Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Apple Releases Remote Desktop 3

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the under-hyped-tools dept.

96

Dan Uricoli writes to tell us MacFixIt is reporting that today Apple computer has released remote desktop 3 " Some of the new or updated features include; a Remote Spotlight search, Dashboard widget, Curtain mode, user history reports, and more.

cancel ×

96 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Heh (1, Funny)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107021)

In a related story Microsoft announced that Windows Vista Remote Desktop will ship in 18 - 24 months.

Re:Heh (1)

BarryLoper (928015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107062)

More like 5 years ago.

Re:Heh (0)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107117)

I didnt know vista was out 5 years ago.

Remote desktop came out with XP (3, Insightful)

xswl0931 (562013) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107293)

See subject

Post in question referred to Vista Remote Desktop (2, Funny)

Bradee-oh! (459922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108580)

See Subject

Post in question refers to LONGHORN Remote Desktop (1)

SpinJaunt (847897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151472)

See Subject

PS. This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original...

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107234)

I really the automator features that Vista has.
Not to mention the all in one management console that is also availble along with Spotlight.

Damn, Microsoft innovates again.
Now if you can tell me what RDP does that this won't, your comment might not be so trollish.

Re:Heh (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15110472)

Apple Remote Desktop 3 was released. Version 2 already works with Mac OS X. Besides, the GP was talking about Vista.

Re:Heh (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107170)

In a related story: Enterprises still not using Mac OS machines.

Re:Heh (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107308)

Yeah, but a lot of schools do. And this program (and ANAT before that) are godsends for anyone administering a large amount of Macs.

Re:Heh (1)

thermopile (571680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108110)

My gf was a teacher in an inner-city school last year. Apple and the school administration worked out a deal where they outfitted her room with 30 eMacs -- she became the de facto computer admin. "Great," I thought, "This could be a good opportunity for the kids."

ARD did not come with the eMacs. The school would not pay for it. When _I_ saw the price tag, I obtained it through ... other means. Given that these kids were 7th graders, her ability to shut down every computer when class was over (as well as perform other functions like upgrades, monitor which websites they were surfing, etc.) was invaluable.

If the admin was $100, I would have bought it myself and taken the tax write-off, no questions asked. Heck, I'd even consider getting it just for my own personal use. $500 is just too steep.

I can only assume Apple has done the Business Case Analysis and determined that they would NOT sell 4.5x more at $129. Nevertheless, for a company that puts such a strong emphasis on Ease Of Use and Simplicity, I would have expected a tool as spectacular as Apple Remote Desktop to be more accessible to the masses.

Re:Heh (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108967)

Chances are that Apple would have come up with some sort of "Educational Discount" if they didn't already have one for the situation you describe. If they're giving her $10K worth of hardware (arbitrary guess), they may have popped for $500 worth of software for the asking. Did she ask them?

Re:Heh (1)

thermopile (571680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109218)

Yeah, we tried the Apple store here in town, but didn't have the contract number to verify that she was going to use it for school purposes. The DC public school system was too disorganized to be able to get her the number we needed. All around, it was a disappointing experience.

As the poster below notes, it's a low price per machine, at the $300 Educational Discount price. Nevertheless, it's still steep. I can dream, can't I?

Re:Heh (1)

gozar (39392) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109119)

ARD did not come with the eMacs. The school would not pay for it. When _I_ saw the price tag, I obtained it through ... other means. Given that these kids were 7th graders, her ability to shut down every computer when class was over (as well as perform other functions like upgrades, monitor which websites they were surfing, etc.) was invaluable.

If the admin was $100, I would have bought it myself and taken the tax write-off, no questions asked. Heck, I'd even consider getting it just for my own personal use. $500 is just too steep.

The education price for unlimited clients is $300... Works out to $10 a machine in this setting. For 10 clients it is $150.

Oh? (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15110750)

Enterprises still not using Mac OS machines
Is that so? Then why did this major bank just buy 2500 Macs? [yahoo.com]

-Kurt

Re:Oh? (1)

Mike Buddha (10734) | more than 8 years ago | (#15119212)

Did you read the article? It's a marketing gimmick.

"It makes (Aozora) look young, it makes them look hip, it makes them look like a challenger brand."

Re:Oh? (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15133943)

Did you read the article? It's a marketing gimmick.
I wouldn't have posted it if I hadn't read it. Twice.

And if you had read it yourself, you'd realize that it's not possible for it to entirely be a marketing gimmick. This is 2500 employees with only a Mac on their desks. What, are they all supposed to be just taking up space or do you suppose they're doing real work? If the latter, then the Macs are functional, not gimmicks.

-Kurt

Re:Heh (0)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 8 years ago | (#15111887)

"In a related story Microsoft announced that Windows Vista" ... "will ship in" 8 - 12 "months."

The Remote Desktop software that's built into Vista is essentially the same as the Citrix based 'Hydra', formally known as Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, which was released in 1998. It has clients for Windows CE, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows 2003, and can also be accessed through a web browser.

Apple's Remote Desktop software was introduced in 2002, 4 years after Microsoft's product. It only works with OSX. (Microsoft's product works with Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server, the entire Windows 2000 server family, Windows XP Professional, and the entire Windows Server 2003 family) ARD 2 was released in 2004 and was based on VNC. Apple abandoned their own product for the more reliable, secure, functional, and proven protocol found in VNC. The only clients I see for Apple's Remote Desktop software are restricted to MacOS only.

Considering the restrictions of the original ARD software, one could reasonably argue that Apple's counterpart to RDP only became comparable in 2004 with the release of ARD 2. In that case, Apple was no less than 6 long years behind Microsoft with the ARD product.

Good show, Apple.

Re:Heh (2, Insightful)

moof1138 (215921) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112779)

ARD was the a rebranding of Apple Network Assistant (ANA) with OS X compatibility. Early versions of ARD were ANA compatible. ANA has been around since at least '95, I'm not sure of the original release date, I only recall the first time seeing it in '95. The 2.0.1 update came out in '96, so the original version was out well earlier than that for certain.

