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A mac fail? Please Help me with remote desktop

I want to get a mac laptop for my wife but I want to be able to use it as a remote terminal for my iMac upstairs.

There doesn’t appear to be a decent solution for this problem on the mac. VNC is a joke. It will just take my 24 inch iMac screen and shrink it down to the laptop’s screen size. And yes I have played around with smart zoom but it’s really painful.

Isn’t there an equivalent for the mac to Microsoft’s outstanding Remote Desktop Connection application and RDP protocol?

For what it’s worth I signed up to be notified when AquaConnect releases their mac remote desktop product which is based on RDP but they aren’t even announcing dates.

Any ideas or am I just out of luck?

6 Responses to A mac fail? Please Help me with remote desktop

  1. Adam Zell says:

    From a friend:

    “The best solution is Apple Remote Desktop, but it’s 300 bones. I think it does not have any screen scaling issues, but you also have to remember that a 27 inch iMac has greater than HD resolution, and the Macbook pro does not. Those dots have to go somewhere, right?”

    • Administrator says:

      The experience I’m looking for is what Microsoft’s remote desktop gives where when I login the experience is the same as if the screen on the machine I’m using is the screen on the remote machine. So remote desktop groks the fact that the current computer is smaller so it puts the command bar in the right place, resizes windows, etc.

      With ‘screen sharing’ (we bought the MacBook and I’m typing this using screen sharing and JolyFastVNC) the best I get is a zoomed window on a 13 inch screen looking into a dual monitor 24/23 inch screens. It’s barely livable but not in the same class as the Microsoft experience (which comes free with Windows).

      Does Apple’s Remote Desktop provide the same experience as Microsoft’s remote desktop? When I checked it out a bunch of years ago the answer was no but I couldn’t find a recent demo to see what it’s behavior is like. I hate the idea of blowing $300 on a feature I’m used to getting for free but if it works as well as Microsoft’s solution it would be worth it.

  2. Roger Weber says:

    I heard a gotomypc ad for the mac the other day. My guess it is a recurring fee. See https://www.gotomypc.com/en_US/entry.tmpl?Action=rgoto&_sf=2

    And “Hi Adam!”

    • Administrator says:

      It definitely is the right idea but at $20/month it’s kind of steep. Besides it’s primary feature, that I can access my mac anywhere, isn’t what I actually want. I only want to be able to access my mac from within my own home. So I would be paying primarily to support a feature I don’t need. Also it wasn’t clear from their ad material if they actually have as good an experience as Microsoft’s remote desktop. Still, it is a good possibility. For right now I use JollyFastVNC whose experience is kind of crappy but at least it works fast.

  3. You should try LogMeIn… It really works fine! Been using it for a while now, without noticing problems.

    • Administrator says:

      To get basic features like printing support I have to pay $70/year. Which is enormous. On Windows I get full RDP support for absolutely free. Also it isn’t clear to me if LogMeIn uses a remote server infrastructure or not. In other words, a lot of these remote login services work by having a central server who relays the connection. The main reason to do this is to provide remote access even through firewalls. It’s a cool feature but it has some very ugly potential security implications. I tried to figure this out from the LogMeIn docs but I couldn’t. Still, I’d love to use LogMeIn free edition if I knew for sure it didn’t give the LogMeIn folks access to my machine. I just can’t tell from the docs.

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