Build Date: Sat Feb 24 08:50:07 2024 UTC

Man, what a shitty week I am having... grumpy doesn't even begin to describe my mood. Chachi, say something stupid so I can yell at you.
-- Johnnie Royale

Coolio VNC! It's the MAN

by Mr. Bad

1999-08-10 19:55:52

All right, I know that remote-access software is not only insecure and bloatacious, but it's also REALLY OLD and BORING technology. But I don't CARE! I love VNC!

VNC is the Virtual Network Computer. It's a protocol and a set of software components (clients and servers on various platforms) for remote access to a computer. That means that a user on one computer can use a completely OTHER computer as if it were the SAME computer.

Like, move the mouse on this computer, the OTHER computer thinks you moved the mouse there. Type here, the words come out THERE, and you can see it on your monitor HERE. Does that make sense? Of COURSE IT DOES.

VNC was originally developed at Olivetti for some project or another, but they quickly realized that it was too cool to leave mouldering as part of some grandiose graphic computer vision, so they released it under the GNU Public License. When Olivetti's labs got bought by AT&T, or something like that, the AT&T kept VNC out in the public, and has continued work on it. Huzzah for them!

Now, sure, there's a ton of remote access options out there, ranging from freako expensive stuff like pcAnywhere, to "system administration" tools like Microsoft's SMS Server and, uh, Back Orifice 2000, to general-purpose remote desktop stuff like X-windows. But I like VNC!

There's a lot of reasons why. A) It's free. I mean, Free, like Free Software free, under GPL. B) It's Open Source, so I'm not as worried about security hassles as with proprietary, closed systems. C) It's real easy to set up and use.

D) Unlike X-windows, there's Free (note caps) clients available on a lot of platforms. I've fucked around with "X servers" (which would be the "client" for any decent and logical architecture) for Windows too many times. I'm sick of it. Fuck it. I'll stick with VNC. Finally, E) There's a ton of VNC SERVERS available for different platforms. That means I can manage my NT boxen from my Linux boxen and vice versa. Cool!

They even have a Javur applet all BUILT IN and shit, which means that you can manage a VNC-serving machine just by connecting to it with a Javur-enabled browser. A whole computer in your Javur applet! Beaujolais to that!

Now, sure, there's a lot of security hassles with having a server that allows your computer to be hijacked from other computers. Fucking DUH. But there are ways to alleviate that risk. I use a firewall for the main VNC port, then use SSH to tunnel through. It's encrypted, fairly secure, and it's extra super fun. I only keep the VNC server going while I'm working, so it's fairly (knock-on- wood) OK.

I recommend this product or service! Go check out VNC today!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

quadratic@pigdog.org

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