I wonder if VNC will work this time. (2, Informative)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107104)

Using ARD as a VNC server was "challenging" enough that everyone just installed the open source osxvnc instead.

Improvements were in order.

Re:I wonder if VNC will work this time. (3, Informative)

dubiousmike (558126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107341)

I use ARD 2.x with PCs with VNC installed all the time. Works great!

Re:I wonder if VNC will work this time. (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108593)

Other way around. The VNC server installed on the ARD "client" doesn't allow you to easily connect with a PC running VNC.

Re:I wonder if VNC will work this time. (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107433)

I've got one of the early versions that were the first to support VNC.

It works fine for me. My only complaints are that it's less responsive than a Win32 Tight/UltraVNC server.

Likewise, I occasionally have problems with the VNCServer hanging, and have to SSH in and terminate the process. I understand this bug was fixed in subsequent versions, however.

Re:I wonder if VNC will work this time. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113078)

Works just fine for me. You just need to go into Sharing, turn on Remote Desktop, and then I think under options you need to enable VNC access in addition to ARD. There are also some other options in there (set password, etc.). It's not difficult.

I've had no trouble at all connecting from my Windows machine at work; the only thing I've run into is that I need to leave the connection settings on the client to "Auto," and that it will only use 32-bit color, it just crashes if I select anything less. So if you don't have a good connection, it might be a good idea to run a more lightweight implementation -- but just as something that you could talk someone else through enabling so that you could remote administrate, it's great.

question about this (1)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107137)

I notice this costs money and is priced by how many computers it can manage. Is this the Mac equivalent for Windows Remote Desktop or is this more of an administrative tool?

Re:question about this (4, Informative)

NoodleSlayer (603762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107324)

This is a full-fledged adminstrative tool.

You can observe multiple computers, send UNIX commands to Mac OS X clients. (3.0 is 10.3.9 and Tiger only if I remember right), install packages on multiple computers, copy files to multiple computers, shut down, wake up, sleep, restart, search for files, install packages.

And new in 3.0 (Deuce) is remote spotlight searching, user history reports, and some automator and applescripting for (albeit limited) automation. There's also some nice UI improvements, things like being able to save task templates and remote drag-and-drop (drag a file from the computer you're controlling onto your desktop and vice versa) and remote clipboard (copy-and-paste)

Re:question about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15119381)

Just to emphasize how usefull this ARD is, one could also schedule netboot/netrestore (with ASR for example) which will wipe and re-image client's hard disk to a pre-configured hard drive 'image', all this remotely. You will need to spend another $999 for OS X server for netboot functionality if you do not wish to spend a week or more hacking together a dhcpd/tftpd/nfs netboot server of your own on FreeBSD/Darwin. Plus you may multicast software installs to like 500 computers at once (copying 1 gig of soft to 100 of your machines over 100B-T in under 5 minutes!!!)

Also, the ability to execute scripts as root lets you do things like change computer scheduled startup/wakeup, and access password for nvram (like BIOS password, for you PC users).

Additionally, ARD lets you perform hardware inventory and generate allerts on a regular basis. You get to see the MAC address, RAM installed, system loads, users logged in, apps running, keyboard/mouse/usbdrives/cameras attached, etc. (priceless for public labs)

You could also configure network/ifconfig settings.

And if privacy of your lusers is not an issue, you can observe the screens of any one or all 500 of your machines, side by side, 2x2 screens scrolling, or 8x40+ tiny screen images (see if any are stuck at logout screen, whatever.

One could, of course, put together shell scripts with ssh and vnc to get equivalent functionality, but your time is better spent getting this all-in-one app.

Frankly, this is one of the better apps I ever seen. Needless to say, there is simply no windows equivalent in ARDs price range.

Then again, to cut down on user support costs, you simply could not do better than going with macs. I used to work part time "supporting" 3 public computer labs with about 100 iMacs. And the college also had 5+ full time people supporting their 3 public PC labs, and was hella fun when all those PCs just died in August/September 2003... a luser figured out how to plug his laptop by IP masquarading and got the virus ball rolling :(

Oh what fun the PC support team had while I was "working" in my office "securing" the macs :)

Andd to think I was constantly outperforing five full-time people while still being able to crank up the good ole Deus Ex :)

Re:question about this (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109010)

On the product page, the pricing was "per administrator" with two levels (1-10 systems or unlimited). If you have nine systems and two administrators, you need two licenses, each costing $299. If you have three administrators and fifty systems or five hundred systems, you need three licenses, each costing $499.

For enterprise-class software, it seems like a bargain to me.

Re:question about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15111884)

For enterprise-class software, it seems like a bargain to me.

Yes, compare with CA's "Software Delivery", which can cost a crap load and is complex because of all of Windows funky quirks that they have to get around. I know a company which spent $50,000 Au for CA SD in a ~500 seat environment and it has been far from having no problems.

Still fricking expensive, though (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107176)

This is still hundreds of dollars. While Microsoft's Remote Desktop product is still free with most versions of Windows, and Linux still comes with Remote Desktop like functionality still universally built in. And heck, even on OS X you can rig something for free if you're willing to muck about with configuring VNC.

I can't help but think this is taking Apple Remote Desktop from something that would be a great and useful tool to something ignored and forgotten. Apple doesn't seem to realize that "mac networks" as not-infrequently existed ten years ago don't exist at all anymore. There are no longer Mac system administrators chomping at the bit for improved software to administer and keep track of their networks. The Mac's primary problem in that realm right now is just convincing system administrators to use it, or even in some cases just convincin them to allow a mac on their Windows-only network. Those networks that are mac-only are likely small and running on a shoestring budget. In these contexts, what use is it to commit resources to something like Apple Remote Desktop? It seems like the kind of thing that's a great solution in a large-scale mac-only network, but that's the kind of thing that only exists anymore... at Apple Computer's headquarters. It's kind of like SunRay, Sun's fantastic thin client solution which Sun's own offices use, and no-one else anywhere does.

