Using the Dashboard Widget
With Remote Desktop 3, Apple introduced a Dashboard widget that monitors a single computer without needing to launch the Remote Desktop application. To use the widget, the computer must be running Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), and the computer that you want to observe must be listed in your All Computers list. You must also have the Observe Remote Desktop privilege associated with the account that you use to authenticate to it.
To use the widget, include it with your displayed Dashboard widgets. When you bring up Dashboard for the first time, click the information icon on the widget (the lowercase "i" in the bottom-left corner) to configure it. You will be asked to supply the hostname or IP address of the computer you want to monitor, along with the username and password used to authenticate to it for Remote Desktop. When you enter this information and click Done, the widget will flip over and display a very scaled-down observe display of the computer. If you double-click the widget, it will launch the Remote Desktop application and bring up a full-size observe and control window. Each time you launch Dashboard thereafter, the widget will remember the information for the last monitored computer.
The widget (shown in Figure 4) is a nice touch for integrating Mac OS X Tiger elements into Remote Desktop, but I think it would be more useful if it didn’t require you to know the IP address or hostname of a computer to monitor it. Perhaps if the widget included a pop-up menu or all your computer lists, and displayed the computers in a selected list, or even showed a single menu containing the contents of the All Computers list, it would be more helpful.
Figure 4 Remote Desktop Dashboard widget
That said—if there is a single computer (or even a handful of computers) that you want to be to monitor on a regular basis, the widget can be very handy.