Remote Control Macs

A home or office with more than one Mac is more common than not anymore. If your Macs are all networked, controlling them doesnit have to be a headache, since sitting in front of each one isnit a requirement. Thanks to VNC, or Virtual Network Computing, you can control any Mac on your network without leaving you chair.

Setting It Up
If your Macs are running Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), setting up VNC is a breeze. Hereis what you need to do:

  • Choose Apple Menu > System Preferences.
  • Click the Sharing Preference Pane.
  • Click the Services tab.
  • Click Apple Remote Desktop.
  • Click the Access Privileges button.
  • Check VNC Viewers May Control Screen with Password.
  • Enter a password to prevent unauthorized users from remotely accessing your Mac.
  • Click the OK button to finish entering your settings.

Use the Sharing Preference Pane to activate VNC.

If the Mac you want to connect to is running an older version of Mac OS X, you need to install a VNC server, like OSXVnc, on it. OSXVnc is free, and available for download at the Redstone Software Web site.

Connecting to Another Mac
Activating VNC on a Mac is only half the battle. In order to connect to another workstation and control it, you need a VNC client application on your Mac. It just so happens that one of the most popular VNC clients, Chicken of the VNC, is free. Itis available at the SourceForge Web site.

Once you finish downloading and installing Chicken of the VNC, itis time to connect to another Mac. Be sure you know the TCP/IP address of the Mac you are connecting to because thatis how Chicken of the VNC knows which computer you are trying to control.

  • Launch Chicken of the VNC.
  • If you donit see a VNC Login window, Choose Connection > Open Connection.
  • Enter the TCP/IP address of the computer you want to control in the Host field.
  • Leave the Display/Port field set to 0.
  • Enter the remote computeris VNC password in the Password Field.
  • Click the Connect button.

Enter the TCP/IP address of the Mac you are connecting to in the Chicken of the VNCis Login window.

A new window should open showing you the desktop of the remote Mac you just connected to. You can now use the remote Mac just as if you were sitting in front of it.

A remote Mac Desktop, ready to do your bidding.

I use VNC to control my servers that are in a different room, but it also works great for controlling a Mac thatis part of your home entertainment center. If you have a PC that is running VNC server software, you can connect to it, too.