If Apple moved Remote Desktop into the OS and made it free and universal, like Linux and Windows do, I'm sure it would be widely used. But as an expensive standalone... hell, I've never even encountered someone who uses this thing. You can't simultaneously beg for customers and try to charge those customers $499.

Look at what it can do though (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107273)

That was my first thought as well? WTF? VNC and RDP are Free!

But...Look deeper and you'll see if offers moree than just basic remote access. http://www.apple.com/remotedesktop/ [apple.com]

When you consider what comes built into Active Directory and XP I agree it seems a bit odd to pay for this. But on the other hand look at it this way, the unlimited Edition is only $499. Compare that to how much a few hundred Macs cost and this becomes a no brainer.

Re:Look at what it can do though (2, Interesting)

NoodleSlayer (603762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107363)

Using ARD to do tasks like install packages over the network is much easier then in Active Directory or any Linux counterpart. That is to say its more intuitive.

And there's things like Multi-Observe that you don't see in other tools.

Plus combine this with a OS X Server and then you can use things like Remote Set Startup Disk to reimage and entire lab at once. Its a very handy tool, although its a very niche market. Its mostly used by school administrators and admins in graphics design houses and other similar places with large mac networks, and it does make Apple a decent bit of money.

Re:Look at what it can do though (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112132)

Using ARD to do tasks like install packages over the network is much easier then in Active Directory or any Linux counterpart. That is to say its more intuitive.

Having deployed multiple different software packages throughout an AD network, I don't really know what you're talking about. It doesn't get a whole lot easier than "add the package to the MMC snapin and it installs on the next login".

There's also SMS if you have more extensive needs.

Re:Look at what it can do though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15119429)

Having 500 computers restarted, netbooted, 500 hard disks repartitioned and reformatted, new OS+applications+settings+configs installed, all from your office 2 miles away, with 3 clicks, all FINISHED IN 15 MINTUES is what he is talking about

Good luck getting rid of viruses/crap with AD. Good luck maintaining a 500 seater student lab with root access in usable state for each lesson. Good luck pushing out 1.5 TB of data over 100Base-T in 15 mins (3 GB compressed hard drive image x 500 clients). ARD+OS X Server can do all that and more, for about $1499. Then again, your time might not be worth much to your employers :))

And for the fanboys: Can any of your Microsoft crap do multicast installs? didn't think so...

AND you can get some neat hardware report generated (stolen mice, etc.)

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (5, Insightful)

mstahl (701501) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107321)

Those networks that are mac-only are likely small and running on a shoestring budget.

I don't know where you've been looking for mac-only networks but obviously you have never stepped foot inside a company in the creative industries. Photography, design, print, and graphics happen almost exclusively in mac-only environments (such as the one I work in). Our IT department (and likely many, many others in similar companies around the world) uses ARD to remotely install software so that a technician doesn't have to come over from the other building just to sit and wait for installs to happen.

In addition, ARD is used extensively in mac-only computer labs on University campuses everywhere. It can be used to allow a single person to sit at a desk in front of the lab and read questions from users in the form of administrator messages. It saves the trouble of having to search in a lab for someone who needs help and it allows an administrator to better multitask while helping students.

Don't assume that just because you personally don't have a use for something that it's useless. If there weren't a multitude of sites that used ARD version 2 and were all willing to purchase licenses for it, Apple wouldn't bother to come out with a third version.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

Karl Cocknozzle (514413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107856)

Photography, design, print, and graphics happen almost exclusively in mac-only environments

Sounds nice, but our company is also a publishing one, and we have a handful of macs and hundreds of XP boxes. Not that I prefer it this way, but that's how it is. We had a "Can anybody do it better than Mr. Gates?" VP in charge of the IT group for about three years and, well, here we are.

Actually, for the drones working in sales, Macs would be more trouble than they're worth.

"I can't find my Start button!" Oy... Last thing I need is to be tasked with training the untrainable...

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

Pfhreak (662302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107978)

In addition, ARD is used extensively in mac-only computer labs on University campuses everywhere.

Bingo. I work in such a lab (actually, several labs scattered around a university campus), and we use ARD all the time to remote-control machines, remotely launch UNIX utilities, and remotely gather information. ("I can't remember off the top of my head if the Theatre Lab machines have enough RAM for this app...")

I'm personally looking forward to ARD 3. Curtain Mode is going to be such a nice improvement: I occasionally run into situations where I lock a screen, run a file system managemant utility (radmind, specifically) via Send UNIX Command, then control the machine after it run maintenance and restarts to test whatever new app I'm pushing out to the labs, and have some student just plop down at the machine and start using it at the same time I'm remote-controlling it. ("Oh, hey, here's an unused computer that somebody must have forgotten to log out of. Wait, it's acting like somebody's using it!")

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107356)

It's a good thing you posted this, because Apple has now released three version of a piece of software nobody wants! They'd probably have kept going forever if you hadn't set them straight.

Absolutely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107673)

Continuing to release a piece of software nobody wants forever is exactly the kind of thing Apple would do. Ever hear of OpenDoc?

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107392)

I use ARD 2 faithfully it is a great product that was WAY more capabilites than windows remote desktop, I can manage and view the screen of up to 72 workstations at a time (great for a school envirnment), I can roll out software updates to all clients with one click, run shell scripts on 2000 OSX computers with one click.

I look forward to using ARD for doing things such as dynamicly rolling out software, for example you can say "Make sure all eMacs with 512MB ram or greater install office 2004 when they boot up on the lan" and from that point on any computer fitting that description (with ARD enabled) will autmaticly download and install office 2004 from the admin machine. (yes I know you can do this with AD, but until now I havn't seen anything that can do it nicely on a MAc) I can run software usage reports to collect data on all applications that are run on the network over a given time period great for making recomendations on what software is used enough to purchase updates for and what software is hardly being utilized. I can copy a file or a string of text on a client (or admin machine) than paste it on the other ARD3 will send the copy / paste data back and forth (this I have not seen anywhere).

