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