give a presentation to a remote location through iChat Theater.
  • Wake up a remote Mac in order to control it through screen sharing.
  • Copy text from one computer to another while sharing screens.
  • Put a shared screen in its own full-screen display in Lion.
  • Control a far-away Mac through screen sharing when another user is logged in to that same Mac with a different account.

As the number of Macs in our extended professional and social networks continues to grow, so too does the need to access them quickly and efficiently from different locations. Glenn Fleishman’s “Take Control of Screen Sharing in Lion” puts the magic of screen sharing at your fingertips.


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Comments about New Take Control Book Unveils the Magic of Screen Sharing
(Comments are closed.)

Seth K  2012-01-19 11:50
Does the ebook cover how to set up encrypted screen sharing connections, for example over ssh tunnel?
Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-01-19 12:01
Not with ssh tunneling specifically, but note that the built-in Mac OS X screen sharing app uses strong encryption for screen sharing sessions. And Back to My Mac sharing adds another layer of protection on top of that.

Also note that ssh is discussed in the context of one of the third party sharing apps discussed in the book.
Glenn Fleishman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2012-01-19 12:29
I opted to not include that, as I was trying to show methods that involved the least fuss. To use SSH plus Screen Sharing or a VPN client, you have to have a publicly reachable IP address on your router, and, usually, employ port mapping as well.

The solutions included in the book are Back to My Mac (for remote access), since that's now free in iCloud, and handles port mapping via NAT-PMP and UPnP; LogMeIn, which uses its own system; and iTeleport, which uses Google accounts to provide the glue for a remote connection, and has security options built in. Skype is also covered in its own chapter.

In all the methods discussed (starting in the early chapters), I highlight encryption and security, and which options offers what methods of protection. I don't recommend using any remote-access tools without an encrypted tunnel, however it's created.