always seemed like one of those magic technologies. Using it, you can
sit at one computer and get another computer's desktop in a window on
your screen. Click on a menu on the picture in the window and the menu
drops down, on both your screen and on the remote computer. You can
open programs, access documents, or print on a computer that could be
in the next office
or halfway across the world.
trick is nothing new. Products such as
Travelling Software 's Laplink or Symantec's pcAnywhere have been
around for years, selling to niche markets like users who want to use
their computers at home or on trips to access the system back in their
office. Such software has been a real boon to technical support people.
With it, they can check a user's setup, even making configuration
changes as required, all without leaving their desk.
once had to use proprietary technologies, now they are able to take
of the Net's open standards and near-universal availability. As a
remote access technology is showing up in other products. For example:
Professional (though not the Home version) offers a Remote Desktop.
The computer being accessed needs to be running XP Pro, and will be
so no one else can access that computer's data or applications. You do
need to be running XP Pro on the other computer, however. Client
is included on the Windows XP CD for any Windows version from Win 95
is a popular program aimed at small and home-based
businesses. Two new versions add remote access features for increased
productivity. QuickBooks Premier 2002 ($499) builds on the
previously-available $329 QuickBooks
Pro and $169 QuickBooks with more report templates, enhanced
reconciliation reporting, and improved journal entries. But the big
addition is remote
access, working over the Internet with customized software from WebEx.
QuickBooks Premier running on a computer in the office, users can
to their accounting data from any computer with Internet access and a
browser. No custom software is needed. The connection is password
and cannot be used to access any data or applications on the remote
except the QuickBooks accounting data.
suggests, QuickBooks Premier: Accountant Edition, is aimed at
It too uses WebEx to allow remote access of accounting data, but with
a twist. Where the regular Premier version aims to allow users remote
access to their own data, the Accountant Edition allows accountants to
remotely access their clients' data, but only with the client's
way, with the accountant and client each at their own computer, the
can provide training and support, update accounts, or back up and
files. The accountant can circle questionable data, and each party can
type in questions to the other, all in real time. The accountant needs
to be running Accountant Edition; the client, however, can be running
any 2002 version of QuickBooks. Professionals obtain the Accountant
by joining Intuit's $359 Intuit
Advisor Program .
ever, no computer need be an island unto itself. (Worth checking: VNC:
Virtual Network Computing from AT&T's Cambridge (U.K.) lab. This
is free remote control software for Windows, Mac, Linux, and other
You can access a Windows machine from a Mac or vice versa: