Friday, July 27, 2007

Remote control for OS X: Suddenly, coming out of the woodwork ...

What the heck?! I've been ranting about the crummy remote control solutions [1] for OS X desktops for years -- to no avail (of course, I'm not delusional you know). All of sudden, they're popping up all over. Desktop Transporter is more interesting that most because it's now been acquired by DevonTechnologies, a very well regarded OS X vendor. It's not a straight VNC port [1] so I'll probably take a look at it. I doubt anyone but Apple is going to really be able to make this work the way I want [3], so I probably have to wait to see how bad 10.5 will be -- but I'll give is a try.

Some info on Desktop Transporter: Version Tracker: 3.8 stars

BTW, in the course of looking at DT I came across this extensive Macintouch topic thread. Alas, if only Macintouch would implement feeds for their topic page. There's only one mention of DT, but they mention some I'm familiar with. See also:

Update 7/28/07: No luck. I installed DT on two machines. It seemed to connect, but then simply hung with a black screen preview and a persistent "connecting" message. One machine is on 10.4.9, the other on 10.4.10. Local network, all Apple equipment. The only funny thing is I use WDS (an airport extreme and an airport express). The app complained NAT sharing was not enabled, though that should only be needed for remote access and the two machines showed a green internal connection. Enabling NAT on the Airport Extreme made no difference. I don't have time to futz with it, so this one is a flop.


[1] I know about VNC ports. I'm sure DT is really a VNC based solution, but it sounds like the developer worked to make it a better fit for Apple's oddball VNC implementation. It will be interesting to see how it handles multiple monitor and fast user switching for example.

[2] I know about Timbuktu as well. It was great once, but nothing I've heard about them recently makes me think they've kept up with the OS X world. Last time I looked they didn't have the confidence to offer a trial version. I suspect they just couldn't get deep enough into the OS to be efficient after classic died.

[3] It would have to be deeply integrated with Apple's mixed vector/raster display technology, which means only they can write it.

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