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  • Log Me In

    Posted by Dan from Madison on November 19th, 2008 (All posts by )

    I suppose I am WAY behind the curve here, but just today I have discovered a product that will make my life much simpler.

    As of late I have taken on some additional responsibilities wrt my career, and the extra load requires that I need to work at home on occasion. I didn’t really have a way to access my work computer, where pretty much everything I need is located. Well, I could have paid some people to set up secure layers and such to enter the private network, but this solution is cumbersome.

    A tech services guy said to just do it the easy way, and use Log Me In. This is a program that you download into your PC. After you do that, you can access that PC from anywhere you have an internet connection, as long as the PC is powered up and has an internet connection. You are literally controlling and working with the PC from wherever you are, real time. My only stumbling block was that I didn’t remember my Windows username and password – I just changed them and everything worked out great.

    Like I said, I am probably WAY behind the curve here, but this is like angels singing for the use I am going to get out of it. And the price can’t be beat – zero.

    I am not much into pushing products, but this one is a winner if you need access to a remote computer that may have a document on it that you need.

    As a birthday/Xmas present I plan on getting a Blackberry or other device like that – I hope Log Me In works as well with that as it does on my home laptop. But I bet the small Blackberry screen will be some sort of challenge. We will see.

    Cross posted at LITGM.

     

    9 Responses to “Log Me In”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      “you can access that PC from anywhere you have an internet connection, as long as the PC is powered up and has an internet connection.”

      And so can everyone else in the known physical universe.

    2. Dan from Madison Says:

      “And so can everyone else in the known physical universe” – as long as they have your passwords, I suppose that is true.

    3. DoneThat2 Says:

      I’ve used Logmein for a couple of years. One of its advantages is a built-in encryption scheme that functions between your PC and the Logmein servers. How is this a benefit? If you travel a lot, it provides a secure means to perform certain activities with your own laptop when on the road.

      Let’s say you’re in a hotel room with an internet connection and you have a burning desire to purchase something on Amazon.com. From your hotel room, login to your home PC using your laptop and Logmein.com — this creates a secure connection from the laptop in your hotel room to your home PC. Once connected to your home PC, login to Amazon.com through your home PC. Now, go ahead and make your Amazon purchase with credit card information with the confidence that no one in between you and Logmein.com servers can snoop your private information.

      (Note: The Logmein secure transmission is worthless if you are using a 3rd party (not your own) PC/laptop that has been compromised.)

    4. Obloodyhell Says:

      LOL, this sort of feature has been around for, literally, decades. It’s basically, in one form or another, turning the local machine into a remote terminal of the other machine.

      Not commenting on how secure and effective logmein is, just noting that the functionality isn’t even remotely new. Laplink and PC Anywhere are downright ancient examples.

    5. Dan from Madison Says:

      OBH – I did say WAY behind the curve…twice. But I didn’t think decades – did they do it over phone lines “back in the day”? That had to be cumbersome.

    6. Obloodyhell Says:

      > OBH – I did say WAY behind the curve…twice. But I didn’t think decades – did they do it over phone lines “back in the day”? That had to be cumbersome.

      Well, terminal software has been around since modems were first created — it was their primary purpose, giving one the ability to log into a computer from anyplace with a phone line. That was even before the universal jacks became standard, when Ma Bell (or whomever, wherever you were) had the power to control what was hooked up to their lines.

      That’s what accoustic couplers did, at 150-300 baud (15-30 chars per second).

      However, the PC mainly came of age with the original IBM PC (1980) and the first Compaq luggables(1982). Very shortly after that, there were programs which allowed terminal-type control over MS-DOS based systems, essentially transforming the controlled computer’s screen and keyboard into the distant one you were sitting at. That would have been with 9600 bps (960cps) modems and 2400 baud(240 cps) modems standard.

      I can recall some pretty sophisto arrangements back ca. 1988 for doing that… most of the software had become fully programmable so you could even automate activities if you knew what you were doing — you could log onto a site (not the web, although the web existed back then — likely a bulletin board system, but actually tying directly into a computer wasn’t much more difficult), download a large, variable selection of desired data from pages, and then view it locally and much more quickly, at your leisure. But controlling the distant computer was fully possible, too (it served less purpose for the average person, because in most cases, the PC was less integrated into one’s activities — No home media services, etc.)

