Remote Desktop Experiments or Running Your Ham Gear While on Travel – Part 2

As you know from Part One of this rant, I was experimenting with a free product called Log Me In from logmein.com. Surprisingly enough, I found that I also had full remote desktop functionality while using Log Me In from my HP RX4240 hand held. I simply pointed my good old (cough – choke – sputter) IE (Internet Destroyer as I like to call it) Browser which is of course embedded in Windows Mobile 5 and Presto! Well, almost… Once I logged into the Log Me In Site, and it detected that I was running IE, (can’t see any other way of it knowing) I was asked to install a module on the RX4240. The installation of the module was flawless and nearly transparent. I was then presented with the usual Log Me In web page as I would on any local desktop. I simply clicked the link to my remote desktop with the stylus and was presented with the remote desktop user name and password.

Once logged in, I had full control. As I recall, the first time I was prompted to also select a new, local desktop background. The only minor issue encountered was scrolling. Log Me In accounted for scrolling around the remote desktop by simply using the stylus pen. By pressing it lightly against the edges (corners or sides) of the hand held window caused the the remote screen to scroll around quickly. To my surprise, the response time was very good even over my 802g WIFI connection. Log Me In provides options which can be chosen in a mini menu bar displayed at the top of the screen. The free version offers functions to alter the screen size, scale to fit, zoom, screen rotation (90 deg), to pop up the hand held keyboard and a scroll lock function (and exit of course). A correction from part one. Only remote control is offered in the free version. As I may have mentioned, there are may more options available in the PRO version.

Testing Echolink was basically the same as it was in Part One. See Part One for details. Skype came to the rescue again to cover the audio part of connection. I’d like to hear from anyone who tries these or similar combinations. Perhaps there is someone who has the equipment to try this combination of software to run their BIG RIG while at work, away on business or on vacation.

Remote Desktop Experiments or Running Your Ham Gear While on Travel – Part 1

This past weekend I was experimenting with a free product called Log Me In from logmein.com. Log Me In is simple to set up and the only requirement for a download of the free software is to create a general user account. No specific information is required except a user name, password and email address. Specific information is of course required to purchase the rather pricey “PRO” version. One caveat, be sure to download and install the free version, otherwise you will see that you will be running the “free 90 day PRO trial”. If this happens to you, log into their site and change the account type back to the free version.

The premise behind Log Me In is that you “link” your home or other Windows desktop with Log Me In. Once your home system is linked, you will have remote control of your desktop as well as file transfer and printing capabilities. When accessing these features, your desktop user name and password are required as an additional level of security. Response time while manipulating the desktop was more than acceptable. During my first “test” my bandwidth was over cable but, based on my second experiment which will be in PART TWO, I suspect the bandwidth of DSL is more than sufficient.

The free version offers remote desktop, printing and file transfers. As you may already suspect, the PRO version offers many more options. One of those missing components of the free version is transferring sound over to the remote computer. Once again it’s free software to the rescue! You may have heard of or already use Skype. Again, Skype is simple to set up and there are only two “tricks” to using it in a remote scenario like this. First, create one user account for your home desktop and a different account for your remote computer. Second, set up the home desktop Skype to “Auto Answer” incoming calls. This setting is found under tools/options/call settings/advanced section. That way you can simply call yourself.

My first test was to use Log me In conjunction with Skype to run Echolink from my remote location (work). Of course this could also be used to run your BIG RIG with CAT software, etc. To accomplish this:

  • Assuming that Log Me In and Skype are properly installed on both systems:
    • Call your home desktop via Skype.
    • Access Log me In and log in via the Remote Desktop option.
    • When your home desktop is displayed, run Echolink as you normally would.
      • You may have to use the lightning bolt of the Echolink menu bar to switch between transmit and receive since the remote space bar doesn’t cut it! You may have better luck than I did…

Stay tuned for PART TWOUsing my handheld RX4240 with Skype and Log me In.