Monday, December 31, 2007

Remote Desktop for Apple Macs

Last Christmas, I got my parents an iMac to replace their aged and infested PC. So far, this has worked quite well, but I keep running into the same problem: I need to walk them through some task, and doing it over the phone does not seem to work.

So what I'm looking for is remote control software that would let me see (and interact) with my parents machine over the internet. Ideally, I should be able to run the client from either a PC or Mac, so that I can walk them through something from home or at work. It looks like I have 3 choices:
  1. Timbuktu - Expensive. It looks like you need a full license, just to run the client, which means I need 2 or 3 licenses, at ~$99 a pop.
  2. Fog Creek's CoPilot - pay per use (5$), and I can't easily use it to log in and requires that my parents initiate.
  3. Home-grown VNC solution - requires setting up a VNC server exposed though a ssh tunnel, as well as some sort of dynamic-dns so that I can find the machine.
Right now I thinking to use CoPilot to address the current problem, since that is cheap and easy. I've never used it though. Any caveats I should know about? Any alternate suggestions my Googling missed?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Back from Africa

Just returned from 3 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania. Did you know that Tanzania is more properly pronounced something like tan-tay-nia? We spent some awesome time in a bungalow on the beach my Mombasa. We went to an amazing wedding in Nairobi (a friend of a friend was the groom). We spent 3 days on Safari in Maasai Mara. I'll upload pictures soon. Then we were off to Kilimanjaro. 6 days of sweating and I made it to the top! After that we were all exhausted and slummed it around the hotel mostly.

Overall it was an amazing trip. It was full of adventure and the unexpected. Hiking up Kili was the most demanding task I've ever attempted. I'm still amazed I made it to the top. The Safari was amazing. I loved seeing the animals, but it felt really odd driving a car around and chasing after these poor animals. Better than a zoo though.

And now after almost 24 hours of travel, we are home. My cat is curled up at my feet. And I have to work tomorrow with 11 hours of jet lag.

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