We’ve all been there. We’ve all had random family member, and friends that need tech support immediately. We’re all super busy, and no one has time to run across town or between cities to fix a computer that’s having issues. Nine times out of ten these problems are minor and take all of two seconds to fix, so why are we wasting all of this gas to run across town when we could just use screen sharing?

Granted, this concept has been around for years, and I’ve used it on Ubuntu and Windows machines with both third party applications and those built right into windows messenger. However, neither of those options on both platforms have been this easy to use, and this well integrated into the operating system.

Using Screen sharing the iChat way

There are two major ways to use Screen Sharing in Apple’s OS X 10.5 Leopard. The first major way, and the one that is going to save me the most time, and gas money is based on iChat. Built into iChat since Leopard, I can now request to share someones screen on my iChat list, or I can request someone else share my screen. It’s that simple. One button, and done! You are now able to walk someone through fixing a problem, or running an application. You don’t have to catch a bus across town, or walk twenty blocks to your parents house to figure out what’s wrong with their Macs.

The Finder Way to Screen Share

Sharing folders is easy in Leopard, and we will have a quick tutorial in the next couple of days that highlights the ease of the whole process. Now in addition to sharing folders in the finder window you are now able to screen share the same way. Open a new finder window. If you have file sharing turned on, in the sidebar in the new finder window you should see a new section listing the other Macs on your network that have file sharing turned on. Highlight the computer you want to share screens with. You should now see two options “connect as”, and “share screen”. Ignore connect as for now, until our article on file sharing drops, and click share screen. You will be asked for the username and password to the computer you are connecting to. Hit connect, and you’re in like Flynn. Now one thing that needs to be pointed out is that screen sharing with finder this way will only work for Mac’s on your local area network (ie. your home network).

Sharing Screen’s Anywhere over the Internet by an IP address or url

Running a web design business requires me to get on a number of servers quickly, usually these servers are attached to a url or subdomain of some kind to keep things easy for me. Well, apple has made it possible to access these remote servers just as easily with the screen sharing app. Open spotlight, type screen sharing, and an application should pop up. You will be met with a dialog box asking you to type in the host name. Enter the address of your remote server, and as long as you have set up remote desktop server on your remote servers you should be able to connect to your servers around the world.

Looks Like the Days of Chicken the VNC, and Remote Desktop Connection have finally come to an end

Chicken of the VNC, and Remote Desktop Connection has provided me with the tools I needed over the years for free. They let me get the job done, but now, Apple has rendered them useless. I haven’t had to open either once since I have upgraded to Leopard. So, I just want to say thanks to the coders who worked on those projects. It was really appreciated…

Video Walk Through of Using Screen Sharing in Leopard

If you want the video in HD… click the link



Untitled from Joshua Schnell on Vimeo.