Fancy Sharing Your Stuff?

Basically this post is about a few techy things that I’ve found useful recently.

In work I often find the need to access my PC. Now previously I used a combination of TightVNC and obscure port forwarding on my home router to get past the corporate firewall that I am encumbered with in work.

Now that has all changed with me finding out about a new service called Logmein. Basically you log in via a normal secure website and one of the services is a remote control facility. Obviously for this to work you need to have the server installed on your PC, but it is literally a five minute exercise in going to the website, setting up your free account and downloading and installing the server software. The server sits in your System Tray and makes an outbound connection to the Logmein servers, so there is no need to set up any port forwarding whatsoever. When accessing it remotely, the website simply installs an activex control into Internet Explorer or a plugin into Firefox.

It’s as simple as that.

The other thing I want to talk about is a thing called Orb. Now this is fantastic. Basically it turns your PC into a big streaming media station. You set up your free account, install the server software on your PC and then configure the folders with the videos/pictures/music/documents that you want to be able to access.

You then log into the orb website and you can access all these files. The beauty of it is that when viewing a video or music it will transcode on-the-fly into Windows Media format or flash, so allowing you to stream from your home PC to another PC anywhere on the Internet. The streaming quality is dictated by the upstream bandwidth you have available on your home PC, but even at a low bitrate of 250kb/s I found video perfectly watchable and certainly much better quality than the likes of Dailymotion/Youtube. Music was perfect quality and saves having to find an Internet radio station that plays the kind of music that you like, as you have access to your complete music library.

I heartily recommend both of these programs.


TightVNC – remote control software
Logmein – remote control software
Orb – media streaming software

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