With ARD I can run a small script to collect all client computer information (location, computer name, printers, mac addy) than when I re-image a school full of computers run another script that configures all the machines. imaging, than configuring 150 computers in a day complete with their proper names and default printer configurations is incredibly powerful and because the machines are Macs I can do it all from a single image no mater what mix of iMacs, eMacs, G5 towers etc.. are in the system.

I could go on but I have to go order my copy of ARD 3.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (5, Informative)

DevilPen (829588) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107442)

The administrator portion of ARD is not meant for the user that wants to control his Mac desktop from another computer on the same network. It is meant for the administrators of those Macs on the network. Not just to take control of the desktop remotely, but for generating hardware/software reports, pushing out files, removing files, performing mass installs of packages, etc...

The client portion of ARD is free. Beginning with 10.3, the client was included with the OS. It is also available for download from Apple's website. You do not need ARD administrator in oder to control a Mac that has the client enabled. In the client there is a setting to enable VNC access. After doing so, that computer can be controlled just like any other computer running a VNC server.

I do not work in a Mac only environment. But ARD has proven valuable enough for each member of our staff to have their own licensed copy. It saves quite a bit of time when trying to manage ~2000 Macs spread out over the nine buildings in our WAN.

I do agree that the $499 price is a bit much, considering the major incompatibilities between releases. The main problem is that all those running ARD administrator must be upgraded at the same time. The reason being that a v2 admin cannot fully interact with a v1 client. Once the v1 client is updated (free) to v2, a v1 admin cannot fully interact with the v2 client. Heck, a v2.2 and v2.1 don't even play nice together. I haven't used v3 of the admin yet, but I am not holding my breath for this to change.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

Headrick (25371) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108445)

I've always heard otherwise -- that there is no free version even just to drive the remote machine without administration or metrics.

Would you mind pointing me to the download of the free client? I did some googling and only came up with this [apple.com] , which requires the admin software.

Thanks very much, VNC is quite tedious to use given its latency.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

tupps (43964) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108714)

ARD uses VNC for remote desktop administration. VNC server takes no time at all to enable on your machine. It is simply an option in the control panel.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (2, Informative)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109157)

As the other respondant has noted, you don't need to install anything; it's already installed in OS X 10.3+; just open the preference pane and configure it.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (3, Insightful)

Fulg (138866) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109992)

As the other respondant has noted, you don't need to install anything; it's already installed in OS X 10.3+; just open the preference pane and configure it.

WTF! You mean that all this time, I was fighting with osxvnc for NOTHING?!

*runs over to the Mac running 10.4*

Wow. Indeed this works quite well from the Win32 VNCviewer. I always believed you had to buy ARD to do this (and then only control Macs from other Macs, not cross-platform like I'm doing now with VNC).

Thanks a bunch, even though you now make me feel like an idiot for not seeing it sooner :)

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (2, Insightful)

Shanep (68243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112246)

WTF! You mean that all this time, I was fighting with osxvnc for NOTHING?!

Wow! I assumed the same thing. Especially given that the Control Panel for it specifically mentions that it is for use with ARD. I never bothered looking into that control panel because I was not willing to buy ARD, since it seemed expensive to me (I incorrectly thought it was just an Apple remote desktop client/server) and I don't really want to control remote control between my old clamshell iBook and Mac mini.

But this is great! I am typing this from OSX running on my Mac mini, through my Sony VAIO. This is so good for me, because my mini is on my girlfriends desk due to there not being enough room for another monitor and keyboard and my large Sony VAIO on my desk. Now she can use her PC and I can use my VAIO for XP and BSD while retaining the use of my Mac for email, etc from the one machine. Fantastic.

I *really* should look through all the options.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

DevilPen (829588) | more than 8 years ago | (#15112221)

The link you posted is correct. The note at the bottom of the page stating that client v2.1 can only be managed by admin v2.1 applies only to managing the client with the ARD admin software. Once the client is installed, VNC access can be turned on by opening the "Sharing" preference pane, selecting "Apple Remote Desktop", clicking the "Access Privileges" button to the right, and finally checking the box in the resulting window that reads "VNC viewers may control screen with password:". The ARD service must also be running.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

GroBeMaus (946925) | more than 8 years ago | (#15113012)

~2000 Macs!!! Where do you work and how can I work there too?

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107592)

Nobody manages PCs with exclusively RDC. You go out and buy SMS, Tivoli, BMC or whatever to distribute software and take inventory. The only problem with this tool is that it doesn't integrate with other, enterprise-wide tools.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107839)

Remote Desktop IS built into MacOS X, you just need to purchase the client if you want advanced functionality. If you're content with simple remote desktop you can point any old VNC client at it and it works just fine. Just go under Sharing and then Apple Remote Desktop and select your Access Privileges. There's an option that says "VNC viewers may control screen with password". Now, I would NOT suggest using VNC over the wide area network unless you're forwarding it over SSH, but the functionality is there, even at the login screen.


Now, if Apple was less evil they would make a "lite" version of the remote desktop app that supports strong encryption like the Microsoft RDP client. AS a user, I just want remote access to my desktop and maybe to map my shares back over the connection, but I couldn't care less about the advanced administrative functions of the full remote desktop application. On my Windows XP Pro box I can connect in just fine with an RDP client from Windows, Linux, MacOS X, whatever.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

jason ward (581483) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108421)

As an admin for a 100 mac network, I ordered my copy today. Seriously, if you've got a real IT department it should be easy to scare up $500 for a license. Adobe CS is twice that, per seat, if you don't get a discount from somewhere. This tool has great value and seeing how I need but a single copy the price isn't that much to ask. If it really bothers you, there's VNC solutions for the mac that are far cheaper and even free.

What I'm pissed about is ARD2 Admin doesn't work with the intel macs, but ARD3 does and there's no ARD2 fix in the works... grrr.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

ahknight (128958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15110200)

ARD 2 works just fine with Intel Macs. Apple even has instructions [apple.com] on how to get it working.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109054)

Those networks that are mac-only are likely small and running on a shoestring budget.

