Tag Archives: remote-desktop

Tech Support With My Dad

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My Dad is at home in Iowa, and needed help with some software updates. The easiest way for me to do that is to use remote software of some type. GoToAssist Express happens to be a partner of ours – and with good reason: I love the product. To me, it stands heads above others of its type for one main reason… the diagnostics and reports. I can see what’s installed, what’s running, and more as soon as I connect remotely to another machine. I don’t have to go to the hassle of asking the other person to “right click this” or “check on that” for me. It’s just there.

All I had to do was send my Dad a link for him to click. It asked him if he wanted to allow my connection to his desktop. Once he did, I had Dad’s desktop right on my screen. I can easily change the scale of how I view what’s on his screen. It won’t change anything on his end. It only changes my view.

Dad needed me to help him find and install a Microsoft Compatibility Pack, which is something that’s easy and fast for me to do. Since it’s something Dad has never done before, it was just simpler for me to connect to him via GoToAssist and do it for him, rather than to attempt to explain to him what he needs, why, where to get it, and how to install it.

Once we got that done, Dad had me check all of his installed software to make sure that everything was up-to-date. Did you see how insanely easy it was for me to control his screen, and take care of the problems and issues for him?

You can take care of your customers just as quickly using GoToAssist Express. You can even connect to them and fix things right from your home or office! Cut out the travel time and expense, and become an even better technician.

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Windows Defender Problem

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Back when I hosted Call for Help, I spent a lot of time helping people with Windows issues. I love how much easier it is now that there is excellent software like GoToAssist, which allows me to connect remotely to someone else’s desktop. Today, I was able to help someone work through a Windows Defender problem!

GoToAssist allows you to help more people in less time, by cutting out travel time and costs. You can even handle routine maintenance and updates for your customers during the time their business is closed – right from your own home or office.

I love using GoToAssist because of the diagnostic report that I receive about the computer I’m connected to. It tells me the network connections, the processes running at the time, devices and default browser, and even the applications that are open at the time. It gives me a ton of information at the click of a button, without my having to waste time asking someone several questions. I have the answers immediately.

Zack was nice enough to let me connect to his computer, and asked for help with Windows Defender. I’m sure Zack could have figured out the problem on his own, but he was nice enough to allow me to control his desktop to showcase GoToAssist. According to Microsoft, the fix for his problem was easy enough – uninstall and reinstall Defender.

Connecting to someone’s computer is the fastest way for you to help them fix any problems you can think of on their machine. It’s so much faster to do this than to explain to them on the phone or even via an instant message! Check it out for yourself with the free 30 day trial!

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What’s Your Favorite Remote Desktop Program?

Geek!This is The Celtic Elf’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I just wanted to submit my review and recent experiences with that fabulous remote assistance software called CrossLoop.

I rediscovered it last week when I was reading through some old issues of Lockergnome IT Professionals looking for a way to help a friend who is 600 miles away from me with a computer problem. I had remembered that there was a software program other than Windows Remote Assistance or MSN/Windows Live Messenger that would work better and more securely than either of them, but I couldn’t remember the name. I didn’t have a need for the program back when it was first being discussed and reviewed. Thank you Lockergnome for back issue availability!

I was thrilled with CrossLoop’s performance and ease of setup and use, especially for my non-technical friend. He was amazed as he watched me control his computer to solve the problem (“This is KEWL!!”, “Looks like my laptop is haunted!”), and I was impressed with the response time and the ability to work across different Windows systems. I use XP Pro, and my friend has a laptop with Vista, no problem for CrossLoop. I read the instructions that CrossLoop has available on their site about turning off Vista’s User Account Control before starting the session, and the instructions they include were clear enough that when I sent them to my friend, he was able to follow them with no added explanation needed from me.

With old man winter approaching, I have installed CrossLoop on two more of my regular clients’ computers, and I plan to do this with the rest of them over the next week or two so that *”when the weather outside is frightful” I will be able to help them without risking life and limb. (*Gratuitous holiday song reference intended.)

I also have some online friends that live in the USA (I am in Canada), that have often wished that I could “see” what was happening on their computer and spare them from calling (shudder) the “Geek Squad” or going without their computer for a week or more while it is in their local repair shop. They will be relieved to know that I can do this now.

Can you tell that I am a happy puppy? So are my clients who already have it installed. In fact, one of my clients that already has it installed is planning on having me play a trick on his friends using CrossLoop, he wants to fool them into thinking that he has a computer that can read his mind. He plans on starting a session with me and then hiding the CrossLoop window, then when his friends arrive he will send me a signal to start opening windows, playing songs and so on. He can hardly wait to try it out. Looks like CrossLoop, in addition to being a practical and handy tool, can be a fun toy for some people!

I do realize that CrossLoop has been reviewed before, but I wanted to add my own spin on it and remind IT professionals everywhere that computers are supposed to be FUN!

