Leopard brought us oodles of new features, including built-in screen sharing and a theoretically seamless way to connect back to your own Macs for both screen sharing and file sharing. With screen sharing, you control the mouse and keyboard of one computer while you sit at another computer across the room or on the other side of the world. It’s great for providing remote tech support for family and friends, for configuring and managing remote servers, and for collaborating with colleagues in real time. To help you better work with screen sharing and Back to My Mac, we are pleased to announce the release of two ebooks, both by TidBITS contributing editor Glenn Fleishman. Each title is $10 by itself or you can buy them together for $15:
- In “Take Control of Screen Sharing in Leopard,” Glenn documents the new screen-sharing capabilities in Leopard. Screen-sharing applications have been available for the Mac for many years, but Leopard makes screen sharing accessible to normal Mac users. Apple has piled on the options, enabling screen sharing via iChat, Bonjour, directly by entering an IP address or hostname, and Back to My Mac. All these choices bring complexity, and this book helps you figure out which type of screen sharing to use when, how to share screens with people who are not running Leopard and even with Windows users, and how to get the most out of Leopard’s hidden Screen Sharing application. The 88-page book also includes troubleshooting information and assistance with configuring routers for screen sharing.
- In “Take Control of Back to My Mac,” Glenn changes gears to focus on the Back to My Mac service also introduced in Leopard. With Back to My Mac, you can connect from one of your Macs to another for file and screen sharing, making it possible, for instance, to snag a forgotten document or to control your Power Mac G5 from your MacBook while on a trip. Or at least that’s the theory, since in practice, people have had huge trouble in getting Back to My Mac working. In this book, you’ll find essential details on configuring common routers to work with Back to My Mac, learn about the security implications of using Back to My Mac, and discover handy features in the hidden Screen Sharing application. The 100-page book even covers the latest significant improvements to Back to My Mac in Mac OS X 10.5.3.
In case you’re wondering, we’ve confirmed with Apple that the functionality of the Back to My Mac service will not be changing as Apple transitions .Mac to MobileMe (Back to My Mac currently requires that you have a .Mac account). However, some aspects of using Back to My Mac will obviously be changing; for instance, you’ll likely be turning on the service in a MobileMe system preference pane in Mac OS X 10.5.4, not in a .Mac preference pane. Meanwhile, we know there are folks who want help with screen sharing and especially Back to My Mac right now, so we’re excited to be able to make these books available.
(If you own the second edition of “Take Control of .Mac,” you can purchase “Take Control of Back to My Mac” for $5 off; to access the discount, open the PDF of the second edition and then on the cover, click Check for Updates. Scroll down a little on the resulting Check for Updates Web page.)