Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Macworld | Mac OS X Hints | Gain full keyboard and mouse control in 10.5’s screen sharing

Macworld | Mac OS X Hints | Gain full keyboard and mouse control in 10.5’s screen sharing

...One final frustration is that when using screen sharing in something less than full-screen mode, the cursor isn’t bound to the screen sharing window, leading to accidental mouse clicks that take me out of the remote Mac and back to my local Mac.

As it turns out, there’s a simple way to fix all of these frustrations. By combining screen sharing with teleport, a free program (donations accepted) that is generally used to share one keyboard and mouse with several Macs, you’ll solve all of these problems in one step.

Teleport is basically a virtual keyboard/mouse switch box, designed for environments where you have several machines in close proximity. Using teleport, you can send all keyboard and mouse activity to any other Mac, just by dragging the mouse cursor off a designated screen edge on the “master” Mac. For instance, here’s what the setup looks like for a four-machine lab; the “master” machine is in the middle, and control of the keyboard and mouse is transferred to the other machines by simply dragging the cursor to that particular edge of the screen. (You transfer control back by dragging the mouse to the corresponding screen edge on the machine you’re controlling.)


If you have such a setup, you can then remove the keyboards and mice from all but one machine, and just use teleport when you need to control the other machines. But there’s nothing about teleport that requires the machines to be sitting next to each other—it’s just that, if used alone, you really need to be able to see the monitor of the remote Macs in order to see what’s happening. And that’s where screen sharing enters the picture. By combining screen sharing and teleport, you get the best of both worlds: screen sharing lets you see what’s happening on a Mac’s screen that’s not right next to you, and teleport sends all mouse and keyboard activity to that machine.