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Remote Desktop on the Mac

10/30/06 | by Adam | Categories: Macintosh

Having used VNC extensively at work in the past, we've mostly migrated to using Microsoft's Remote Desktop where possible due to better performance and a far more reliable screen refresh. There's also the bit that all versions of Windows from 2000 onwards have Remote Desktop installed so that makes our lives a bit easier, but that's neither here nor there. The protocol that Remote Desktop uses between client and server is referred to as "RDP".

The problem occurs when I'm connecting remotely to work via my Mac. Microsoft, back in 2003, released a OSX version of the client. It works fine on the computers it was designed for, but as a tool on an Intel Mac it suffers badly due to the need to use Rosetta, the PPC-to-Intel converter. It runs, albeit quite slowly, and chews up a huge amount of memory. A bit of browsing around the internet turned up a Universal binary RDP client called "CoRD" or "Cocoa Remote Desktop". Only at v0.2, it's pretty functional. There are some items missing such as being able to access remote printers and cross-platform clipboard support but it's a great deal faster than the older Microsoft effort.

The good news is that the MacBU are apparently working on upgrading their version so -- with a bit of luck -- there'll be a bit of competition to see who can produce the best one. I'm looking forward to it.


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