Windows Phone Thoughts: Easy Access with Remote Desktop v.1.0

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Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Easy Access with Remote Desktop v.1.0

Posted by John Walkosak in "SOFTWARE" @ 10:00 AM

Have you ever had trouble getting connected to your desktop remotely? I just canít seem to get Terminal Services Client working. Itís embarrassing, but there it is. :oops: But when I found Remote Desktop (version 1.0), from Soft Agency LLC, I knew I was in for a treat. Talk about ease! After downloading it I was controlling my desktop PC from my IPaq - all in about 5 minutes! Read on to find out how I did it.




Remote Desktop is a great utility allowing you to run your desktop system using your Pocket PC.

Remote Desktop - Run your Desktop from your Pocket PC!
Ok, Iíll admit it. I just canít get Terminal Services Client working. Itís embarrassing, but there it is.

Since I got my WiFi setup, I have been experimenting to see how much I can do wirelessly. Email and web browsing are the obvious actions, and it is really cool to surf the new with my backside glued to the couch, but I want more. I want to be so lazy that I might never have to leave the couch. I want to control all of my computers from my IPaq. So I tried to use Terminal Services. I just couldnít make it work. I might just be me, because sometimes Iím mentally all thumbs, but I couldnít get the terminal services server to work on my Win XP box.

So I searched the Internet for an alternate solution and I found Remote Desktop, from Soft Agency LLC (www.pdautilities.com) Talk about ease! After download I was using my desktop PC from my IPaq - all in about 5 minutes

Really easy to use...
Hereís how it works. You install a small server program on your desktop. Once you start the server, the only thing you need to do on the server is to set up a user name and password that you will use to log in from your Pocket PC. No sweat - this is really easy. The catch is, to sign in from the Pocket PC, you must enter the IP address of your server machine. Sometimes finding this may be difficult, but you can use "winipconfig" from a command prompt to query your server machine. Once you have set this address in Remote Desktop PPC software, you simply enter your username and password (which you set on the server) and you are in control.

The first image you get is that of your desktop, resized to fit the screen. Pretty hard to read. But you can zoom in, and the program provides scroll keys to move around (in user definable increments) Since you are using a stylus and not a mouse, tap-holding on icons on the desktop will give you options to click, double click, right click, etc. You are literally controlling your desktop from your Pocket PC.



Figure 1: When you sign in you see your entire desktop (which can be a bit small on a PPC screen )


Figure 2: Using the controls at the bottom of the screen, you can zoom in and pan around.

Need to send a word document to your fax modem, but donít want to get off of the couch? No problem. Want to use your desktopís Internet Explorer 5+ to update your blogger.com postings? Piece of cake. I have even logged on to the desktop and started a session of Windows movie maker to capture a TV show via my desktopís TV tuner card, and then edit the clips, and save the TV show, all while sitting in the back yard (not in a couch, but close enough).


Figure 3: There are an almost unlimited number of things you can use the software to do.

Gotchas
While this program is the epitome of ease to use, it a version 1.0 level product and there are a few rough edges.

  • While on a WiFi connection, the program often gives me a failure when panning. I can simply log in again and continue working, but it is a bit annoying.

  • I would also like to see the product work with Nyditot Virtual Display - Viewing my entire desktop in 240 x 320 is a bit limiting, and changing the resolution thru Nyditot would make it easier to control some programs.

  • Lastly, programs which require a lot of keyboard input (such as CAD or Graphics programs which require the user to hold down the shift key while using the mouse), are impractical if not impossible to control.
Where To Buy
The software can be downloaded from Handango (affiliate). Remote Desktop is available for $14.99. A demo version is also available.

Conclusions
This program is a breeze to use and greatly extends the usability and the fun of my IPaq. Plus, itís really great to do things like control my MusicMatch Jukebox from the couch!

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