Apple last week released Apple Remote Desktop 3.1, making the company's remote control and management application into a universal binary and fixing numerous bugs and limitations that you can read more about on Apple's Web site. The main new capability in Remote Desktop 3.1 is support for "lights-out management," which enables a system administrator to monitor and manage a remote server whether or not the machine is powered on. Lights-out management is a new feature of the Intel-based Xserves, so if you're managing one of those machines with Remote Desktop 3.1, you can turn it on if it's off, even via AppleScript; all that's necessary is an Ethernet connection. (According to a post on the Ars Technica Infinite Loop journal, the Intel-based Xserve uses nearly all of the IPMI 2.0 specification, meaning that third party solutions will also be able to manage the Xserve remotely.) Apple Remote Desktop 3.1 is a free update for owners of version 3.0, and although the admin comes with a matching 3.1 client that's presumably necessary for the new lights-out management features, Remote Desktop 3.1 Admin can still control older versions of the client. The admin is a 28 MB download; the client is a 2.5 download, available from Apple Downloads and from Software Update.
Set Password Activation Time in Snow Leopard
In Snow Leopard, you can now set an amount of time after your Mac goes to sleep or engages the screen saver before it requires a password to log back on. In Leopard, the option was simply to require the password or not. Choose among several increments, between 5 seconds and 4 hours, from System Preferences > Security.
Published in TidBITS 856.
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