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Monday, August 19, 2013

Secrets of a KVM: How to get your Macs to work together with one keyboard and one acreen and how to use Appleworks with 10.8.4



Greetings from Macvalley Labs! You see on the left my Mac Mini running 10.8.4 and its 23” monitor. You see on the right my old MacBook notebook running 10.6.8. What’s the big deal? Both monitors have Appleworks 6.2.9 running on them



The computer running Appleworks under 10.6.8 on the right :



And the computer running 10.8.4 on the left:


How can this be? Didn’t Apple consign all old PPC OS apps, such as Appleworks, to the dustbin of history when it brought out 10.7 and 10.8? Yes, they did. But I’ve resurrected Appleworks for all those out there who need to use it and would prefer to run it on their brand spankin’ new 10.8 machines. The trick is, you use your old 10.6.8 machine, but view it on the new 10.8.4 Mac.

How does this work? Well, it takes two parts. First ,you need a way to link the keyboard of one machine to control either machine just by moving the mouse. Second, you need a way to view the Mac running 10.6.8 on the Mac running 10.8.4.

First step, how to do a West Valley mind-meld, with apologies to Mr. Spock. You can do it in one of two ways.

The first way is the fast and easy way, but it will cost you $30 to $40. You use a USB device called the JUC400 Wormhole Switch.



You can get them at Fry’s Electronics or Amazon. At Fry’s it’s 39.98, but you can have it today; or you can order it from Amazon for $28.79 plus free shipping and wait a few days.

What this device does is connect your Mac running 10.8.4 to another Mac running 10.6.8 and Appleworks together.

You get (1) a Keyboard + Mouse switch that switches the focus of your operations to either computer just by moving the mouse from one screen to another.

But that’s not all. You can also synchronize your clipboards, so that data you copy on the 10.6.8 machine can be pasted into a document on the

Two more tricks. You can drop and drag files from one machine to another. Take a screenshot on one machine and just drag the picture to the other one. And this works with Windows, too. But we’re concerned with Macs right now.

It’s a cinch to use. Just plug it in an available USB 2.0 port. The necessary software comes in the elongated USB plugs. No CDs to lose.

So now you can use a single keyboard control to control two computers and cut and paste documents between them. Now how to get everything on one screen.

To do that, you need to use Virtual Network Computing, which means “putting one computer’s screen on another computer’s desktop” It’s cross-platform, UltraVNCis an excellent implementation for Windows, but I digress.

You need two parts to make this work: the VNC server program on the computer you want to watch, and the VNC client program on the computer doing the watching.

You can find a perfectly good VNC server built into OS X. Just go to the Sharing preference pane in System Preferences.


This is the 10.6.8 Sharing preference pane. You want to select Remote Management. If you plan to exchange a lot of files between the two computers, you’d want to switch on File Sharing, too, instead of dropping and dragging files between the two desktops.

Now you need a VNC client program. Instead of the one built into OS X, I’m going to recommend a free 3rd party one called Chicken. It derives from an earlier program called Chicken of the VNC. You can get Chicken from the open-source repository SourceForge dot net here. That’s the stable 2.1.1. version. I’m using the beta 2.2b version, but I’ve had no problems with it.

Anyway, you install Chicken by dragging its app to your Applications folder. Click on it and you get this panel asking you to select the VNC Server. In this case, it’s my MacBook.

The program displays the IP address of the server, which I have blanked out. I trust you, just not the hackers looking for a IP address through which to steal a credit card number.


Select the desired VNC server, click on the Connect button at the bottom right-hand side, and within a few moments, you should see the other computer’s screen on your desktop in a window. It helps if your viewed computer has a smaller screen than your observer computer. My MacBook is 1280 x 800 pixels, but my 23” monitor with my Mac Mini is 1920 x 1080.

Now the text displayed on the VNC client may be smaller than desired. Two ways to get around this.

First, just zoom in on the screen. Go to the PastedGraphic6-2013-08-19-19-03.png Accessibility preference pane in the Systems row of your System Preferences. You want to do this on the observer computer.




You want to use scroll gesture with modifier key. I use the standard Control key with my Magic Track Pad to zoom in on tiny text. You could also use keyboard shortcuts to zoom as shown in the illustration.

Second, you could just enlarge the text in Appleworks from your observer computer. Go ahead, it’s just as though you worked on the actual desktop of the observed computer.

Now would this work with, say, Windows 7/8 to Windows XP? Sure. Just recycle that old Windows XP box and plug the Wormhole Switch between the two Windows machines. Now you can use the one app that only works with Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6.

The Cheap, if not so easy, way to do a West Valley mind meld between two Macs.

If you don’t want to pay $30 to $40 for the Wormhole Switch, you can do much of its magic using Abyssoft’s Teleport app.

Abyssoft has three versions of Teleport. The latest, 1.1.2, supports Mountain Lion 10.8, Lion 10.7 and Snow Leopard 10.6. Earlier versions support earlier versions of OS X. Whether they will work together is the problem. I only tested Teleport in its latest version 1.2.2a.

Teleport installs as a preference pane on your Mac. Installing it is easy. You just double-click on the file and the installation process pops up. Do you want to install it just for yourself or for all users of the Mac? That’s the only question.


You do have to set up the arrangement of the Macs (and it’s only Macs, not Windows) using the Layout pane:


Under Settings, you set up whether you want to encrypt communication between the two (or more!) Macs. That requires a encryption certificate. I choose to dispense with encryption for this article.

Now you can choose to display a bezel that pops up in the middle of your screen when you switch to another Mac. You can also play a whooshing sound as you move from Mac to Mac.

One hint. Turn on your Firewall. Even if you have it turned OFF, turn it back ON. You will be asked during your first Teleport session if you want to allow, an ancillary app for the main Teleport preference pane, to access your Firewall. Say Yes and you’re good to go.

Teleport includes a PDF file which explains this to you. Read it!

As I said, this is the second way to mind-meld two Macs together. You use Teleport in collaboration with the VNC client/server so that you can control the second Mac from your current desktop.

You must put your cursor on the other’s Mac, not just on the VNC mirror of it, in order to copy and paste text from one Mac to another using Teleport. Same with dropping and dragging of files.

Here is the Settings panel:


And if you find it useful, drop the developer a few bucks.


Tom Briant

Editor, Macvalley Blog.



1 comment:

  1. It is advisable that if you think a hard disk is too expensive, multiply the time you put in creating those files. Several thousand dollars, probably.You can use distributed approach to solve this problem.

    Silvester Norman

    Change MAC Address




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