      The bandwidth requirements to do this for Windows boxes went up, because the graphics elements clearly need to be transferred, but modems were at least keeping a sort of steady pace (POTS modems topped out at ca. 50kbps — 5000cps) so you could certainly do windows controlling over the net, though I’d suspect running many programs themselves would be somewhat painful… so the usual solution would be to log onto the machine, transfer a data file to your local device, work on it locally, and then xfer it back if needed.

      As broadband has taken off, I think you could now actually run many programs through the internet for the most part (latency — the delay as info passes through the net, which is not directly connected to “speed” becomes far more relevant). I would suspect that gaming in many, if not all cases, is largely impractical (and why would you do this?), as is video editing and video playing and certain other high-bandwidth processes that tax even the local connections to occur fast enough. But much of that, again, can be handled by the old pattern of copying the data locally and then doing it there. The higher bandwidth certainly makes xferring large files — even multigigabyte files from video — reasonably practical.

      My cousin has used “Internet II” through the county he works for, and says it xfers massive files in realtime, so even those issues are potentially fading (although scaling that up to the needed switching speeds with millions of users may not be practical for a while yet)

      In actual fact, latency is a bigger issue than bandwidth at this point. In Real Time apps like multi-user gaming, it can be a problem. If you’re frozen while the other guy is able to see and shoot you, you’re screwed.

      And this does play into some other, more serious Real World apps such as telecontrol. Just as in the game, if your responses to the teleoperated situations are delayed, that can create issues. This latency is also a problem when teleoperating devices on the moon or mars — delays between an event and the telops responses can be a significant fraction of a second on the moon, and even longer for things like the Mars Rover — just because of the speed of light taking time to send signals back and forth.

      Even entirely earthbound, this isn’t trivial. If the signal goes to a geosync satellite and back, that’s 50k miles. Then 50k miles for the response, even if it’s instantaneous. Which means 100k miles for the signal to transfer to the other side of the world and a response to come back. That’s a half second just for transmission at speed of light, minimum. A lot can happen to change the situation in a half-second.

      To put that in perspective, count a half-second response delay just between every step you do in accessing the windows screen — every mouse click, pick, drag, drop, and typing info into your keyboard, etc. It can be painful.

      One effort towards AI is supplementing this sort of thing on the local level, so that the telop gives gross instructions but has less need for absolute direct control of every minute step.

    7. Obloodyhell Says:

      Somewhat OT:
      ============================================================================

      Why I don’t like ITunes — or Apple computers:

      New Apple Laptops Won’t Work With Big Screens

      Apple’s recently released MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops contain a copy protection program that prevents many movies downloaded from Apple’s iTunes site from playing back on large TV monitors and projectors, the website ArsTechnica reported Tuesday. The website said that the software, developed by Intel, called High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (Hdcp) causes an error message to appear when a large TV monitor is hooked up to the laptop. The message reads, “This movie cannot be played because a display that is not authorized to play protected movies is connected — Try disconnecting any displays that are not Hdcp authorized.” Oddly, the copy-protection software appears only to affect movies downloaded from iTunes. Two television shows reportedly played fine.

      If it was downloaded from iTunes — that means that the people in question paid for the right to have it. To watch it when, where, and how they see fit.

      RRRRRRRRRR!

      >:-/

      And the fact that it’s Apple creates issues with having to find what I suppose is a working third-party video driver just to see that which people have legitimately paid for the right to access. Wintel boxes have so many different suppliers and alternative vendors that this couldn’t work, or would have a much harder time being put into effect.

    8. Dan from Madison Says:

      I did notice a delay/choppyness when playing video from the remote computer, even both internet connections are broadband.

    9. Leonard Says:

      I was a longtime user of LogMeIn Rescue, but the service is a bit pricey for my small business helpdesk. We recently made the switch over to Techinline (http://www.techinline.com) which is ut as reliable and secure, and probably much easier to use because nobody has to download or install anything. The pricing is flexible as well, and they have a pay as you go plan, something that I haven’t seen too many other remote support services offer. Overall, it’s a great bang for the buck.