You can teach an old dog new tricks

It’s traditional when joining a forum to create a “hello” post, as I didn’t see another spot to do it I’ll put it here.

I’m an old time computer user, going back to my first machine, a TRS-80 Model 1. From there I moved to a Radio Shack Color Computer, a Commodore 64 (which I still have setup in my office), and finally landing in the Microsoft world with DOS 2.1.

In that time I never had an Apple machine, no particular reason why, I just didn’t need it. I did wind up buying an iPod touch, when my Zune died and they had been discontinued.

In 2016 I was writing a book and needed a screen shot from an iPad or iPhone to demonstrate reporting capabilities in Microsoft SQL Server 2016. So, I went out and bought an iPad. I admit it quickly grew on me, I especially liked the way a lot of the apps seamlessly integrated with each other. When it came time to renew my phone (I was kind of tired of my Android) moving to iPhone was a pretty easy choice.

Fast forward to 2018, and again it was Microsoft that spurred me into the purchase of a MacBook. (Actually I have 2, plus the one I had to get for my daughter, long story there). Microsoft has been really embracing the multi-platform world with some of their tools like VSCode and SQL Server Operations Studio. I could easily test these in a Linux virtual machine, but for OSX, well you have to have a real Apple machine, so I bought one.

In that time I’ve been amazed at how it has integrated itself into my daily workflow. I still use my Lenovo ThinkPad for my main work (I create training videos for Pluralsight) but the management of my work seems to have migrated to my Macs. I love the integration between my iPads (I now have both the 10.5 and 12 inch pros, and the iPad mini 4) and my iPhone. I set a reminder in one place and it’s there on all of them. I also love the ability to do iMessage on my Mac. When my wife gets chatty I can have a full size keyboard to reply to her with and not deal with touch screen on my phone or iPad.Those are some simple examples, I’m sure you experienced folks don’t need to be told of all the ways in which these devices integrate.

Of course there are still some things that annoy me. One is the lack of support for more than two external monitors. I have six hooked up to my Thinkpad through a combination of the docking station and USB Video adapters. The inability to do this on my Mac is a pain.

The second is the lack of support for the RDP protocol. At home I leave my big machines setup in my basement office, then can wander around the house or go out on my back deck and work, just RDPing into my main machines. If you haven’t used Remote Desktop Protocol then you are missing out. If you have, for example, three monitors on your current machine, whatever machine you remote into will instantly adjust to use all the screens you have on the machine you are coming from.

While I can use the Microsoft app to RDP from my Mac to another RDP compliant computer, I cannot RDP TO my Macs. Right now I am using Splashtop, the free version lets you connect to another machine on your home network, through the paid version you can remove from anywhere via the web.

Other than that, I am pretty happy with the Macs, especially my smaller 13 inch model. It’s small size and good battery life makes it very convenient to carry around.

I love podcasts, so naturally when I got into the Apple ecosphere I sought out some. By far, MPU is the best, hands down, and I’ve listened to quite a few. I suspect it is because of the focus on productivity, as a small business owner it’s productivity that I want from my computers.

Well I’ve gotten long winded so I’ll shut up for now, just wanted to say hello and thank everyone for the great posts I’ve read on here so far, and to the hosts for their hard work on the MPU podcast.


Robert / @ArcaneCode


Sounds like the Old Dog has it pretty dialed in!

One thing, and sorry if I misunderstood, but yes
there is no (proprietary) RDP on Apple but there is
VNC which provides similar function to RDP

There are a ton of free VNC viewers, (I use RealVNC)
Just make sure you have Sharing-> Screen Sharing ->
Computer Settings -> VNC viewers may control screen
with password, Selected

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Wow, never thought I’d see a name I recognize from the SQL Server community here! Welcome, Robert!

Have you done much with PowerShell Core on macOS?

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I use Teamviewer to connect to my Mac. Everyone seems to recommend Screens as a VNC client for the Mac, but I like the fact with Teamview that I don’t have to leave a port open to the Internet on my local firewall and it is free for personal use.

Hey! I’ve done a little with PowerShell Core. I had a Pester demo that I wanted to see if it would work on Core, and it did. Very cool. Planning to do more, as I have time.

Getting ready now though to give a talk at the PASS Summit, The Joy of DevOps. I’m actually planning to use my 13 inch MacBook to present it, using PowerPoint.

Thanks, I have looked at and tried Teamviewer, RealVNC, plus quite a few others. They all had the same irritating feature, the lack of RDP support meant I can only view one screen at at time, regardless of how many screens there were on the machine I was coming from, or the machine I was remoting to.

After trying a bunch of them, I finally went with Splashtop. For $60 (US) per year, I can have 10 machines, Mac or PC, I can remote into, and any number of machines I can remote from. It also includes the remote software so I can login from my iOS devices, which is a nice bonus.

I have to say it’s really helped my workflow, now when I go to the coffee shop or whatever, I can just bring along a small lightweight computer and remote back to my 11 pound beast of a Lenovo to work on VMs, SQL Server, etc.

The only. negative thing about Splashtop is lack of support for Linux. But right now that’s not critical for me, most of the Linux things I do are in VMs hosted on my Lenovo so I can just remote to it (it runs Windows 10) and connect via the Hyper-V console.

When my year with Splashtop is up I’ll re-evaluate, see if it is still serving my needs or if I should consider something else. But for now it is working, was simple to setup and be productive.

I’m running RealVNC ($40/yr) on our lab computer (Windows 7, I think), remoting in using VNC viewer from my Mac, and I see both of the lab computer’s screens.

No need to go out for a VNC client/server on a Mac. There is one built-in. You can quickly access the client using Spotlight (just request “Screen Sharing”) or from Finder. The server is enabled from System Preferences --> Sharing. You may also need a VPN server if you are accessing through a firewall.