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New Ebooks Aid Remote Support, Collaboration, and Administration

Do you use screen sharing? We do, all the time. As an editor, I use screen sharing to collaborate with my authors, since it’s convenient to discuss the same document in real time, even if the people having the discussion are on different continents. It’s also a great teaching and tech support tool that lets me control an author’s Mac and show what I’m doing while I explain some odd behavior in Microsoft Word.

But the king of remote control is Glenn Fleishman, who uses screen sharing for these and many other tasks, including remote server administration. Glenn’s enthusiasm for the topic has caused him to check out all the latest options while updating two screen-sharing-related ebooks – “Take Control of Screen Sharing in Snow Leopard” and “Take Control of Back to My Mac.” They’re available separately for $10 or together for $15 (look in the left margin of either book’s Web page for the discount link):

  • In “Take Control of Screen Sharing in Snow Leopard,” Glenn documents the many Mac OS X screen-sharing options – in Snow Leopard and Leopard – including iChat, Bonjour, direct, and Back to My Mac, along with discussing Skype-based screen sharing, controlling your Mac from an iPhone app, and lesser-known options for working with older versions of Mac OS X and Windows. All these choices bring complexity, but you’ll learn how to identify, configure, and use the best screen-sharing approach for your needs. The 136-page book also includes troubleshooting information and assistance with router configuration.
  • In “Take Control of Back to My Mac,” Glenn changes gears to focus deeply on the Back to My Mac feature available to MobileMe subscribers, since there’s a great deal to say about it. 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 Mac Pro from your MacBook while on a trip. You can also connect remotely to drives attached to an AirPort Extreme base station or Time Capsule. Or at least that’s the theory, since in practice, people have had huge trouble in getting Back to My Mac working. In this 95-page book, you’ll find essential
    details on configuring common routers to work with Back to My Mac and learn about the security implications of using Back to My Mac.
Why two separate ebooks? As we untangled the many threads of this topic, it became clear that Back to My Mac has many unique characteristics, including file sharing and remote disk access (with certain hardware), as well as special security methods and considerations. Further, some Back to My Mac users need to know picky router configuration information that is unnecessary for other forms of screen sharing. So, we decided to cover only Back to My Mac basics in the “Screen Sharing” ebook, and then go much deeper in the full “Back to My Mac” ebook.

The books work together as a pair if you want to take control of the entire Mac OS X screen-sharing enchilada, and they’re available independently. If you buy either one and then realize you want the other, you can use the Check for Updates button on the cover of each ebook to access a generous discount on the other.

(Those who have older versions of these ebooks should be sure to check their email – or click the Check for Updates button on page 1 of the ebook – to find out about upgrades. “Back to My Mac” is free to all who own an earlier version; “Screen Sharing” has an upgrade discount.)

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