Wednesday, November 15, 2006

How can you be in two places at once?

sound When you're not anywhere at all? It's actually so very, very easy with the Internet. But, first I must tell you where that sound clip above comes from. Firesign Theatre is a radio/sound effects/comedy/story telling group that provided me with almost as many wasted hours of entertainment during college as the Internet does now. They were almost a cult in the early 70s. When Jim and I first met (in the early 90s) there was one conversation where I said something like 'Oh, how can you be in two places at once ..." I knew I was quoting Firesign Theatre, but I didn't think anyone else would. Jim came right back with, " ... when you're not anywhere at all." Ah yes, love at first quote. So, anyway, back to computers. The last few days we were in Fort Lauderdale. We left the motorhome in Zolfo Springs. That means that all my computer equipment was in Zolfo Springs (I have a desktop) when I was in Fort Lauderdale. We were going to be staying at my Mom's and she has a nice computer and a fast connection, so it's not like I'd have withdrawals or anything - I can check my email via webmail. The only problem would be if one of my Website customers needed a change on their website. All my web development tools are on my desktop. I would only be gone a few days - but I know there are times when they need a change made, and they need it NOW! So, just in case, we left my computer on, we left the satellite dish up on locked on signal, and we left the remote control software running. Sure enough, I got a call Monday morning with a request to put a message onto a customer's website ASAP! I told them it may be a couple days - they were disappointed but understanding. Then, crossing my fingers, I got online on my Mom's computer and browsed over to Log Me In, the remote control system that I am currently using. I entered my username and password and, voila! I saw a screen with a link to my desktop computer in the motorhome in Zolfo Springs. I clicked on it, entered another username and password and I was in business. It was as if I was sitting at my computer in the motorhome in Zolfo Springs. I brought up Dreamweaver, opened the client's web page, added the message, and clicked 'upload'. Think about it, I was using the Internet to bring my computer screen to me. Then, using my computer (250 miles away), I used the Internet to upload files to a webserver somewhere else on the Internet. 2 places?! Hey! I can be 3 or 4 places at once! If this sounds like "Remote Assistance" or "GoToMyPC" or "PCAnywhere" that you've used before, you're right. I've used all those too - and love them - especially GoToMyPC. But, I use it so seldom on my computer, I'm not willing to pay any kind of monthly fee, no matter how cheap. offers a free version for just that purpose. I never cease to be amazed at what the Internet makes possible these days. Duluth?! Bucko, you can get Tierra del Fuego on this baby!2places.wav

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