We're not Mac-only (the AutoCAD-using departments require a fair number of Windows boxes), but my college uses ARD with a network of a few hundred Macs, which we spent more than a few shoestrings on. ARD is invaluable, easily worth the price. Heck, it even saved us the cost of a KVM switch (and KVM) for our rack of Xserves.

As an example of how it's more than just a VNC or Windows Remote analog, we recently encountered a bug in the Adobe Creative Suite 2 installer that left all of our student accounts without access to certain features in Adobe Bridge (which were "critical" for one instructor's classes). The fix was to issue some shell commands... which I did to every Mac on our network in a couple minutes, all from my office. The alternative would have been to spend a weekend walking from computer to computer, opening up the Terminal app and typing sudo chmod -R o+rx /Library/Application\ Support/Adobe* and sudo chmod -R o+rx /Applications/Adobe* over and over.

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

jdray (645332) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109070)

The similar Microsoft product is SMS [microsoft.com] , not Remote Desktop. The Apple-compatible product similar to Microsoft's Remote Desktop is VNC [realvnc.com] .

Re:Still fricking expensive, though (1)

dohcvtec (461026) | more than 8 years ago | (#15114065)

The similar Microsoft product is SMS, not Remote Desktop.

Yes, and it should be noted that SMS retails for $1,219 for one server with 10 client licenses - significantly more expensive than ARD at $499 for unlimited clients.

Can anybody give more details? (0, Troll)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107177)

Wonderful piece of news but it says nothing!
a Remote Spotlight search,
How does it work? Does it keep a local index? Does it query oother indexes? Is it a service other apps can use?
Dashboard widget,
Which does what? More just says "Remote Desktop 3" and a copyright link or does something?
Curtain mode,
I'm glad... but wtf is that?
user history reports, and more.
need I ask more?

Re:Can anybody give more details? (3, Funny)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107196)

Yeah, slashdot has this great system, where you can click on special text called Hyperlinks which take you to a site with more detailed information than the Summary. Try it, linking is fun!

Re:Can anybody give more details? (1)

cabinetsoft (923481) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107248)

Thanks for nothing... that's what i did and beside same thing but in one page instead of one paragraph i found nothing more... my comments stand for TFA also.

Re:Can anybody give more details? (5, Funny)

Onan (25162) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107285)

Really? Sorry to hear that they serve you some gimped version of the page. The one they give me includes things like:

Remote Spotlight search
Leveraging the revolutionary Spotlight technology in Mac OS X Tiger, the new Remote Spotlight capability in Apple Remote Desktop 3 can perform lightning fast searches on remote client systems running Mac OS X v10.4 or later. Summary results for each client are updated instantly as results are returned. View details on results, or refine searches even further using additional qualifiers. Results can be viewed on remote client systems, copied back to your administrator system, or deleted.

Dashboard widget
Apple Remote Desktop 3 provides you with a new Dashboard widget that gives you an instant, at-a-glance view of the remote computers in your network. It's fully integrated with the Apple Remote Desktop administrative application, so a click on a particular computer will allow you to select and start working with any computer in the system.

Curtain Mode
For those times when you want your actions to be hidden from the end user, there's Curtain Mode. This allows you to block the view behind a virtual curtain, while retaining full control of the screen. It's perfect for those working on public-facing systems.

I'll be here until about six, if there are any other pages you'd like me to copy and paste for you today.

Re:Can anybody give more details? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15108649)

I'm sorry!

We've identified the error, it's an ID 10T issue, apparently located somewhere between your keyboard & chair.

Please supply the name and email address of your supervisor & we'll see about getting it cleaned up.

- Slashdot Quality Control

Careful! (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108530)

That hyperlink technology is definitely useful, but it is patented, so use it sparingly!

Re:Can anybody give more details? (2, Informative)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107426)

You must be daft. I am sorry for you. One of the hyperlinks in the F'ing summary is http://www.apple.com/remotedesktop/ [apple.com] . From the Apple page you have to be a complete dolt to not see the navigation bar on the top. If you click "New Features" you will find:

Remote Spotlight search

Leveraging the revolutionary Spotlight technology in Mac OS X Tiger, the new Remote Spotlight capability in Apple Remote Desktop 3 can perform lightning fast searches on remote client systems running Mac OS X v10.4 or later. Summary results for each client are updated instantly as results are returned. View details on results, or refine searches even further using additional qualifiers. Results can be viewed on remote client systems, copied back to your administrator system, or deleted.

Remote Desktop widget

If you just want a quick look at one screen and are running Apple Remote Desktop 3 on Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger, launch the Remote Desktop widget from Dashboard. The widget is fully-integrated with the administrative application and will allow you to select a specific system from the list of computers under your control.

Of course, screen sharing works both ways. If you want to demonstrate something to one user or an entire group, you can do so by sharing your own screen. Show them exactly how to accomplish a task by walking through the steps yourself.

Curtain Mode

What if you're doing some fine-tuning but would prefer to keep the work hidden from the outside world? Turn on Curtain Mode and the local user's view of the desktop is hidden. You can still view and have full control of the remote system's desktop, but no one else will be able to see what's happening. This feature is perfect for those managing systems that have public displays, such as in museums or kiosks.

For your final one this is from the the first freaking page linked to, good job reading:

User History reports

Do you know who's been using your network? Apple Remote Desktop does, and can track it for you with new User History reports. These reports give you detailed information on who is using a computer, when they logged in and out, and how they accessed the computer.

So hopefully next time you will look at TFA and actually navigate it if it resides on multiple pages (unless you want summaries to be filled to the brim with redundant hyperlinks).

Interesting screenshot... (0, Redundant)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107218)

See the one in the lower right of the picture here [apple.com] ? winxp.apple.com... Yet, no where does it specify that ARD works on Windows machines.

Re:Interesting screenshot... (2, Informative)

dgood (139443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107267)

...except right below the picture where it says:
...your entire network -- not just Macs -- you can also view and control the screens of any Virtual Network Computing (VNC)-enabled computer, including Windows, Linux, and UNIX.

