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Old Nov 3, 06, 2:03 pm   #1
 
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Multiple remote users control one computer

My work colleagues and I travel a lot. We all use a program that is running on one computer in our office, so we use GoToMyPC and LogMeIn to control that computer remotely.

It works great - we find that one person can use GoToMyPC and another can use LogMeIn at the same time. It is like two people at the same keyboard, so we can work on the same project together as a team, or one person can use the computer while the other is taking a break.

The problem is that there are three of us, and sometimes all three of us need to remotely log in. Also, one of us sits on the other side of the office, so would like to be hooked up remotely to the computer all the time through the LAN.

Does anyone know any program like GoToMyPC/LogMeIn that is free, easy to use, and won't interfere with either of the other two? Or best yet, a program that will allow multiple simultaneous remote connections?

edit: I guess it doesn't have to be free!
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Old Nov 3, 06, 7:43 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capite
My work colleagues and I travel a lot. We all use a program that is running on one computer in our office, so we use GoToMyPC and LogMeIn to control that computer remotely.

It works great - we find that one person can use GoToMyPC and another can use LogMeIn at the same time. It is like two people at the same keyboard, so we can work on the same project together as a team, or one person can use the computer while the other is taking a break.

The problem is that there are three of us, and sometimes all three of us need to remotely log in. Also, one of us sits on the other side of the office, so would like to be hooked up remotely to the computer all the time through the LAN.

Does anyone know any program like GoToMyPC/LogMeIn that is free, easy to use, and won't interfere with either of the other two? Or best yet, a program that will allow multiple simultaneous remote connections?

edit: I guess it doesn't have to be free!
VNC can be set up that way, to accept multiple simultaneous remote connections.
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Old Nov 3, 06, 7:53 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavalyn
VNC can be set up that way, to accept multiple simultaneous remote connections.


You can't collaborate within the same session thru VNC.

If you're looking for plainly multiple sessions, Unix/Linux would be the best answer. Otherwise, Windows Server.
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Old Nov 3, 06, 7:56 pm   #4
cpx
 
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can you ditch this microsoft operating.. and go with a real operating system?
any unix/linux based OS would make it easy for many people to access the
same system fairly easily... as long as your application/license allows you to do so.
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Old Nov 3, 06, 8:04 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N227UA
You can't collaborate within the same session thru VNC.

If you're looking for plainly multiple sessions, Unix/Linux would be the best answer. Otherwise, Windows Server.
Categorically disagree with VNC session sharing. I just tested that myself to verify. The Windows TightVNC package's VNC server provides for "automatic shared sessions" in its "Advanced" settings.

And given the description by the OP, he's definitely looking for shared session. Otherwise, I'd recommend Terminal Server or something. Or some Linux with remote X. But somehow I doubt that's within the realm of possibilities.

Edit: really, there's no need for bashing Microsoft's OS, pathetic as it may be. If three people need to work on a single PowerPoint presentation, or worse, AutoCAD diagrams, you don't have much of a choice but to use Windows.
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Old Nov 4, 06, 11:15 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpx
can you ditch this microsoft operating.. and go with a real operating system?
any unix/linux based OS would make it easy for many people to access the
same system fairly easily... as long as your application/license allows you to do so.
Unfortunately no, the software we need is Windows only.
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Old Nov 4, 06, 11:16 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavalyn
Categorically disagree with VNC session sharing. I just tested that myself to verify. The Windows TightVNC package's VNC server provides for "automatic shared sessions" in its "Advanced" settings.

And given the description by the OP, he's definitely looking for shared session. Otherwise, I'd recommend Terminal Server or something. Or some Linux with remote X. But somehow I doubt that's within the realm of possibilities.
So are you saying TightVNC should work?
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Old Nov 4, 06, 12:00 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capite
So are you saying TightVNC should work?
Yes.
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Old Nov 4, 06, 3:52 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lavalyn
Yes.
Thanks, I'll give it a try and report back.
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Old Nov 5, 06, 5:06 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Capite
Thanks, I'll give it a try and report back.
it works as advertised, unfortunately the text quality in the viewer isn't so great.
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Old Nov 5, 06, 5:27 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capite
it works as advertised, unfortunately the text quality in the viewer isn't so great.
That's surprising. I have excellent output on VNC; then again, I'm used to using VNC in spectacular (localhost/virtualized) network connections. Have you tried dialing back the amount of compression being used? JPEG compression in particular can be brutal for text work.
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Old Nov 5, 06, 10:40 pm   #12
 
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Thanks! I played around with the compression settings on the TightVNC client and now it looks great.
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Old Nov 6, 06, 5:51 am   #13
 
 
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I always use the options to restrict it to 8-bit color (256 colors) when connecting to one of my windows boxes with vnc.

On the options screen, under Display, check "Restrict pixels to 8 bits (for slow networks)".

The other interesting options, I believe, are on the server side (the machine you're connecting to) such as not displaying the background when a vnc session is active.

-David

Last edited by LIH Prem; Nov 6, 06 at 6:01 am.
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Old Nov 6, 06, 6:27 am   #14
 
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I have used all of the above at one time or another but they all have their weaknesses. Last year our CITG (Chief IT Guru) purchased PC-Duo Remote Control for those of us that travel heavily. It will allow for the sort of collaboration you suggested and you can do John Madden-style drawing on the screen when working with others remotely. I have also used it for quick file transfers. Most importantly, unlike VNC or PCAnywhere this is secure enough that we do not run afoul of company and client security policies.

I think you can get a free trial from their website. Do a Google on 'PC-Duo'.
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Old Nov 6, 06, 9:21 pm   #15
 
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Good tips, thanks!
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