5 Replies Latest reply: Mar 10, 2011 11:25 AM by Ralph Johns (UK)
Peter WP Level 1 (0 points)
My brother wants to buy a Mac Mini with a non-Apple monitor. I expect to be his tech support. I'm under the impression I will be able to remotely control his Mac via iChat and "see" his Mac. But a third party tells me I'll need the built-in camera that only an Apple monitor provides. Why do I need that? Do I need a camera at all?

Or better yet, I should just ask-what DO I need to be his remote help desk?

iMac 2.6GHz, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Asatoran Level 4 (2,525 points)
    You do not need a video camera to remote control. I just confirmed this using my Macbook Pro to remote control my Mini over iChat. The Mini has a Dell monitor and no camera. So you should be fine.

    In addition to iChat, you can also remote control his computer with other products and services. Me personally, I use [LogMeIn|http://www.logmein.com] It's free and runs in the background. This is more for a single person wanting to remote control their home computer and no one's at home. You can remote control Windows PCs as well as Macs, and it's all done through a web browser. And they have an iPhone/iPad app (although the app is not free.) For some of my clients that get flustered easily, it's sometimes a big deal to walk them through enabling screen sharing. So having LogMeIn always running and I just connect without the need for interaction on their part is advantageous in those situations. Anyway, just an FYI.
  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (70,490 points)

    I will add that the Screen Sharing is a software "Camera" within iChat.
    It shows what is on the Screen (whether or not there is a Display in front of the person)

    As for a Camera in the sense that Mac Displays have cameras in them (Internal iSights) you do not have to have one. You can use an External.

    Most Cameras that are sold nowadays are USB 2.0 and UVC compliant (USB Video Class) and the OS includes a driver for this. (Has done since 10.4.5 for some apps and 10.4.8 for iChat to access it)

    A X-Box 360 is an adequate UVC camera as is the Playstation 3 one.
    There is also this List http://www.mac-compatible-web-cam.com/
    That is not to say that any UVC camera will not work. You just tend not to get the same features as some Windows version get.

    iChat is one way of doing Remote Desktop stuff and it does include an Audio Chat along side.

    The OS also includes Apple's Own Screen Sharing App.
    This needs System Preferences > Sharing > Screen Sharing to be On (And Remote Desktop to be Off)
    Then you can use the Finder's Go Menu > Go to Server and enter VNC:// and then their IP address.

    It is based on the Apple Remote Desktop Engine (Which is why it can not be used at the Same time) and everyone has the Remote Desktop Client on their Mac.

    For Internet based Connections you need the IP that they get from their ISP (Public IP address).
    The Port used (5900) then needs to be Forwarded to the computer's LAN IP in the router.

    That's not to say you cannot have an Audio Chat at the same time
    It is just that iChat makes it easier all round.

    what DO I need to be his remote help desk?


    8:55 PM Wednesday; March 9, 2011

    Please, if posting Logs, do not post any Log info after the line "Binary Images for iChat"
  • Peter WP Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for testing to see whether I could do without the camera, and thanks for the LogMein tip. I'll now be able to more easily provide tech support for my brother.

    Thanks again for your reply.
  • Peter WP Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the detailed response. It's good to know my brother doesn't need a dedicated camera for this to work.

    And thanks for the Remote Desktop info; I'll bookmark this thread so I'll be ready to go when I set up my brother's Mac.

    Thanks for your advice.
  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (70,490 points)
    For the points

    7:25 PM Thursday; March 10, 2011

    Please, if posting Logs, do not post any Log info after the line "Binary Images for iChat"