Re:Interesting screenshot... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107279)

Most likely a VNC client on Windows.

From same page:
"...you can also view and control the screens of any Virtual Network Computing (VNC)-enabled computer, including Windows, Linux, and UNIX"

Re:Interesting screenshot... (2, Informative)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107309)

In the paragraph directly beneath that picture: Thanks to screen sharing, you can observe one, 10, even 50 screens in action simultaneously, allowing you to closely monitor your network. And that's your entire network -- not just Macs -- you can also view and control the screens of any Virtual Network Computing (VNC)-enabled computer, including Windows, Linux, and UNIX. When a user needs assistance, you take control of any individual screen and view the remote desktop in full-screen mode.

LOL @ Curtain Mode (5, Funny)

bogie (31020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107225)

"Don't want your admin tasks to be seen? No problem, turn on the new Curtain Mode to block the local user's view of their desktop. This is perfect when you're updating a public display."

It would of course be fun to have a curtain drop on the user's screen. Fix what the user screwed up and then have the curtain and "house lights" go up with a ta-da! sound. The mystery of how IT performs its functions is safe.

Re:LOL @ Curtain Mode (3, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107632)

Mystery? You mean the fact that I have to sacrifice newborns to Steve Ballmer get my exchange server to not crash once a week?

Re:LOL @ Curtain Mode (1)

paco3791 (786431) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107815)

"Pay no attention to the sys admin behind the curtain!"

Re:LOL @ Curtain Mode (2, Insightful)

babbage (61057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15110030)

Yeah. That's the One True Path to a Rewarding IT Career. On one hand, you can make your job seem like "magic", so that every time you do some stupid trivial fix for someone, it's mysterious and inaccessible. This is great, because it makes you seem like a miracle worker, but on the inside it gnaws away at your soul having to do the same monotonous grunt work all the time. Plus, if they ever catch on that these fixes are trivial, you've just tricked your way out of a job. On the other hand, you can make plain what you're doing, so that every time you do some stupid trivial fix for someone, they can learn from you and fix it themselves next time. This is great, because it has the potential to free you up to work on more interesting projects in the long run, but it does run the risk that you'll seem less like a miracle worker. But, if they catch on how to do these trivial fixes for themselves, you've just tricked and taught your way into a promotion. "Teach a man to fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he'll eat for life." The last thing we need is a "mystery of how IT performs its functions". What we need is transparency, and a way to empower people to solve their own problems so that we can focus on the truly difficult aspects of the job. I've used VNC-like programs to help users fix things at their desk while I was at mine. It almost always went more smoothly if I either had them on the phone while controlling their terminal, or if I left the terminal interactive and left open a chat program (IRC, AIM, iChat, even just leaving open a text editor where I could type messages and they could respond) so they could see what I was doing, I could explain why, they could give feedback to help me solve the problem more quickly, and I could show them how I resolved the problem so that they could fix it themselves next time. In 9 times out of 10, if the problem came up again, they didn't need my help or my time to set things right again. This curtain mode seems like a cute feature, but to me it seems best reserved for situations where the users can't be allowed to see what you're doing -- you have to enter or view admin passwords, you have to access systems that the users shouldn't see, etc.

Re:LOL @ Curtain Mode (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15116518)

Actually, my impression was that curtain mode was using the fast-user-switching sort of functionality to be able to log in and work while the user is logged in and working without interfering with each other's session. At least, I hope so, because that would be really useful.

I like the upgrade pricing (2, Insightful)

wazzzup (172351) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107327)

Oh wait...there is no upgrade pricing.

That sucks.

Re:I like the upgrade pricing (1)

NoodleSlayer (603762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107435)

Apple doesn't do upgrade pricing.

Re:I like the upgrade pricing (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15109326)

Not just that. There is some confusion at versiontracker.com comments by people who already own 2.x (PPC) version and bought a Mactel laptop.

I don't know the "remote desktop" scene too much but I think 3.x client is needed for Mactels and if you already own 2.x, you need to buy 3.x and there is no "upgrade" even for that spesific, Apple created situation.

I am not sure since these days it is like impossible to get "real, sure" info in Mac scene. There are Apple zealots, Anti Intel zealots and Mactel zealots all over.

So repeating, I am confused myself but if it is the real case, it is one evil thing by Apple.

Why so expensive? (-1, Redundant)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107350)

This is an application that should come bundled with OS X in my opinion.

Re:Why so expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15107495)

True. Photoshop should come bundled too.

Re:Why so expensive? (0)

tsa (15680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15111776)

Come on people. This remote desktop is just an interface for the OS. Even MS gives their remote desktop away for free. I think it's ridiculous that Apple wants so much money for it.

Re:Why so expensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15119531)

Kill the troll's karma already. Maybe he'll learn to RTFA next time

Features explained (1)

9mm Censor (705379) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107503)

Curtain -> Locks the client and hides from view the client's screen while you control the client computer. Widget -> using Mac OS X Tiger's Dashboard, to provide an easy way to observe the screens of client computers. You dont have to have ARD3 open to use the widget. The Application Usage -> reports that have been in use (any user account on the client) and chronology of when applications were active.

Isn't this just VNC? (1)

sarcasticfrench (949383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15107917)

Ok, maybe I'm just dumb, but isn't this just a glorified VNC client and maybe server? I mean, all this stuff about putting the remote computer to sleep, waking it up, remote spotlight search, etc. is stuff I do all the time using a free vnc server and client. The only real differences I see is that this has the ability to not just lock the remote user out, but to make your actions invisible. Also, the screenshot shows that you can manage multiple computers at once. So it seems to me that unless you really need to be looking at more than one computer at a time or really don't want to let your user know how to do whatever it is your doing, then your better off just saving 300 bucks and downloading a free vnc client/server.

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (1)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108375)

It's a lot more than that. Read the other comments.

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (1)

sarcasticfrench (949383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108672)

Umm, I did. Except for the other things I mentioned, it seems to be a lot like vnc.

