Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a bit more than normally interested in Computers. So of course whom do they contact when they have problems with theirs ? Lucky guess. But figuring the problem over the phone isn’t always as easy, and some of my friends being “Twelve O’Clock Flashers” – explaining them what to do isn’t all that easy either.
The best way, sometimes, is using Remote Desktop. But this usually involves getting the already troubled users to download and install a small client of some sort and guide them through that. And, well… Let’s just say I sometimes hate being the one they call. However…
I’ve come a cross a great tool for the job, which allows me to help without all that hassle – and best of all – it’s free !!
No Setup Problems
I’ve been using a free service from LogMeIn.com – which allows me to take full control over my friends and colleagues’ computers. The drawback is that they need to download and install a small application and register at the LogMeIn Website (with my guidance). The other drawback is that Once they are in my system – they stay there – for better or worse.
I just discovered that LogMeIn have a hidden treasure in their collection called LogMeIn Express that uses Flash. This little tool requires very little from the people in trouble. It is still in Beta, so there aren’t too much features yet but I’m sure there will be pretty soon.
No Download, No Setup, No Registering…
There is nothing to download or setup, only a small utility that the user sharing his/her desktop, need to activate via the website. The (up to 100) other users, only need a 9 digit key provided by the main user.
The Person sharing his desktop can choose which visitor to control his computer (if any). LogMeIn Express also support file-sharing and chat. Which is all you need, really.
Here’s How it works
Surf to: LogMeIn.com. As it’s still in Beta the URL is long, so I have made a short-URL for my own personal use, but feel free to use it: .
Tell your friend in need, to visit the above website and click on Share, then Click Run to allow it. The utility will self-install and display a 9-digit serial number, which he or she need to give you. You type this number into the text field (on the above website) and.. wait for it … you are both online. Remote Desktop the easy way!
The toolbox is very self-explanatory. After all my 11-year-old daughter managed to chat with me after looking at it for 10 seconds, and she doesn’t even read English that well … yet. Anyways this is what it looks like:
The Chat window (shown above) opens automatically when the connection is set up. When you are done helping, just close the window and the application will uninstall itself. It cannot get any easier (or better).
The Session is online as long as the main desktop has the application running. If you need to take a break from the session, the main user may PAUSE the sharing without the need of closing it down. Also, on a dual monitor system the remote desktop will only show the main monitor.
If you require the ability to remote control a desktop without having another user on the other computer to let you in. I recommend that you sign up for the Free Account at www.LogMeIn.com