What is it all about?
by Peter Doshi, firstname.lastname@example.org
What price would you give to use your computer from anywhere in the world?
What would you give to be able to remotely control somebody else's
computer as if you were in front of it? If the answer is anything but nothing,
then VNC is definitely
the product for you. In fact, before you take out your wallet, you might want
to know that it's also FREE. Yes, free.
The idea of Virtual Network Computing is all a bit confusing at
first. Take a look at some screenshots to get
familiar with this revolutionary, new idea. Click on the thumbnails for
|Windows Desktop on a Macintosh Computer
||Windows Desktop in Netscape on a Unix Computer
||Unix Desktop on a Macintosh Computer
||Windows Desktop on a Unix Computer
These screenshots were taken from the VNC Screenshot
Uses of VNC
Let's say you're working on a document at work. Then you go home for
the day and realize you need to continue on your project. Since the work
computer is always connected to the internet, you merely dial-up to your
ISP and start your VNC and connect to your machine at work and continue
right where you left off, perhaps even starting right in the middle of
the sentence you were writing when you left. This is an example of
VNC's ``stateless'' quality.
Another use is for LAN users. Using VNC, you can see and use the computer
physically located somewhere else in the building from your own desk. This
could be a colleague who needs to be shown how to configure or set something
up on her computer. With VNC, as you control her computer, she'll be able
to watch you move the mouse and get the work done.
Merging Operating Systems:
Another use utilizes the cross-platform aspect of VNC. The fact that you
can virtually be at your desk no matter where you are, means you don't need
to find a program here and a program there to accomplish your work. You
simply use your own computer wherever you go as if you were sitting in front
So the use of VNC can be divided into two. Either you use it to use
other computers, or you use it to use your own computer no matter where
you are. The ability to do everything from anywhere is a powerful selling
point of this product. The other selling point it has is that it's
Let me use my own computer through another computer? Yes. VNC runs on a
variety of platforms. Currently, these are Windows 95/98, Windows NT 4.0,
Solaris 2.5, Linux, FreeBSD, Macintosh, and DEC Alpha OSF1 3.2. From any
platform to another or the same platform, VNC will bridge the gap.
For all you programmers: The software is free, covered under the terms and
conditions of the GNU General Public License. First read what ORL has to say about this.