[thelist] Re: Remote Desktop Client on XP Home?

Maximillian Schwanekamp lists at neptunewebworks.com
Mon Jul 4 13:41:52 CDT 2005

Hershel Robinson wrote:
>> I've never used VNC before, but after searching I found something 
>> called [1] Chicken of the VNC, for Mac.  So Chicken of the VNC 
>> installs onto my Mac, and then I have to install TightVNC or RealVNC 
>> onto the PC? 
> Seems to be that way, yes.

Yep.  VNC is a defacto standard (if not an official one, not sure).
Windows actually has Remote Desktop built in, but I found TightVNC to be
a simpler solution, easier to maintain, know it's running, etc.

>> If I install TightVNC or RealVNC onto the PC will that allow me to 
>> access IE 5, 5.5, and 6 on the PC, from my Mac?  The documentation 
>> for all of these apps is not too great from what I can see without 
>> installing the actual applications.

Remote Desktop means you're running the remote computer as though you
were sitting in front of it.  It's just like PC Anywhere or Terminal
Services.  You can use any app installed on the machine this way - all
browsers, office apps, etc.  There's usually some network lag, depending
on your network setup.  Though I recently got a newer 54Mbps router and
I hardly notice lag at all.  It can work across the internet too of
course, but it's much slower.

> Yes, I think if you install either VNC on your PC *and* then launch the
> server app on the PC you will be able to connect, yes. TightVNC has the
> option IIRC to install either server or client software--you will need
> only the server software.

Yep.  On XP (Home or Pro) when installing TightVNC you can opt to set it
as a Windows Service, so that it starts immediately even before any
users have logged in (so that when connecting by VNC, you'll need to login).

> From my experience, the install for TightVNC is a no-brainer and
> launching the server app is also more or less a no-brainer. I say just
> go ahead and try it--you may find that you don't really need any
> documentation for the basic functionality.

Yup.  It's a small app too.

All this said, it sounds to me like VNC would be a suboptimal setup for
you Jono - the Dell machine is in the same room as your Mac, right?
Perhaps you should consider a KVM switch (Keyboard-Video-Mouse).  You
use one keyboard, monitor and mouse to control multiple machines.  I
picked up a used Mac G3 for browser testing too, and got a $20 KVM
switch that works just fine.  In my case, I switch from Win to Mac with
the keyboard (Scroll Lock twice, then arrow key).  The one I bought:

(use the breadcumb nav to shop the rest in the category)

Max Schwanekamp http://www.neptunewebworks.com/

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