TweetMyMac: Remote control of your Mac via Twitter
Important safety tip: Please read the instructions for TweetMyMac carefully, especially the part about creating a separate Twitter account for your Mac -- do not use your regular Twitter account, or anyone you follow will be able to control your machine.
We have previously covered some of the ways in which it is possible to remotely control a Mac at home or in the office. Most of our suggestions have required the use of Mail in order to process some rule and kick off a script or Automator action.
Alex P over at TheMacBox aims to change all of that. Enter TweetMyMac, the little program that lets you get screenshots, iSight snapshots, or launch a program through the use of Twitter. While the list of commands available is not currently as comprehensive as what your imagination can create with a little AppleScript or Automator whizzbangery, it is a good list and growing as well.
An obvious benefit of this approach is the ease of getting everything set up. In the past it took an AppleScript to call another Automator action or some other kludgey-at-best method to get things working. With TweetMyMac there is very little effort required for setup.
Another neat feature is that TweetMyMac will run a shell command. With a little scripting you can create your own custom commands. And using the previously-covered technique of sending tweets via the command line you can have your custom commands send information back to you as well.
In my experience the software does have a few bugs/quirks, but that is to be expected with a beta release. One of the niggles I ran into was that the commands have to be exact. For example, sending "what is my ip?" will not be processed whereas sending "ip" will be processed as expected. It tripped me up a few times and from a user-experience perspective it would be nice to be fixed, but from the developer's point of view I can see the difficulty in coding around the whims of users.
I was also not able to get the screenshot command to work from my Mac mini, but in talking with the developer it seems to be an isolated incident. The other issue I hit was that the same command would not be processed twice in a row. Alex has been a big help and it is obvious that getting this app working well is important.
You can check out the list of available commands over at TweetMyMac's homepage. TweetMyMac is currently in beta and available for free, but donations are welcome because developers like to eat too. Do you have any other remote Mac automation tools that you use? Shout out in the comments, because I know I'm always looking for ways to wrangle my home server into line.
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