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GoToMyPC: It Really Works, Even Under Less Than Optimal Conditions!

A couple of weeks ago, I enlisted the aid of RoadTrip America's technical guru, Craig Smith, to run another test on the "GoToMyPC" remote connectivity software. Craig logged onto the GoToMyPC server via the Web from his home near Toronto, Canada, while I and my laptop were parked a few miles from the Las Vegas strip. The first time I used this software, I chose to use the universal viewer, a utility that requires no downloading, because, at the time, I was unable to download the necessary software onto the remote PC. As I learned during the trial with Craig, there is a huge advantage to using the tools provided by the downloadable software.

The most compelling element to me was the real-time chat window that allowed Craig and I to communicate directly through the desktops of our respective computers. As a collaborative tool it was truly amazing to participate in a session where both us were able to edit the same document at the same time. In essence, this software enabled us to work together in a LAN even though we were physically separated by thousands of miles. We also tested the file transfer and highlight pen utilities, and everything worked!

In his report of the session, Craig wrote: "I have used other well known remote control products over the years, but none of them worked as advertised and with such simplicity. Other products have caused me grief, especially when dealing with different monitors, video resolution and other video set-ups. The testing was not comprehensive, but it did provide a realistic user test including opening and editing a Word document, checking email on Outlook, browsing the Web, navigating the network and printing locally. Testing was flawless. The only issue raised was the occasional short delay in response, similar to the buffering of video streaming, but that can be expected as the connection was between two dial-up computers."

There are a number of software programs now available that enable users to remotely access certain forms of data and e-mail messages from hand-held devices like RIM's Blackberry, other PDA's and certain WAP-enabled phones. If you are seeking fast access to e-mail and other forms of short messaging data from field locations, check out "I'm in Touch" or "WirelessInBox," which use TDMA, and GSM to supply "always-on" connectivity to e-mail, contact lists and some database information.

Unlike the three services listed in the previous paragraph, which are primarily being rolled-out to enterprise and corporate customers and are limited to certain geographic locales and specific software applications, GoToMyPC is available right now and can be used to remotely access any program or data file now stored on your PC. It requires little technical expertise and can purchased and used by anyone who has access to a PC. It is a great product and one that you should consider as one component to your own dashboarding solutions.

Mark Sedenquist
March 11, 2002
Las Vegas, Nevada