Remote Control PC Repair – Cross Platform

It fascinates me to no end, just how companies come along and pretend like we live in a single platform universe. At the very least, you darn well better consider OS X as a serious player, as Linux is continuing to work on gaining its land legs. So in light of a number of people asking me what the best means is to provide remote control PC repairs, back in my day, it was generally using the built-in Windows remote tools or something like VNC.

Today, I have to say, the choices are better, but with a twist. While others options like GoToAssist and WebEx are apparently subscription based, it is nice to see that the up and coming Bomgar box is not. I have decided that if I was in the market, I would likely use Bomgar and here is why.

  • What platforms do you support? With the Bomgar homepage, I simply clicked onto the “box” that was the best fit for my pretend business in this example. Immediately, I was informed that Bomgar supported all three platforms on the client side. With WebEx and GoToAssist on the other hand, I had to dig and dig for this painfully important information. I still cannot remember how I eventually found the page with GoToAssist – seriously, the requirements should have been front and center, not buried in the FAQs. WebEx was just as bad.
  • Bombar allows me to choose my representative’s OS, not the other way around. WebEx and GoToAssist, not so much.
  • No idea how much it costs, but I tend to agree, if the free trial has you impressed, owning the box is a hell of a lot better than renting services that cannot even make system requirements part of their selling point! But I would request a ROI assessment myself just in case.

Later in the week, I will be talking about how to use something like Bomgar to take your PC repair biz to the next level. Stop working like it is 1998 and join us in the next century. Stay tuned if cutting down on some of your driving time for PC repairs interests you. PC repair in your underwear? Now that is a title I could live with!

[tags]remote access, computer repair, VNC[/tags]

Fog Creek Enhances Copilot Remote Access software

Just a quick post to tell you all that Fog Creek has added more functionality to its Copilot remote access service. I first wrote about Copilot in November of 2005. Recently, it added some great new features. The one I am most excited about is that Copilot is now cross-platform and works with with Mac OS X. This is a huge help as I have a lot of Mac users out there that I assist, and now I can reach into their Macs the same way I have been with my Windows clients. There’s also a file transfer utility, which I haven’t used yet, but it’s there if I need it.

Some of us may have homebrew solutions utilizing the various VNC tools out there, but some of those require significant effort on the part of the remote “helpee.” Copilot just requires them to input an invitation code and then download and run a small piece of software. It works seamlessly across just about any router and firewall.

So kudos to Fog Creek for beefing up an already excellent tool.

[tags]Fog Creek, Copilot, VNC, OS X, Mac[/tags]

That New Elvis Impersonator Smell

When I got into Las Vegas the other day, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. Here’s what I had to say about the matter:

I don’t gamble, and the big event doesn’t begin for a couple of days. Parties are only at night, so what’s a geek supposed to do in Vegas if he’s already been up and down the strip a few times in earlier years? I suppose I could take in a show, but that’s just not fun unless someone else is with me. We’ve got a full year ahead of us (with a trip to Iowa in March, Gnomedex likely coming in June, and our wedding in November), but one of these days Ponzi and I should schedule a Vegas vacation and take in all the Cirque du Soleil shows in one fell swoop. I’m never in Vegas for anything other than business it seems, since I can’t stand the smell of smoke or Elvis impersonators (or the smell of Elvis impersonators). They say that whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but what about those of us who are far less mischeivous? Oh, I know – I’ll find an all-night buffet and eat my way to 700 pounds! I hear the chocolate in Vegas has no calories. Anybody else around? I gotta get a good steak before I leave.
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