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ScreenSharingMenulet fills a gap in Snow Leopard's Screen Sharing.app

Every "point-oh" version of Mac OS X usually brings some small bit of pain, as I find some little utility no longer works. Snow Leopard has been no exception. I had been using the version of Screen Sharing from 10.5.4 because it had some "hidden" features which I liked. Unfortunately those "hidden" features were also "unsupported" features. When 10.5.5 came out, they were gone, but I continued to use the version of Screen Sharing from 10.5.4 which worked until 10.5.8. Sadly for me, it does not work at all in 10.6.

The biggest drawback of Screen Sharing was the removal of the Bonjour Browser, which showed a list of computers available for Screen Sharing (both locally and via Back to My Mac). Now I had to type them in manually, which isn't such a big deal when you are trying to connect to a machine on a local network. If you are trying to connect over the Internet, however, you need to use the full hostname, which may look something like this: macbook.yourname.members.mac.com. Plus, it just seems like one of those things that the computer ought to do for me. [Side note, if you are looking for a handy way to see all the Bonjour services on your local network, check out Tildesoft's free Bonjour Browser utility.]

While looking through a bunch of old files in my ~/Downloads/ folder, I found a version of ScreenSharingMenulet. I checked its webpage and saw what I was looking for: "ScreenSharingMenulet 1.7.1 and higher is compatible to Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard." ScreenSharingMenulet sits in the menu bar along with your other menu extras. Simply click on its icon (shown above) and choose which computer you wish to connect to via a dropdown list. In my testing it worked very well over a LAN although it did not seem to pre-populate with the machines over the Internet. Given the flakiness of Back To My Mac over ther Internet, I can hardly fault this program for that shortcoming.

ScreenSharingMenulet is free (donations accepted) from Stefan Klieme who has several other handy-looking utilities at his website. If you use Screen Sharing a lot, it's definitely a handy tool to have around.

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