ImageOnce the Mac mini is placed into the data center, Leopard provides a Screen Sharing application that works really well. In this video, we’ll look at connecting with this Screen Sharing app.

This video assumes the Mac mini is setup using the techniques in the Initial Setup video. In that video, we configured the Screen Sharing server. We’ll show where that is located in this video, but you won’t be able to connect if it wasn’t enabled previously.

And now a link to the video: Connect With Screen Sharing (option+click to download)

If you have questions or comments on the video, you can send them via twitter (@macminicolo) or using our contact page.

ImageIf a server is setup correctly, clinic you can hopefully walk away and it will run fine without interaction for a long time. Digital Sentry will help you get a little closer to that goal.

“Digital Sentry monitors your system for specific events, and then can perform a vast array of unique actions in response. Watch for such system events as waking from sleep, program launches, closes, or switches, file modifications, incorrect password attempts, mouse and keyboard input, and many more. Then, perform any number of tasks like sending an e-mail, shutting down the computer, starting a simulated self-destruct, pinging a web URL, taking a web cam shot, taking a screenshot, playing a multimedia file, speaking some text, executing a shell script… the list goes on!”

The interface is nice and easy to setup. The cost is $19.95 and comes with a free trial. Download it here.

ImageFor those of you who read the last post about iStat and were disappointed to find that it wasn’t available at the time, you’re in luck! Just last night, the Apple gatekeepers approved and listed iStat on the App Store. It’s a beautiful app for the iPhone.

For more on the app, see the official page at Bjango.com. Or, just head straight to iTunes to buy the iStat app. (iTunes link)

ImageiStat Menus and iStat Pro is very popular Mac software to watch the inner workings of your Mac. These applications keep an eye on things like CPU and RAM usage.

Just recently, the same company that develops these apps has announced iStat for the iPhone. It’s an incredibly good looking app that will let you watch the resources on your Mac. It includes views of RAM, CPU, network, uptime, temps, etc. It also offers great implementations of pinging and traceroutes to servers. Incredibly useful if you are running a remote Mac server.

This app will also let you take a look of the stats of your iPhone like memory usage, disk space, etc.

This app has been submitted to Apple for review and should be on the App Store soon.

And it gets even better for Macminicolo customers. In an exclusive deal with Bjango, all Macminicolo customers can receive free copies of the application. See here for more details and screenshots.

ImageI had a friend write today asking how he could setup a Mac to share it’s Bonjour services over the internet. He had tried a VPN, but it was not very reliable. I recommended ShareTool.

With ShareTool, it’s as easy as starting up the application and pressing Share. From there, the service is configured. On other Macs, you’ll open the app and click “Connect” then enter the ip and port number of the sharing Mac. Now you can access like iTunes folders, Screen Sharing, etc. It couldn’t be more simple.

In addition, there are other benefits. All transfers are encrypted. If the file is large, it is compressed on the fly.

ShareTool costs $20 and can be downloaded from the YazSoft site.

ImageIf you’re reading this blog, you probably have a Mac server setup somewhere that requires your attention occasionally. For those of you with an iPhone, I hope to help you out.

Over on the Macminicolo.net site, I’ve put together a list of seven iPhone applications that I use every day to work with the Mac servers and IT work in general. You can read it here.

ImageWhen I travel with my Mac, I’m continually connecting to different wifi hot spots to check back on the data center and work with any support emails. As you can imagine, doing these two things, I’ve tried to be very careful not to use terribly private passwords and URL’s. You just never know if you can trust the network you’re using.

A couple months ago, I set up an SSH tunnel using these instructions. This allows for me to send all traffic encrypted to my Mac mini in the data center. This keeps things safe.

If you find yourself traveling often, perhaps this will be of use to you as well.

ImageIt used to be that to have remote control ability on Mac OS X it took third party applications. In Tiger they introduced a built in VNC server which is convenient. Now in Leopard, they include a built in VNC client called “Screen Sharing.”

This is actually the application that is used for “Back To My Mac” or to “Share Screen” with local machines on your network. But, it can also be used as a VNC client to any machine. It’s probably most convenient if you take the app and put it in your Dock. It’s located in /System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.

There are also other ways to open the app on demand.

In Safari, you can type “vnc://ip_address” in the URL bar, replacing “ip_address” with the actual address of the remote Mac.

In Finder, you can “Connect To Server” (Commank+K” and type it there as well.

Doing either of these things will open the application, begin the connection, and return asking for your login.

(Of course, to have any of this to work, you’ll need to be sure to have either “Screen Sharing” or “Remote Management” activated in your System Preferences -> Sharing panel.)

ImageAjaxterm is a web based terminal. It is incredibly easy to install it’s great to have in a bind.

For instance, if you were to lock yourself out of your server, you could re-enable screen sharing with this terminal. It’s also useful for when you don’t have a computer near that has a Terminal application but you need to do some quick work on your server.

AjaxTerm is free and can be downloade here.

(Thanks Nicholas for the heads up.)

ImageWhenever I set up a new Mac mini in the data center (or help someone set up their own to send in) I’ll always suggest to have “Remote Login” enabled whether they regularly use SSH or not. The reason for this is it gives you a second way in if you were to lock yourself out by turning off Apple Remote Desktop or Leopard’s Screen Sharing. It’s easy to do.

For Apple Remote Desktop 3.2 (all one line):

sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/
Contents/Resources/kickstart -configure -allowAccessFor -allUsers -privs -all

For earlier versions of Apple Remote Desktop, Apple has a nice document here.

For Leopard’s Screen Sharing:

$ cd /Library/Preferences
$ echo -n enabled > com.apple.ScreenSharing.launchd

(Thanks to this great hint on MacOSXHints.com.)

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