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01189998819991197253 , avatar

So... basically, RDP through thunderbolt? Or did I skim too fast?

downpunxx , avatar

step back in time ladies and germs, to a moment when local area networks don'e exist, where wifi has yet to be fathomed, and be amazed at the brand new technology of, wait, let me get this right, tethering your laptop to your desktop with a direct cable?

magic and wonders ladies and gentlemen, miracles in our time. hahahahahahahaha.

atocci , avatar

Why doesn't this already work the way I would expect? You can plug your smartphone into your PC and access its entire filesystem, and they're basically both computers. Why can't this work the same way between PCs? Or why can't I access my PC's files from my phone?

bjoern_tantau , avatar

Theoretically it should be possible. You can at least install MTP on Linux PCs and I bet there's something for Windows as well. So I think at that point it's up to the smartphone to have client support.

Meh, but I'm too lazy to test this.

MonkderDritte ,

Early smartphones had to unmount the sdcard so you can access it from PC, which is why mtp was invented. That's why.

pHr34kY ,

This new thunderbolt feature hilariously does what I once did with RS-232.

bobs_monkey ,

With just a smidge better throughout!

rottingleaf ,

I mean, it is a dream. Make a simple thing so fucking complex that no one can replicate it, make it branded so that normies would want only it, and make it some many dollar seller component.

To all proponents of "tech should be available to people not understanding it", how's your day going?

Kidplayer_666 ,

Freaking finally. How wasn’t this a thing before? By this point I’d expect a wireless version lol. But looks amazing and can’t wait to get it

ShittyBeatlesFCPres ,

Yeah, this sounds amazing. It also sounds like it’s being limited, unfortunately, and will require additional license fees from the OEM on top of the Thunderbolt 4 ports. Hopefully, that’s just for the launch and it opens up soon.

Apple has had “target disk mode” for a long time where you boot one computer into a special mode but that’s basically just for transferring files and not anything like as advanced. I know iPads (and I assume Android tablets) can be a second screen over wireless using third party software but it’s not uncompressed video with disk access last I checked.

Kidplayer_666 ,

Yeah, I’ve used third party software to get tablets as wireless monitors, but it has mostly sucked. Hopefully it’ll be opened soon. Tho if they started with it closed, that’s how it’ll remain. Apple has the target disk mode, but doesn’t the laptop need to be shut down for it to work? Besides, APFS or whatever they use is useless when compared to literally anything else

zelifcam , avatar

Target disk mode is performed during boot and was first introduced in 1991.

abhibeckert , (edited )

Apple has the target disk mode, but doesn’t the laptop need to be shut down for it to work?

Modern Macs can't do Target Disk Mode. If you had the right cables (thunderbolt or firewire) it was really fast, just as quick as a high end internal PCIe SSD.

And yes, you did need to reboot - because the other computer had full arbitrary read/write access to the raw sectors on the drive with no safety checks or security. If you did that while the computer was running normally, you'd corrupt the data on the disk as soon as they both tried to do a write operation at the same time — and also TDM needed to be used with caution - the other computer could easily install a rootkit or steal all your saved passwords.

It's been replaced with "Mac Sharing Mode" which operates while the Mac is running normally, does have all the necessary algorithms in place to avoid corrupting the disk, full security to authenticate each read/write operation and block attempts to mess with system files, and therefore is orders of magnitude slower than TDM.

abhibeckert , (edited )

I know iPads (and I assume Android tablets) can be a second screen over wireless using third party software but it’s not uncompressed video with disk access last I checked.

The video is compressed (how much depends on your network speed, it's not always noticable). And it's far more than just video - you can copy files over the connection. Keyboard/mouse/touchscreen/stylus inputs are sent over it, and video camera/microphone data can be streamed in real time as well. There's also a control protocol to temporarily switch from sending the entire screen to sending just a URL (and auth cookies) to a HLS video stream such as a YouTube video - which will cause the other computer to directly access the content over the internet instead of one computer downloading it, decompressing it, then recompressing it and sending it to the other computer.

And it's not just iPads. Macs, iPhones, Apple TV... they all have that capability. It's the core underlying system behind AirPlay, AirDrop, Continuity Display, Universal Control, Clipboard Sharing, Continuity Camera, etc etc.

I do it all day every day between my desktop and laptop Mac — I effectively use this as a KVM so I can control my laptop using the nice mechanical keyboard and mouse attached to my desktop (also, it's a handy way to avoid having to keep data in sync over the cloud... I tend to do all my note taking on the laptop and just never access them from the desktop - eliminating any risk that one of them might not be fully synced up with the latest data).

It works best over thunderbolt but it's usually done with wifi — always a direct wifi connection that bypasses your router because the amount of bandwidth required is so high that if you sent it to a router and then to a computer... your wifi would almost certainly collapse under the load.

Target Disk Mode doesn't exist on modern Macs. It has been replaced with a new "Mac Sharing Mode" which is technically completely different. The new system is basically just a regular network fileshare (I think it uses SMB), while I think the the old system was PCIe connection if you had thunderbolt/firewire (fast) or something much worse if you were using USB (that never worked well).

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