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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:29 AM   #1
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Remotely powering up a Mac

I'm going to be gone for about a week and was wondering if it would be possible to remotely power up my editing computer so I can do some screen sharing and encode some things from the road?

I think I've got the whole remote screen sharing login thing down but can't seem to find any information about turning on a computer from someplace else. Is this possible?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 04:47 AM   #2
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If you know when you will want to use it, a $10 light timer would probably do it.
Otherwise it could get complicated.

There are home automation systems that let you dial in and control things, but that gets expensive.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 08:01 AM   #3
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Instead of buying that timer I'll just set it up to turn on and off through the energy saver panel. I was hoping for something better than that but didn't find anything in my searching last night.

Now I'd like to figure out how to wake it from sleep mode from afar. I guess I could not let it go into sleep mode and that problem would be solved but since I don't know when I'd be logging in the thing will have to be on all day waiting on me to log in. If I could have it in sleep mode waiting that would be better but how do you wake it from sleep mode?

Seems like I have more reading to do.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #4
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There's a checkbox in one of the prefs called "wake on network activity"... spotlight will let you search for that specific phrase.

You can also get a network accessible PDU that will allow you to log into it and turn specific outlets on and off remotely.

I SSH into my computer and activate screen sharing remotely before using it, then turn it off when I'm done, therefore not leaving a gaping security hole for others to wander (forcibly) into.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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I'm actually fairly computer illiterate past running the programs so all this SSHing talk confuses me. I've been doing some reading last night and this morning and have found a little program that seems to allow me to wake my mac from sleep. It works here at home but I haven't tried it from outside my own network to see if it's really working the way I'd like.

So what is this SSH of which you speak and can mere mortals mess around with it without pulling out their hair?
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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:14 PM   #6
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ssh is a secure protocol for unix terminal (and other) sessions. Probably not something you will need.

There used to be a Mac compatible product which does exactly what you want. Am trying to remember what it was called...
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Old March 18th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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This isn't what I was thinking of, but it might work: The Remote Power Switch - Remote Reboot Device
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Old March 18th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #8
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Thanks Boyd, I ran across those last night while doing some snooping around on the subject.

I've learned a lot about this topic in the last day or two. It looks like the job I was going on has been axed at the last minute so I might not get to test everything out after all which is a shame since I've spent a couple days trying to figure this all out.

I'll share what I've learned thus far: (everything based off of 10.5 or better)

You can remotely control a Mac from darn near anywhere by enabling Screen Sharing on the target computer. (in the Sharing preferences)

The easiest way to connect 2 computers that aren't on the same network for Screen Sharing is through iChat. The way I did it was to create two accounts, add each one to the other's buddy list and turn on the auto accept feature available after downloading and installing Chax. I then assign iChat on the target computer to open at login so it's up and running when the computer is up and running. Simply open iChat on the computer you're on and request a screen share from the target computer's iChat and you're in.

Instead of getting a remotely controlled power switch, I've set my target computer to power up at a given time the day after I go out of town and also set all the sleep functions to their quickest kick in settings so I'm not burning too much extra power for no reason. The idea is that the computer powers on, launches iChat in preparation for my screen sharing session and then goes back to sleep shorty after.

To remotely wake the target computer I've downloaded a simple program called WakeUp and entered all the info it needs to do the waking. Once the target computer is awake I can enable the screen sharing via iChat and disable the scheduled start up and quick sleep settings because from this point on I'll be putting the computer to sleep via screen sharing whenever I'm done with it and it should lay dormant waiting on me to wake it again.

I need to get off site to test the wake up procedure from outside of my network, but I think this method should work. Now I need to book more jobs out of town so I can play with my cool new toy.

I'm sure for you programming types and SSH guys there are easier ways to do this process but for guys like me who need to use programs and gui's this seems to be the best way I've found to do what I was wanting.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 09:57 AM   #9
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Glad you found a solution! My experience with computers predates the GUI, so I'm perfectly comfortable in the terminal. I have no idea what it is like to not fully understand computers as I learned them when knowing how to program was necessary if you wanted to use them at all.

If you wanted to see what is now basically a windowed listing of files on a disk, you had to know a bunch of arcane commands to make it happen, down to selecting which port to look for the drive you wanted access.

Take the time to learn how to use the terminal, it makes life alot easier than hoping someone has written a program for you to do what you want. All the pieces and parts are out there and it sounds like you can already think around a problem obliquely :)

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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #10
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Cole, sounds like we are cut from the same cloth. I learned how to use unix back in the 80's and still frequently use the ssh to administer remote servers, vi to edit html, and sometimes pine for e-mail. Did you know there are even ssh clients for the iPhone now? The Mac's unix core is one of its biggest assets - just look what happened when Microsoft tried to reinvent the wheel with Vista.

It's nice for us to know that all of this is "under the hood", but a good thing that ordinary users are not forced to interact with their computers on this level.
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Old March 19th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #11
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probably, but before I was allowed to get my first car, my dad required that I know to change the oil and the tires, spark plugs (and gap them) and wires and adjust the timing... so again, I'm fundamentally disconnected from the "I don't have to know how, it just works." mindset... I blame my father :P
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Old March 19th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #12
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Yeah, me too. My dad was an engineer and I learned how to do everything myself as well. I can also do plumbing, electrical wiring, carpentry, etc. But that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best use of my time. I haven't tinkered around with a car engine for something like 20 years, and honestly I don't see that I'm missing anything.

But we're getting pretty far away from the original topic here....
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Old March 20th, 2009, 07:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff View Post
But we're getting pretty far away from the original topic here....
Shutting up :)
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Old March 20th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #14
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System Preferences>EnergySaver>Schedule>Start up or wake.

You set the day and time you want it to start up and then again to shut down. This works for either waking from sleep or Starting Up/Shutting Down.

My co-worker uses this to have her computer start up every morning at 8:00am and shut down every night at 5:00pm. If she doesn't want it to shut down, a warning message comes up warning her it's about to shut down and she can then Cancel it and keep working. But then she has to shut down the computer herself at the end of the day.
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