Alternatives to Microsoft Access on the Mac File Maker Pro. FileMaker is probably the best known database application for the Mac. It has a feature set comparable to Microsoft Access, but with a strong focus on forms (layouts) as the primary way of accessing databases. Remote Utilities. Includes lots of remote access tools. Great for both spontaneous and unattended.
Imagine this: an employee at the satellite office across the country is having computer trouble, but they use a Mac device. Or maybe you have dozens of Mac end-user devices to reach, update, troubleshoot, or otherwise manage, but you don’t have time to find each device and manually address the issues. Since many IT professionals work from a Windows workstation, it can be a concern how they will effectively reach Mac devices.
Thanks to remote control software Mac users can use as easily as Windows users, there’s no need to be physically in front of a computer when it needs your service. It’s true that gaining remote control to Mac devices requires special consideration—IT professionals must be able to control end-user devices for purposes of troubleshooting and maintenance. Numerous solutions exist, but they don’t all work for Macs, so you may need to be prepared with a method for reaching Mac devices, even if you’re not working from a Mac yourself. Typically, that means investing in a software solution with all the functions you need.
Remote access is the ability to operate a computer or components of a network from a different computer or part of the network. Mac remote access is unique in that most built-in functions on Macs require a Mac on both ends, but there are solutions that allow cross-compatible access for troubleshooting. This is crucial for IT professionals, who may be called on to troubleshoot remotely, regardless of operating system.
Remote access was once widely used to access files and software when away from the main computer. Cloud computing has made this easier in many situations, as files can be easily kept in Dropbox or similar cloud drive option. If a worker wants to access all their files from home, they can simply log in to those accounts from a different device, and this is typically possible across various operating systems. However, using a program with a file transfer protocol (FTP) is crucial for businesses—an internal solution can make it faster and more secure when sharing larger files, staying behind the firewall, and generally ensuring functionality without relying on cloud storage.
Mac remote access is vital for IT troubleshooting and support. The ability to share screens and take over an end user’s device can save hours when trying to resolve performance issues. This is especially true for IT departments managing users all over the country and world. Instead of going back and forth trying to diagnose and fix a problem by phone or video chat, you can see and control exactly what the end user is seeing and doing. For businesses, it’s crucial to have a Mac remote access solution that will keep all users up and running.
Remote access can also be used for network updates and maintenance. The best methods and software enable access even when a device is powered down or off. Also, your remote access interface should ideally allow you to manage multiple devices at the same time. This makes after-hours updates easy, limiting downtime and intrusions into the workday.
Some built-in options for Mac remote access may work if you’re simply connecting between two Macs. For a more robust solution, you’ll need to consider business-grade software.
Screen sharing is the fastest and easiest of the two built-in options from Apple in terms of setup but has drawbacks that make it less than ideal for IT professionals in the long-term.
To enable screen sharing on the Mac you want to share, choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Sharing > Screen Sharing. Write down the name and address of the Mac. The name is alphanumeric, while the address contains the IP address.
Then, on the other Mac, you can connect using either the name or the address:
If both computers are logged in using the same Apple ID, the screen sharing session starts. If they’re not, you’re prompted to enter the username and password of a user who is allowed screen sharing access on that computer, or you can request permission to share the screen if the computer allows it.
Screen sharing is convenient because it is built into Macs and can be done without much forethought or setup. But you’ll likely notice a lag as you work remotely in this way. Screen sharing can be helpful for short tasks and quick fixes, but it’s not ideal for long-term remote needs.
This is a more thorough option than screen sharing as you won’t get the lag present with the latter. But it requires permissions or admin privileges on the computer allowing remote access.
There are two ways to enable Remote Desktop: using System Preferences or using the command line prompt. To enable using System Preferences, click on the Apple menu and choose System Preferences. Click Sharing. If prompted, log in as an administrator on that computer, and select the Remote Management box.
