Desktop: Geeking from afar

Being a newzgeek can be rough; everybody thinks I know everything there is to know about what is wrong with their PC.

computer 88 (photo credit:)
computer 88
(photo credit: )
Being a newzgeek can be rough; everybody thinks I know everything there is to know about what is wrong with their PC. Well, they're right: I do know everything there is to know about the subject. The problem is trying to figure out exactly what needs fixing. If I had a shekel for every phone call I get, where somebody tells me: "I have this thing on my screen - how do I get rid of it?" What thing? Where on the screen? Which program are they using? It takes a good half hour of Socratic questioning to get to the bottom of some of these mysteries. Not that I mind - it comes with the territory. But in the interest of efficiency, it would be helpful if you could come up with a description beyond "my e-mail is broken." I know I speak for your local geek as well: Help us to help you by being clearer about what you need. So what can you do to save us time - and more quickly get your problem solved? Install a remote viewing tool - something like the free Mikogo screen sharing tool (http://www.mikogo.com/), a free program which lets you run secure meetings over the Internet - as well as letting you share your screen with a geek, letting him or her see exactly what the problem is and zero in on the exact solution you need. There are a number of remote PC connection tools out there, but they're either a challenge for the computer-challenged to set up, or they cost money, at least for some of the more advanced features. With Mikogo, you can share a screen, files or control of your desktop over the Internet using VNC-style security. You can share a screen with one, or several, participants and switch the screen being viewed by everyone in the middle of the meeting. You can also let any number of users control your computer, including mouse and keyboard - or just grant them access to controlling one application. And, if you want to make someone in your office really paranoid, you can lock them out of a particular meeting - even if they have the password. And while running meetings over the Internet is fine, let's recognize Mikogo for what it is - something to save the sanity of me and my geeky kind. http://www.newzgeek.com