If it sounds amazing, you are right. Everything could be set using the help of Growl. It allows us to forward notifications from one machine to another as long as all of them has Growl installed.
I’m sure some of you are familiar with Growl. It’s the notification system for Mac. But most of us might not know that there’s also the Windows version of Growl. And after playing with it for a while, I can personally say that in some aspects, the Windows version is better than the original Mac version. Since we have discussed the Mac version, let’s look at the Windows version of Growl remote notifications.
The installation routine goes just like any other Windows application.
But you have to tell Windows Firewall to allow this application to bypass the block. In case you are worried about security, don’t check the “Public network” option.
The app will reside in the System Tray. Windows 7 users have to dig a little deeper (or set it to be visible all the time) to access the settings.
Check the “Automatically start Growl at login” box so that the application will always available every time you start Windows.
This is also the place where you can set the sound notification and the user’s idle status.
Notify Me And I’ll Notify You
To set up the notification system to go off on several computers, click the “Network” tab. Then check the “Forward notifications to other computers” box to enable it, and “Subscribe to notifications from other computers” box to enable receiving notifications from other computers.
Then click the “Plus (+)” button under “Forward…” box to add the computer/iPhone/email address that you want to forward your notifications to. If there are other computers with Growl in the same network, they should appear automatically on the list and you can choose to link them.
Please note that Mac computers will not show on a Windows list unless the Windows machine has Bonjour installed. If you have installed iTunes and Quicktime in your Windows, Bonjour would have beeb installed along with them.
If you prefer to forward the message by email, you should give the setting a description and an email address. The default SMTP Settings is “Home (127.0.0.1)“. Choose the the priority and click “Save“.
The “Home” SMTP setting will only work if you have an email server installed on your computer. Further customization is available by clicking the “edit” link. Every system will have different email server configurations. Please consult your “knowledgeable acquaintance” about this matter.
Apply similar settings to other Growls on other computers. This is what it looks like on a Mac machine.
With A Little Help
Unfortunately, Windows machine can’t “listen to” a Mac machine by default. To be able to do that, you have to use the help from an application called “Growl Impersonator“. Find out more about the settings here.
To forward the Growl remote notifications to an iPhone (currently, this is the only supported mobile phone), you have to use help of other services. There are several options available: Prowl (paid), Howl (paid), Boxcar (free) and Notifo (free). Strangely, this “forward to iPhone” option is only available from Windows version of Growl (I just couldn’t find the way to do it from Mac).
The Windows version of Growl also enables its users to “listen to” notifications from web services like Twitter and GMail. To enable this feature, you need to integrate it with notify.io. We’ll discuss notify.io in a separate article later on.
Do you use a notification system? Can you mention other worthy alternatives? Please share using the comment below.