Enabling remote desktop with the command line also requires admin privileges. If you have these already, enter this command in the prompt:
Copy in word for mac. sudo /System/Library/CoreServices/RemoteManagement/ARDAgent.app/Contents/Resources/kickstart -activate -configure -access -on -restart -agent -privs -all
Remote Desktop seems to have been made with IT professionals in mind, offering a “Curtain Mode” to hide work in progress, remote administration, and automation. Remote Access works from Mac to Windows and Linux.
For businesses, it’s important to choose a remote access option that keeps data and users secure while allowing high levels of functionality. You’ll want to choose a software solution that allows compatibility between various operating systems, no matter if you or the end users have the Mac device.
Besides compatibility, the most important features are the encryption and authentication methods the software uses to protect your connection. You should also consider built-in troubleshooting and screen-sharing features, along with in-platform communication tools (like chat) that can streamline the process. In some cases, remote support software allows IT professionals to connect to a device even if it’s powered down, so you don’t necessarily have to interrupt end users.
For quick fixes and sudden issues, having a built-in remote access Mac solution can be helpful. But IT professionals in need of ongoing remote access for troubleshooting and maintenance should invest in a secure, high-functionality solution that will allow for quick access, file transfer, tuning capabilities, and communication between any two devices, regardless of who is using a Windows device and who is using a Mac. Dameware® is a good tool to try out since they have either a cloud-based remote access solution or on-premises remote support software that can help you remotely troubleshoot a Mac (and even from a Mac if you choose the cloud version).
The solutions mentioned above are excellent options for IT managers. But what if you’re an MSP trying to streamline remote access tasks for hundreds of different clients?
In this scenario, you might want to go looking for a more specialized tool. A great place to start is with SolarWinds Take Control. This solution was created for services providers that need to support a large number of customers in a way that’s both fast and effective.
Take Control offers remote tools designed to help make quick connections and resolve issues in a timely manner. It’s also highly customizable, and comes with a full set of handy options, such as full session recordings and chat transcript searches.
|Founded||November 1982; 37 years ago|
|Defunct||May 1, 2006|
|Products||Beach Head series|
Raid over Moscow
Tex Murphy series
Top Spin series
Access Software, Inc. was an American video game developer based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in November 1982 by Bruce Carver and Chris Jones, the company created the Beach Head, Links and Tex Murphy series, as well as Raid over Moscow. Access Software was acquired by Microsoft in April 1999, transitioning in name twice before being acquired by Take-Two Interactive in October 2004, receiving the name Indie Built. In January 2005, Access Software became part of Take-Two's 2K label. Following a poor financial performance at Take-Two, Indie Built was closed down in May 2006.
TruGolf, a company that develops indoor golf simulators, was formerly a subsidiary of Access Software based on the display technology they had made for the Links games and spun out to its own company during the Microsoft acquisition. Following the closure by Take-Two, many of the studio's developers went to TruGolf. Separately, Jones has established Big Finish Games to continue the Tex Murphy series.
In 1982, Bruce Carver, an engineer for Salt Lake City-based company Redd Engineering, created a sprite-editing program called Spritemaster. He presented the product to Steve Witzel, who operated Computers Plus, a retail computer store in Salt Lake City's Midvale suburb; Witzel provided Carver with several improvement suggestions for the program. After Carver had implemented these changes, he began selling them under the name 'Access Software' through Computers Plus. The name was chosen Carver and some of his friends had searched through a dictionary, considering 'Action Software' and 'Center Soft' before sticking with 'Access Software'. In November that year, Carver, together with Chris Jones, incorporated Access Software with a starting capital of US$25,000. In its early days, Access Software operated out of Carver's basement.
