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Stanford/Palo Alto Macintosh User Group Newsletter
May 1, 2011
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April 4th Meeting Report
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Dear (Contact First Name),

GREETINGS FROM CHAMPAIGN (IL) 

Roger Ebert with Mac
Home of the HAL 9000 computer, the transistor, & the Roger Ebert Film Festival - 13 films, 5 days, thousands of film lovers, multiple bloggers, and nobody hyping their movie, a great time is being had by all.

Meanwhile. preparations continue for our next SMUG meeting, which will be on MONDAY 9th MAY, not the frst Monday in the month, once again - for some reason there will be pagan maypole rites or some such at SLAC this Monday, so we have been bumped to the following week. Look for our next newsletter some time next week with details of our meeting on the following Monday.
April 4th Meeting Report
Splashtop

 

 

Splashtop, presented by Steve Rokov

 

Steve showed slides, and did a demo. He did it well.

 

The Splashtop product was actually renamed to Splashtop a few months ago. (Note from Dave: I picked it up when it had its current really cool name: Splashtop.)

 

The aim of Splashtop is to let you get to your stuff, anytime, anywhere, on any device. He showed a slide of a personal cloud: Cisco, Facebook, Netflix, YouTube, video, PowerPoint, etc.). This is bringing the cloud back to a personal level.

 

He asked us, "How would I use the product here or at home?" And the best answer gets a prize! (Note from Dave: I do not remember who got the prize.)

 

Steve used Splashtop on his iPad to connect to his PC at home. He used his own hotspot instead of Stanford WiFi, since connecting through someone else's WiFi can be flaky.

 

Splashtop Remote is the first app for iPad to give your iPad complete remote control of your Macintosh and Windows PC. Splashtop even beat out Angry Birds in the charts! (Note from Dave: I would assume popularity charts.)

 

Users have fallen in love with Splashtop. Steve showed comments on their website. And lots of happy tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/splashtop

 

As mentioned before, you remotely access your Mac or PC with your mobile device.

1.     You control your Mac or PC remotely from anywhere in the room.

2.     You enjoy all the multimedia (including games) that plays on your PC or Mac, including wmv, Flash, and DivX. There is no need to sync or import files to your mobile device. (Note from Dave: Including your iPad; Flash on your Mac or PC plays on the iPad Splashtop just fine!)

3.      You can use the existing apps on your Mac or PC, the email and outlook and Office, on your tablet or your smart phone. You can print using your desktop computer. Also, Splashtop makes a nice backup for your computer's primary display; if your kid pours juice on your monitor, you could use your iPad as a temporary display!

 

How does Splashtop work? It works with iPad, iPhone, and Android. It receives a stream of images and sound from your computer, and your interactions on your tablet or smart phone act as the computer's mouse and keyboard.

 

User productivity and satisfaction

Corridor warrior

No painful synch sessions

User existing windows apps

Access your PC directly (or via VM)

 

Who would use Splashtop and why? A career seeker with style: a need to shine. (Note from Dave: Hey, that's me! I'm seeking, and Splashtop might help me shine!) People who want to stay in touch; they can connect to their notebook and stay in touch better.

 

Splashtop has fast and easy setup. (Note from Dave: I can attest to that! It was very easy to set up on my iPad and MacBook Pro.) They keep the display on the mobile device very minimal. You press ESC to get out.

 

As for audio, you have a choice where the sound will come out: your mobile device or your computer. (Note from Dave: I have the audio come out of my iPad.) Steve shows how they sync video or audio, will play DRM protected just fine. Capturing the video and audio off the Mac/PC, compressing it, and sending it to the iPad. (Note from Dave: My version of Splashtop used Soundflower to mute sound on my MacBook Pro, but Steve said future versions of Splashtop will not need that.)

 

Can control what we see on the iPad also. Now they were fighting over the mouse. Download app to iPad, also target app to the Mac/PC.

 

The performance and ease of use is very good. The free iPad app lasts for 5 minutes, although you can reload it again. (Note from Dave: But really, the Splashtop app for your mobile device - like your iPad -- is very inexpensive! Just a few bucks!)

 

You need to install the free Splashtop Remote server on the computer you wish to control from your mobile device. Macintosh needs to be running Snow Leopard (OS 10.6), Windows needs XP and up.

 

The Splashtop team is playing around with Roku. They might have something with that in the future.

 

The iPhone app is $2.99, iPad is $4.99. (Note from Dave: I wonder if it on sale, it looked cheaper in the app store.)

 

You could the iPhone version of Splashtop on your iPad, but the resolution will be low. (Spring for the iPad version, says Dave!)

 

Steve got his iPad to display on the Stanford VGA screen, since he has iPad 2. (Note from Dave: And I am SO envious! But I still love my iPad 1). Anyhow, his iPad/Splashtop showed a list of the available PCs and Macs that he could connect to, then it showed a nice hints screen for the gestures and the like that he could use to control your computer from the iPad. Oh, it has a NICE cursor pad, giving you cursor keys! (Note from Dave: Which this writer feels he NEEDS on his iPad, I still think the virtual keyboard should have cursor keys built in!)

 

Steve showed that he could change the depth of resolution to get a better frame rate when he was watching video on iPad/Splashtop. He went into Smooth Mode, then back to Sharp Mode, and there was a little performance degradation. You notice that more when you have text on the screen. Anyhow, you can choose the Mode that gives you the best viewing experience.

 

Steve connected to his home computer, to check on his little girl. (Note from Dave: Oh, how I want to put in a joke about stopping her from instant messaging that boyfriend with the Hell's Angels tattoos! But she was watching stuff that was pretty harmless.) She was watching An Idiot Abroad. And she was likely wondering why she lost sound. Steve can turn on the computer's camera remotely. He could have gone into Photobooth to see her.

 

Steve showed a computer they have in the office. It was playing Hulu, so you are seeing Flash on the iPad. He also went into VMware on the remote computer and used it.

 

You can use Splashtop to connect to a server that is connected to a lot of other computers. Splashtop is like plugging a keyboard and mouse into the remote computer, like a remote interface.

 

Steve played some iTunes. That stressed the network connection.

 

The Mac and PC server works per user account. (Splashtop is working on that.) You cannot switch between users on the remote computer from Splashtop Remote on the iPad.

 

With your router, the biggest thing to set up is the port forwarding. The Apple router is very easy. You will need to open three ports for Splashtop.

 

 

If you want to connect to your home Macintosh or PC from a remote location (like, oh, connecting to the computer is using while you are making a presentation to the Stanford Macintosh User Group), Splashtop can do that. You need to set up the router at your home, open its ports, etc. to connect to your home computer. Splashtop has this information on their support site.

 

The keyboard that Splashtop pops up on your mobile device can be a Windows keyboard as well as a Macintosh keyboard.

 

When your mobile device connects to the remote computer, the resolution on the remote computer shrinks to the resolution of the mobile device for as long as Splashtop Remote is connected to it. (Note from Dave: I have done this, and watched the resolution change on my MacBook Pro when I connect to it with my iPad/Splashtop. It is fast and seamless and fun to watch.)

 

Someone asked about speaking into the microphone. People would like Skype stuff. For Splashtop, that is a little ways off for now, but they are looking at more features along those lines.

 

(Final note from Dave: I highly recommend Splashtop. I have only used it to connect to my MacBook Pro on my home network, but it does that very well. The connection is easy to set up, and it runs very very fast. Thank you, Steve Rokov.)

 

 Dave Strom, SMUG Vice President 


Remember: Monday May 9th 6:30pm  in the Redwood Room.

See you there!

Steve Bellamy
SMUG President
 
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