I’m going to advocate a technology that, while not new per se, is something that I have started using in the past week or so. This is VNC (as you may have surmised from the title) which stands for Virtual Network Computing. Basically VNC allows me to access my desktop at work - or home from my laptop - or any other computer with a VNC viewer installed. So, while I am in Durham at the moment, I am able to connect to my desktop in Halifax and work as if I was sitting in front of that computer. It is truely useful. Oh and it is free. And it is available for numerous platforms (like OS X) and is an open-source project that was originally started by some programmers from AT&T.

This lets me work from home - using UltraEdit on my laptop which I’ll admit is something that it lacks. Another similar solution to this is RDC - Remote Desktop Connection. However this only available to connect to WinXP Pro, Win 2000 Advanced Server and Win 2003 machines. While I can connect from my laptop using RDC, I found that it was unstable. Programs would crash on my WinXP computer at work when I would connect using RDC and it wasn’t really any faster than VNC - so I know the clear winner of this battle.

Anyway… you can google for VNC or visit RealVNC for more info and downloads.

Written by Colin Bate