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15109087)

Then ask someone with a middle-school literacy level to read the product literature and explain it to you.

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15111181)

Except for the other things that make it different, a car is a lot like a bicycle.

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15119467)

LOL at that. Nicely put, AC Brother

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15118148)

But for $300 times the number of copies that Apple will be selling, couldn't one hire programmers to replicate the missing features?

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15110417)

It's a good bit more than VNC. Today, for instance, I used ARD2 to find all instances of a certain file on 35 computers, installed the 10.4.6 update via package to three, checked the version of Adobe Illustrator installed on 5 computers to know how many upgrades to order, copied a binary and some libraries to a system directory on 35 Macs, ran "uptime" on those 35 computers without using a shell script, did a text chat with a user who doesn't have a phone to interactively resolve an issue, copied fonts to a workstation on which the fonts had become corrupted, pushed a slew of applications to a new workstation that I was setting up (while preserving resource forks and packages).

Some could be done with VNC, some with a perl script, some with a clever ssh command line and pipes, some with AFP mounts of the remote machines, some with iChat (assuming the user is logged in), but ARD wraps it up nicely.

Re:Isn't this just VNC? (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15110507)

Some of the features are that you can automate a login to all the Macs on your network and run an installer once to all the machines, or send UNIX commands to all the systems at once, or do a Network Spotlight search on all the machines, or send text messages to all the networked machines. Plenty more, please read the article.

Hmm (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108137)

Still trying to figure out if this the the big 30th anniversary surprise everyone insists Apple is going to release? Or was it Boot Camp, or the recent OSX 10.4 update and iPod volume control. I can't tell. Did Apple even remember it was their Anniversary? Or, did they ignore it like everybody else and feverently working on their Invisi iPod?

correct me if I'm wrong (-1, Troll)

Eil (82413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108313)

Isn't this just a $500 VNC client? Yeah, maybe it does some other stuff too, but talk about highway robbery. On the surface, Apple seems gung-ho about proclaiming how well OS X interopterates with other platforms. Opening Microsoft file formats, mapping Windows network shares, and running Unix X11 applications all work great, but no effort is made to ensure that the same is true in the other direciton. Just try connecting and using a Mac desktop with a non-Apple VNC client and see how well that goes. It isn't pretty.

When remotely supporting our Mac customers, the best option we've found is to disable the builtin Remote Desktop and just have them use OSXvnc [redstonesoftware.com] . Not only do you not have to pay the equivalent of a second computer, but it works fine with VNC clients on every platform. (Most importantly, Linux.)

Re:correct me if I'm wrong (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108550)

Try managing a 100-seat Mac lab with VNC.

Re:correct me if I'm wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15120044)

The "client" ( server? ) is free, and is built into the operating system. You can click a button, and it can then be controlled by any VNC client. What have you gained here?

I just downloaded my copy off ASW - nice, but... (2, Interesting)

jht (5006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15108405)

For those who are Apple consultants (like me), Specialists, or other folks with ASW (Apple Sales Web) access, it's already been posted there as a .dmg file with a pair of serial numbers that expire at year-end. One caution, though - I installed the update over a copy of 2.2 that I'd done the Rosetta hack on to make it run on my MacBook Pro - after I installed the new version it would not recognize my existing version's application password. I had to re-enter the ID and passwords for all the various Macs I manage - fortunately I had almost all of them written down!

Interestingly, installing the same update on my older PowerBook didn't cause any problems, and the whole list imported properly. Not a super big deal overall, except ARD gives you no way to save the usernames and passwords for transfer (moving the .plist doesn't work). I only have 40-odd machines to keep track of, but this could be an issue for folks with more who already put the older version on an Intel Mac.

That said, it is definitely an improvement on the older version. And, unlike most older ARD revs, it manages older client versions just fine. You give up the new encryption feature when you do so (no biggie if you connect via a VPN anyway), and I don't know what else yet, but it's reasonably slick thus far.

For those of you wondering "why does Apple charge for this when Windows gives you Remote Desktop for free?", ARD is not really analogous to Windows' Remote Desktop. To get what Windows gives you, just use any VNC viewer with the built-in VNC client on the Mac. ARD is intended for network administrators, and the remote control features are almost a bonus. Package management, reporting, and all that sort of fun stuff is what you get with ARD.

Full-screen mode? (1)

krray (605395) | more than 8 years ago | (#15110290)

Is there a keyboard shortcut (yet) to go into / out-of full-screen mode? 90% of the time I don't want/need/use full-screen mode, but I find it odd that I have to disconnect, go into preferences, choose the Control/Observe tab, change the option, and re-connect ... all to get into / out-of full-screen mode.

Every other type of application that gives you a remote has some settable option to do this...

Am I missing something (ARD 2.2)?

No Upgrade Path (1)

markpalmer (967853) | more than 8 years ago | (#15114697)

I started using ARD 2.2 about 3 weeks ago and I love it. So I was keen to get hold of the latest version, however after visiting the UK Apple store and talking to customer services I find not only is there not a free or min cost upgrade for recent purchases, but there isn't an upgrade path of any kind. I think someone at Apple has forgotten something. Mark

ARD vs Microsoft RDC and VNC (3, Informative)

Pete Johnson (687637) | more than 8 years ago | (#15118797)

For all of you who are shrieking about how outrageously overpriced ARD seems to be, compared to the "free" Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection or VNC, a few important points that nobody else has managed to mention:

VNC only does ONE thing: it allows remote control of machines graphically (screen sharing). In order to do any of the things one might wish to do to a remote machine, you have to SEE its desktop and perform those tasks as if you were actually sitting at the other computer. There is no way to perform tasks simultaneously on multiple remote computers, or to simply send instructions to the remote computer, except by controlling it and manually performing them using mouse/keyboard just as you would if you were sitting there. The VNC protocol is essentially bitmapped and everything being done - every frame of every screenful of data - has to be transmitted continuously, and all you get is a mirror image of the remote computer's screen.

