You probably know that Apple Remote Desktop lets you observe and control Macs across your network, but did you know that it can also count, inventory, and keep track of them for you? In this first of three articles covering the often untapped possibilities of Remote Desktop, Ryan Faas shows you the ways you can use it to significantly improve inventory processes, monitor network performance, remain alert to changes in workstations that might be signs of theft, and prepare customized reports easily on the state of the Macs in your network in preparation for an upgrade.
Use Apple Remote Desktop and Never Do Inventory Again
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli
2006-02-13 9:07 amsimo
No, Apple Remote Desktop is a re-implementation of the original Microsoft Remote Desktop.
If your VNC client doesn’t even remove the server’s wallpaper, then you’ve set it up wrong, it’s not a problem with the software.
Before anybody comments on this “innovation”, keep in mind that X and RDP have been around for a long time…
2006-02-12 10:45 pmAnonymous
ARD does a lot more than X/RDP.
Well, technically – yes. But only because that functionality belongs elsewhere.
However, from what I’ve seen, ARD is VNC with some extra bits tacked on. Unless I’ve completely misunderstood how ARD works, you still can’t have two users accessing the same computer with two different desktops*. For this reason alone, ARD is vastly inferior to X (or X over SSH, or X piped through VNC), or RDP.
RDP is debatably better than X – especially over low speed links, although there’s no reason RDP couldn’t be run as a low level X driver, allowing an X11 desktop to exploit the use of X11 primatives over RDP. To the best of my knowledge, this facility does not currently exist.
Having read the rest of the article, I don’t see anything that doesn’t look suspicously like some non-standard extra functionality tacked onto the VNC protocol, and what amounts to a bunch of shell scripts with the output piped over SSH.
Maybe I missed something. Is there some functionality that doesn’t fall into the catagory?
* I’d like to be wrong on this. I’d really like multiple remote desktop session to Apple, but as far as I know, the functionality is not avaliable.
2006-02-13 5:18 pmmassa
> RDP is debatably better than X – especially over low speed links, although there’s no reason RDP couldn’t be run as a low level X driver, allowing an X11 desktop to exploit the use of X11 primatives over RDP. To the best of my knowledge, this facility does not currently exist.
Look it up: NX
2006-02-13 8:37 pmsbergman27
NX is pretty amazing technology, that’s for sure. But God help you if you need community support. The support list is unhelpful at best, and downright viscious at worst. It’s like no other support list I have ever seen.
Remote Desktop is a complete remote administration solution. You can select multiple machines in a list to get a complete inventory of the hardware, install software updates, run maintenence, shut down / restart, run UNIX commands, or even install software. It’s really amazing software, and has changed the industry of computer administration – for anyone who has used it.
Although, it sometimes is finicky with keeping a connection or finding a machine on the network. But a lot of it has to do with the network setup.
Technically speaking, NX isn’t RDP. RDP is a protocol written in the late eighties, and since extended by Microsoft. Anyhoo – I’ve played with the FreeNX (which I appreciate is not the the same as the commercial product), and the protocol implementation is impressive, although the rest of it needs a lot of work.
My point, before I come off sounding like a sanctimonious twit (too late?) is that NX isn’t RDP. (Although I think it might be on par in terms of raw protocol performance).
simo: To be blunt, if ARD was a re-implementation of MS-RDP, a VNC client wouldn’t work with it.
I must say that Apple Remote Desktop is a pretty cool tool.
Up until December, when I admin’ed Macs, it was a really useful tool! Too bad my new job has no macs 🙁
Can someone enlighten me and explain if ARD works like VNC (where raster is sent and it’s slow as hell no matter what) or RDC (where the interface is reconstructed locally and optimized by turning off theming and the desktop)
After using RDC for a long time and then having to utilise VNC for my Mac, I hated it instantly. It doesn’t switch the wallpaper, skin and special effects off of the remote machine to speed transfer. It’s slow, horribly slow.
Edited 2006-02-12 22:01