Email and Web surfing may be the most popular Internet activities, but the world’s most gigantic network has many other uses. The general idea is always the same, though: letting one computer reach out and touch another.
Mac OS X offers a few features that embrace the more literal aspects of that notion. For example, you can turn your Mac into a Web server—an actual living Web site that anyone on the Internet can visit. This chapter also explores various advanced methods of manipulating your own Mac from the road, including remote access technologies like long-distance file sharing, FTP, SSH, and virtual private networking (VPN).
Most of these technologies are designed for full-time Internet connections (cable modem or DSL, for example). If you have a dial-up modem, these features work only when you’re actually online. Still, they may occasionally be useful anyway. You could always get online, call up a friend and say, “Check out my Web site right now—here’s the current IP address” or call someone back home to say, “I have to grab a file off my hard drive. Could you make the Mac on my desk go online?”