One of Access' key products were a series of sprite-based golfing games in the Links. In 1984, while there were other golf games on the market, most used a top-down approach, while Bruce Carver wanted to create a game that was shown from behind the golfer. With little artistic skill among their team, the developers set up a small studio in the basement, projecting frame-by-frame VHS footage of Roger Carver's golf swing onto a clear sheet, tracing his outline onto the sheets as to then convert them into sprites within the Commodore 64 system. This became the basis of Leader Board, the first game considered part of the Links series, and would establish the behind-the-golfer view for most other golf simulation games that followed. As Access continued to develop the Links games for computers, they established a subsidiary, TruGolf, that created golf simulators, with Roger Carver overseeing this division.
On April 19, 1999, Access Software was acquired by Microsoft for an undisclosed sum. Microsoft sought to acquire Access to gain its Links series of golf games; Access had created Microsoft Golf as one of the first games to run within the Microsoft Windows operating system based on Links 386 Pro. According to Steve Witzel, Microsoft looked to acquire Access after USA Today reviewed both Microsoft Golf and Links and rated the latter much higher; Microsoft thought it would be easier to buy Access than try to compete. Microsoft desired to produce a high-end line of golf games based on Links with Access, while offering Microsoft Golf as lower-budget titles. With the acquisition, Access's principal offices remained in Salt Lake City. Access divested itself of the TruGolf division and made the company its own entity with Microsoft's purchase.
Upon the formation of Microsoft Game Studios (then called Microsoft Games) in 2000, Microsoft rebranded Access Software as Salt Lake Games Studio. Initially working on products to for the personal computer, Salt Lake City Studio transitioned to Xbox versions of Links as well as the Amped snowboarding and Top Spin tennis sports games, following the console's introduction in 2002.
In 2003, Microsoft rebranded Salt Like Games Studio as Indie Games. That year, Carver left the company to pursue new interests, eventually founding Carver Homes, a construction company, in 2004. He later died from cancer on December 28, 2005.
Around 2004, Microsoft opted to leave the sports-game development market due to the impact of the Electronic Arts Sports (EA Sports) label, using their strength to produce sports-related games for the Xbox console. Microsoft had laid off about 76 employees with Microsoft Game Studios in 2004, and around August and September 2004, sold Indie Games to Take-Two Interactive, who renamed the studio to Indie Built. Take-Two had been keen on challenging the dominance of EA Sports, and its acquisition of Indie Built was among US$80 million it had spent through 2005 acquiring developers. In early 2005, Take-Two Interactive established the publishing label 2K, which would henceforth manage their development studios for sports games, including Indie Built.
While part of Take-Two, Indie Built created sequels for Amped and Top Spin, but these titles were not strong successes. Take-Two's 2006 fiscal year was poor as the company was dealing with both Security and Exchange Commission investigations related to its past reporting, and harsh criticism for the Hot Coffee mod as part of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Indie Built was closed in May 2006 by Take-Two as part of a re-alignment of their business strategy to overcome the weak 2006 fiscal year.
Following Indie Built's closure, most of the employees transitioned to TruGolf, helping to improve the golf simulations. Additionally, Jones and Conners established Big Finish Games in 2007, where they planned to continue more narrative games, including expanding the Tex Murphy series.
|1984||The Scrolls of Abadon|
|Raid over Moscow|
|1985||Beach Head II: The Dictator Strikes Back|
|Leader Board: Executive Edition|
|World Class Leader Board|
|Links: The Challenge of Golf|
|1992||Amazon: Guardians of Eden|
|Links 386 Pro|
|1993||Microsoft Golf: Multimedia Edition|
|1994||Under a Killing Moon|
|1995||Links 386 CD|
|Microsoft Golf 2.0|
|1996||Links LS 1997|
|The Pandora Directive|
|Microsoft Golf 3.0|
|1997||Tex Murphy: Overseer|
|Links LS 1998|
|1998||Links LS 1999|
|Links LS 2000|
|2000||Microsoft Golf 2001|
|Links LS Classic|
|2001||Amped: Freestyle Snowboarding|
|Inside Pitch 2003|
|2006||Top Spin 2|