Supergeek gets a raise

Efficiency. That's what they like down at the office. Especially at "end of year" review time! Are you prepared?

By DAVID SHAMAH
December 1, 2005 14:21
4 minute read.
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logmein88. (photo credit: )

 
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Efficiency. That's what they like down at the office. Especially at "end of year" review time! Are you prepared? Well of course you are. Who would go unprepared into a meeting where the boss is going to decide on your salary for the coming year - or even if you are going to have a salary at all! But don't worry - you've got a good case. You've worked hard, spent long hours slaving away on projects, and even taken work home to make sure it all got done on time and on target. You've even got an ace in the hole; your latest project is going to rake in millions for the company. It's sheer genius! You've been working hard on getting every detailed nuance in place; in fact, you spent all last night working on the finishing touches, smoothing out even further the already very smooth edges. You're all ready for the big show; the top brass is getting ready to sit down, soon to be wowed by your top-notch presentation. There's just one problem; the final version is on your home computer - and you forgot to copy it over! Doh! Does this sound like something that would happen to you? I hope not, but it happened to me not too long ago. Double Doh!! Considering that my presentation was supposed to be about how spending wads of cash on a new computer system would save the company oodles of money (oodles, of course, being a far greater unit of measurement than wads), it could have been a rather embarrassing dilemma. Here I was, working on a presentation promoting computer efficiency - and I had done a most inefficient thing, in leaving an important project inaccessible because I did it on an inaccessible computer! Time to start cleaning out the old desk, right? Well, maybe for mere mortals; but being a computer supergeek, I was all ready for something like this. I just mozied on down to my desk, opened up my Internet browser, surfed to my home computer, and e-mailed myself the presentation! This particular feat of heroism I cannot attribute to my own super powers, however. I was able to pull off this trick because I had signed up for LogMeIn (http://logmein.com), which offers a free service that lets you access your home computer (or network) via a secure Web connection, right from your browser! There are actually several ways to access a computer remotely using the Internet. Many people have used products like PCAnywhere, which installs a special server on your target computer that lets you log in remotely. And there are also plenty of programs that let you set up a "tunnel" via software (like TightVNC, http://www.tightvnc.com). But those programs, and especially VNC type programs, require a fairly sophisticated knowledge of networking - the average user is not going to bother with them. That's the beauty of LogMeIn - you set up the program once on each computer you want to access, and you can log onto them automatically just by clicking on a link or choosing a bookmark or favorite from your browser's list. All you have to do is supply a password, and you're in! LogMeIn for Windows comes in two flavors - free and pay. The pay version ($70 per year) lets you copy files, back up your computer - even print on your remote (i.e. the computer that you are connecting from) printer! The free version lets you use the computer remotely and perform any function remotely that you could from the computer itself (i.e., if you're logging in from the office, you would be able to print a document on your home printer). And although the efficiency of being able to print a document at the office while it's sitting on your home PC is very cool, you can get the same document printed out by sending yourself an e-mail from your home to your office account, including the document in question as an attachment. And of course, any other task - like helping your kids print out a document for a school project when they run into trouble while you're away - is a piece of cake. But is this safe? Aren't you opening up your connection to possible hacking by troublemakers by enabling a connection to your actual computer desktop? Well, I hope not; but LogMeIn uses a very strong encryption method, and if I were a hacker, I could think of a dozen far easier ways to invade my desktop than to try to take on LogMeIn - which I'd probably fail in hacking anyway. And if I was that good, believe me, I wouldn't bother hacking with small fry home PCs like mine! Hacking may impress some people, but believe me, your friends and colleagues - not to mention the boss - are going to be a lot more impressed with LogMeIn! ds@newzgeek.com

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