How Do You Share Your Screen with Friends?

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What do you guys use when you want to share what’s on your screen with someone who doesn’t happen to be in the same room? What if you want to share your screen with up to 20 people from all over the World? And, you don’t want to spend any money… then what? What about when you want to add in features like whiteboarding, chat and audio/video? Rishi from Canada sent me a link to Vyew. Vyew is cross-platform, and is free for up to 20 people. You can purchase an upgrade for your business in order to screen conference with more than the allowed 20.

With Vyew you can give a presentation to a hundred people online or post a document you’ve been working on for review by your colleagues at their convenience. Vyew is extremely flexible allowing you to bring online collaboration and conferencing into your workflow on your terms.

Vyew has so many features, I can’t even begin to list them all. It has external publishing capabilities, screen capturing, drawing tools, and even VoIP. So if you ever have a need or desire to share your desktop with others, be sure to check out Vyew.


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VNC or Remote Desktop or What?

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My last caller for tonight was AfroThunder, another long-time member. He was wondering if I know of any KVM’s with USB support. There are several out there, but I’m unsure as to what brand may be better. You definitely want to get the most for your money. You have to keep in mind what kind of video it supports. I’m unsure of pricing, also. He plans to use the KVM to switch from the Notebook to the Desktop.

Instead of doing this, I wonder if he’s thought of using Win2VNC.

This program will let you use two screens on two different computers as if they were connected to the same computer. It even works between different operating systems.

If you have two or more computers on your desk and you are tired of having several keyboards and mice around to control them, this is the program for you. While running this program, you can move the mouse pointer beyond the right or left edge of your primary display and the pointer will appear on the other computer screen. If you have ever used x2x or a computer with two graphics cards, you know what I am talking about.

The program will open a small (one pixel wide) window on the edge of your screen. Moving the pointer into this window will trigger the program to take over your mouse and send mouse movements and keystrokes though the RFB protocol to a VNC server running on another machine. When the pointer is moved back towards the opposite edge on the other screen, the mouse is returned to your primary display.

The operation itself is almost identical to x2x, but most of the code was actually borrowed from the program vncviewer.

Win2VNC works with Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. Note that if your secondary machine is running X-windows, you will need to use x0rfbserver rather than the regular Xvnc server to achieve the proper effect.

Win2VNC normally lives in the system tray and has a menu there that allows you to exit the program, send syskey events and save connection options.


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Computer Tech Support with Citrix GoToAssist (Beta)

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Ever since we brought Citrix and GoToMeeting aboard as a sponsor, we’ve had tremendous feedback. Every day, our users ask if we can start a GoToMeeting, to have a live ‘meeting’ together, and share desktops.

What if you want to do the opposite, though? Let’s say for arguments’ sake that your Mom is having a problem with some software. You’re on the phone, trying in vain to help her through it. She’s not understanding what it is you’re telling her, and you’re both getting frustrated. Trying to initiate a remote desktop session with those who don’t know how to use it is a challenge and a half.

Enter a new Beta program from Citrix, called GoToAssist. This is a public beta that will allow you to initiate screen sharing sessions with either a Windows or a Mac user. The controlling client is currently only available for a Windows platform, but you can still access a Mac system. This is your chance to give feedback to this company to tell them what you’ve always wanted and needed in a client like this. Oh… did I mention you can open multiple sessions at once?

Here’s what’s exciting about GoToAssist Express:

  • Designed for speed – you can start sessions in seconds
  • Easy for you and your clients to use – clients only click once to connect
  • Creates a “like-being-there” support experience that saves money and travel time

I definitely want to thank the people at Citrix for being such an amazing sponsor, and for opening this up to be a public Beta. Please take the time to try this product for yourself, and send them feedback. Let them know what a great community this is that we’ve built, and show them how much help you can be in shaping their products.


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What is LogMeIn?

YouTube subscriber, Dustin Alden:

Chris, I currently work as a student employee in the aerospace helpdesk at the University of North Dakota. We have a lot of computers here to take care of in the aerospace buildings, including full student labs and faculty computers.

Recently we started using this free Log Me In software: logmein.com. What it does is allow you to access any computer you install the software on; it gives you full admin control over the remote computer. So you install the software – it takes maybe 30 seconds – onto any computer you wish to access. Then, at your own computer you log onto the website and you have a full list of all the computers you can access. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about ports or IP addresses or any other nonsense, it’s all automatic.

This is great for me because I can do updates and software fixes on any computer in the entire aerospace from my desk or even from home! Anyway, I think it’s a great software and I think it could benefit many people in our community.

Yeah, LogMeIn is pretty slick – they’re the people who deploy Hamachi for personal use. Not quite like GoToMeeting, but useful in a different way. I like the elegance and simplicity of iChat 4.0, if only more people were using OS X! 🙂