This will make a change from my usual whining and moaning about Maemo, Gnome, Ubuntu, etc. I am, for once, being positive and heaping praise.
I have been looking into setting up a link to our media-centre PC and my PC with all my files on here at home here in NZ, so that I can access them if necessary while I am away in the UK. Then, I want to set up my mum’s PC in the UK in the same way, so that when I come home, I can connect to her PC and remotely control it, so that I can help her order her shopping online (rather than her reading me a list, and me ordering it for her from Tesco from NZ…), and fix any problems that may arise with her PC. So, I had a look at a couple of suggestions, made enquiries with people that provide VPN’s, looked at using VNC, and how to get round the problem of dynamically allocated IP addresses, and had a look at dyndns – but short of setting up my own VPN, VNC client/server, and SSH – it looked like Dell/Wyse PocketCloud might be the best solution, although it only works in a browser on Linux…
Then I found this quite impressive piece of software – TeamViewer.
In the attached image, I am running a deviant version of ubuntu/mint/gnome-classic on a 4 year-old netbook. Inside the main window I am remotely controlling an HP Windows 7 mediacentre hooked up to a Samsung TV. The functionality of this software is very impressive – it effectively sets up a VPN between the two computers, through which you can remotely control another PC, txt chat, video call, voice call, file transfer, video conference, and share presentation/training videos
A lot is quite old technology that has been availble under UNIX for over two decades, but the way they have pulled it all together into a single package is superb, building in SSH and VNC as well by the look of it, all in a way that avoids the user having to do any configuration themselves.
It is not cheap – a commercial licence is about £700, and then about £170 for every machine that uses it. But, for non-commercial use, there is no cost. That is a terrific deal if you ask me. Makes me want to give them something just for making it available that way. I have yet to test it in earnest from the other side of the world – but it seems to work as well via 3G using the android tablet, or using the netbook via the tablet acting as a hotspot. But, I’d have no issues paying a small license fee for home use if they asked. I think it is incredibly generous of them to make this available this way, and they are to be applauded for doing so.
OK, now here’s the really great news, it not only runs on Windows, and Macs, but major Linux formats (as you can see), as well as Android and iOS phones and tablets.
If I ever was tempted back into working in IT again, this would be a company I would want to work for.
I am rarely that impressed…
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.