RDC is functionally similar to VNC, with the following additions:

(1) In addition to screen sharing, you can also optionally map your printers and disks so that they appear on the remote computer while you're controlling it, so you could, for instance, print a work document and send it to your printer wherever you happen to be at, or put a software installation CD in your drive wherever you happen to be at, and then install that software onto the remote computer because it would also appear in its My Computer as an available drive. Likewise, you can map sounds on the remote computer to yours so that you can hear them.

(2) The RDC protocol is (for lack of a better term) vector-based, meaning that instead of transmitting the remote computer's screen image pixel-by-pixel, this is all performed using the RDC display language. To use an anology, if VNC is a bitmapped inkjet printer, RDC is a postscript printer. This makes the RDC protocol much faster, and remote control is significantly snappier and more responsive as a result. This also means that the desktop you are controlling does not need to be appear identically on both machines; consequently, if the remote computer has a giant widescreen monitor and you're connecting to it on a laptop with a much smaller screen, you don't have to choose between everything being scaled down in size to fit or having to scroll around in order to view the total desktop area; the placement of the taskbar and desktop icons will be adjusted to fit your screen's size.

Comparing RDC and VNC, they mostly have the same features and work the same way: whatever you need to accomplish on the remote computer has to be done by screen sharing and performing the tasks as if you were sitting at the other machine.

Apple Remote Desktop is a VASTLY different product.

First of all, yes, ARD does have a screen sharing capability, just like VNC and RDC, and apparently uses a VNC server as the underlying mechanism. The ARD client component has been a standard part of Mac OS X since Panther (10.3) and can be installed on any other machines free of charge. So any Mac can BE controlled remotely either right out of the box or by installing the client which doesn't have a cost. Any Mac can CONTROL another one with any VNC client, without purchasing any copies of the full ARD product for either machine. Of course, if you do have the full ARD product, it allows you to remotely control any other computer that either has the ARD client OR is running the VNC server, including *nix and Windows machines.

However, beyond screen sharing, ARD does a ton of other things that neither RDC or VNC do at all, period, including:

(1) A huge number of tasks can be performed on a remote computer simply by transmitting commands to that computer -- NOT by viewing its screen and then manually performing the task. This includes everything from shutting a machine down to installing software packages and executing UNIX commands and shell scripts. NONE of these tasks require you to actually view the remote computer's screen, and someone sitting at the remote computer can continue using it without necessarily ever knowing anything was even being done remotely at all.

(2) Everything I just described can be done to MULTIPLE remote computers SIMULTANEOUSLY.

(3) Everything I just described can be scheduled to run at specific times or when a remote computer has triggered it to happen based on some type of criteria.

(4) You can broadcast your own screen to one or many remote computer's so that remote users can watch you do things, which is highly useful for training.

(5) You can communicate back and forth with the users at remote computers via instant message.

(6) The ARD administation interface allows you to list remote computers in any number of ways, and a remote computer can be included in more than one list. So you could have a lists to group computers by hardware type, location, department or function, and you can use these lists to quickly and easily perform any task on every computer in the list.

(7) The ARD administration interface allows you to create reports on one or more machines for asset management, software configuration control, seeing exactly what a given machine's hardware specs are (installed RAM, clock speed, the type of stuff you can see in System Profiler)

Finally, about the cost:

The RDC software is free and can be used on any computer that has a copy. However, it can only be used to control very specific remote computers: namely, the remote computer must be Windows XP PROFESSIONAL, not Home. Or running Citrix or Windows Terminal Server or certain other versions of Windows. However, to say then that RDC is free is to ignore the fact that for all intents and purposes, you have to pay roughly $100 PER COMPUTER additional cost to get XP Pro instead of XP Home. So while a single person sitting at a single computer could technically remote control an unlimited number of other machines, EACH of those machines would need the appropriate OS version first, so the cost goes way up as you go from remotely controlling a single other machine to being able to control, say, 50 or hundreds. So, RDC is NOT free. Not free at all.

The cost model for ARD and RDC are basically exact opposites: With ARD, any machine at all can be CONTROLLED by another, because the ARD client component is part of Mac OS X. However, you must obtain either the full ARD product in order to DO the screen sharing (and all the other functions), OR, obtain a third-party VNC client to do the screen sharing but nothing else. With RDC, you don't have to pay for the software needed to perform screen sharing, but you are limited to only machines which are themselves eligible for being controlled, which means upgrading from XP Home to Pro, or purchasing Windows Terminal Server or Citrix or some similar product.

If you assume that a small, limited number or people ("administrators") might need the ability to control or otherwise administer a large number of remote machines, then ARD maxes out at $499 for an unlimited number of clients. With RDC, each of these administrators gets their own software for free, but the cost to control remote machines will go up and up and up depending on how many remote computers there are, because EACH of them has to have the upgraded OS before it can be controlled. So in a business-I.T. scenario, ARD is clearly a vastly more functional product and priced much more competitively.

On the other hand, if you're just a person who wants to be able to remote control other computers occasionally, the cost to do so with RDC *MIGHT* end up being nothing at all, if those computers are already running the right OS, where ARD will cost $299 right out of the gate for a 10-client license, although for simply screen sharing, you only need a VNC client.

In the long run, Microsoft's strategy is to get as many people as possible to purchase the more expensive copy of Windows as they can, and the pricing model for RDC is designed to put the burden for its usage on a per-machine basis. Apple's strategy on the other hand is to provide an extremely versatile and powerful tool for administrators in enterprises and labs and other places where there are lots of remote machines that have to be maintained, and that is how it is marketed. Most individual users have little need for these features, certainly not the multiple-client, scheduling, and reporting parts, and even screen sharing would be used infrequently, so from their perspective, gearing ARD towards individual users would be the wrong direction.

If you're a Mac user and want the ability to do ARD stuff on unlimited remote users for convenience sake, you might find this structure annoying and Microsoft's more appealing, but I can assure you, Apple will make a lot more money selling ARD as it is currently sold than it will ever make by structuring it the way RDC is.

-Pete
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>