Periodically, a product comes to market that improves my life considerably. Today, I’ll mention two such wonders.
LogMeIn, found at http://www.logmein.com, lets me and Mark the PACS Guru take care of a lot of computers in a lot of places. There are various services offered including LogMeIn IT Reach, which is the one we use the most. This advanced program gives me remote control access to the target machine, the ability to perform management functions (turn services on and off, for example, remote reboot, and even direct file transfer). There is a free version that just gives one remote control, pretty nice for the price. This system is secure with 256-bit encoding, and the best part is that it will automatically negotiate firewalls, with no need to fool around with port-forwarding and the like. LogMeIn also offers a “Rescue” product that doesn’t require any software installation on the receiving end. There is even a new service called Hamachi which is “a zero-configuration virtual private networking (VPN) application. In other words Hamachi is a program that allows you to arrange multiple computers into their own secure network just as if they were connected by a physical network cable.” LogMeIn just might put the networking guys out of business! Well, not yet. My little illustration is prompted by the Chinese-dish sound of the non-caps version, logmein…like chow mein, get it?
Carbonite (http://www.carbonite.com), like its namesake, is a protective shell of sorts. I had been looking for a way to back-up my computer onto some nebulous place on the internet, and Carbonite provides this. It works like a charm. Basically, one just installs the small app and it backs up whatever portion of your disk you specify, up to and including the whole thing if you wish. The price is pretty reasonable, depending on how long you contract for the service. Check it out!