Get that clean screen feeling on your Mac.

Get that clean screen feeling on your Mac.

Users on a PC have long since had the ability to use a “Clean” option when
showing their desktops in a GoToMeeting session. This functionality allows
you to hide your desktop icons, task bar, and desktop background.

Until recently we haven’t had the ability to do that with a Mac, however

using a 3rd party application called Backdrop, you can now get some of the
same screen effects.

Once you’ve downloaded the application, open it from your dock using this

Opening the Backdrop application will cause your screen to turn white. You
can change the color by opening preferences:

Once you have selected your color, you will see it change on your
background. What once looked like this:

Now, it looks like this:

Your attendees now see:

Special thanks to the brilliant @ChrisHCitrix for this guide!

Get to know the new GoToMyPC iOS App.

Get to know the new GoToMyPC iOS App.

Last week saw the launch of the new GoToMyPC iOS App.  For iPad users this meant an update providing improved navigation and for iPhone and iPod Touch owners, it meant they were finally untethered from their desktops.  Now that you’ve had a few days to play with the App, I thought I’d go over it’s features and general use in a little more detail.

When you launch the App you’ll see a straight forward login screen with one important feature, the ability to save your Account Password.  This is great because it means you don’t have to type in your case sensitive password each time you want to connect, if you’re anything like me you’ve already got a secure password locking your phone anyway.

Once you are connected you’ll see the gestures you can use while connected.  Now if you’re like me you probably closed this window right away so you could see your desktop and try the App out.   Well no worries, you can launch this window again at any time while you’re in session, but more about this later.  The gestures are very handy, the two I find myself using the most often are the Three Finger Tap and Pinch In and Out.

At the top of the screen you notice a small black tab with an arrow, give it a tap and the Menu bar will drop down.

From left to right; X will end your session and disconnect you from your Host, the Arrows bring up directional arrow buttons for navigating,

next is the Keyboard and the gear brings up the Preferences Window on your Hosts screen,

and finally the Question Mark brings up the Gestures Window you closed so quickly at the start of your session.

The virtual mouse makes navigating on such a small screen very easy, and you can always just tap on your screen to re-position it.  All in all the GoToMyPC iOS App is a dream to operate, there is one tip I’d like to pass on to anyone needing to send a Ctrl+Alt+Delete in order to logon or off Windows on their Host PC.  First hold your iPhone on it’s side in landscape mode and then tap Ctrl then Alt and finally Delete one after another on the keyboard, don’t try and push all three together at the same time.

Personally I’ve enjoyed using GoToMyPC on my iPad and the new App is great on my Wife’s iPod Touch but what I’m really excited about is still coming…. soon.

Troubleshooter’s Toolbox

Troubleshooter’s Toolbox

A couple of months ago I posted this article on becoming a Tech Support Superstar with just an iPad, today I’d like to share some free software you can use while connected to a Windows PC during a support session.

If you have tried the GoToManage iPad App you will have seen just how easy it is to get connected to someone else’s computer, but once you are what then?  Showing Mum or Dad how to do general things is straight forward enough, but what if they are having some real issue, what do you do if they’re….. INFECTED?!

You might not want to admit it but your Parent’s PC might just be a Zombie, all it takes is one little Email attachment.  Now you could just wait until your next visit and go all “Walking Dead” on it, but why not try curing it first from a safe distance.  The great thing about being remotely connected to an infected computer is that as long as you don’t transfer over any infected files to your computer, you have nothing to worry about.  The plan is to build an online tool box of applications that you can remotely download onto the sick PC and run them.

Troubleshooting Check list:

  • Online (or Cloud), storage for files and useful Apps. Both SugarSync and DropBox offer free entry level accounts with more than enough storage for you needs.
  • Assemble the right tools for addressing the various issues the PC may be suffering from.
  • Upload the various Apps to your “Cloud Drive” ready to be downloaded on to an infected computer when needed.
  • Create a note on your iPad with a link to your public cloud folder for easy linking.
The Applications:
You’ll want a combination of Applications that you will run one after the other, each dealing with a specific problem.  Once you are connected to the infected PC via the gotoManage iPad App, you’ll open a web browser on the infected PC and download the varoius Apps from your cloud drive.
  • We’ll start with a virus scan using ClamWin, a very popular Anti-Virus progam often included in portable app bundles.
  • Next it’s time to scan for Malware using Spybot – Search and Destroy.
  • CaSIs is another Malware scanner that you can use with or instead of Spybot.  Personally when it comes to Malware I don’t think you can be too careful, so I’d run both.
  • Windows Safe Mode Fixer Most recent Malware try to prevent you booting into Windows Safe Mode in order to prevent you for removing it, this will help.
Once you have finished downloading the various applications you will need, upload them to your cloud drive and place them in a Public folder.  The reason I suggest using a Public folder is because once you are connected to the infected PC, you’re not going to want to login to any online accounts until the PC is clean again.  If you use a Public folder you can just open copy and paste the link from your iPad into the infected PCs web browser and safely download your applications.  Some Malware may require some extra steps like booting into SafeMode to delete files (luckily this is something you can do with the GoToManage App), or temporarily disabling System Restore in Windows XP.  Just be sure to do some Googling before you leap in.

The final step is to try and prevent this from happening again, if you can’t change the user you can at least give them better tools to protect themselves with.  My personal favorites are; Avast Home for anti-virus, Malware Bytes for anti Malware, CCleaner for overall system maintenance and Google’s Chrome for web browsing.

I’d love to hear your application suggestions if you have any?