An experiment in free.

An experiment in free.

GoToMeeting Free is a new service that ha just launched as an experiment by Citrix.  All you need is a computer with the latest version of Google Chrome installed, which means it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux.  It’s pretty basic at this time, there is no formal support but you can provide feedback via a feedback form (which I strongly recommend you do).  So why not take it out for a “spin around the block”, it’s free and you might just like it!

3 Ways to remove the GoToMeeting codec from your recording.

3 Ways to remove the GoToMeeting codec from your recording.

UPDATE: These methods are no longer needed, please see my most recent recordings post, Ch ch ch changes to GoToMeeting Recordings.

As you may already know (or have just discovered), when you record a GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar or GoToTraining, a codec is applied to the WMV file.  The codec is used to compress the size of the recording, but unfortunately it can get in the way when you try to edit the file.

The good news is that you can always remove the codec from your recording, here are the 3 methods:

Method 1

Configure the GoToMeeting Recording Preferences to automatically remove the codec at the end of the session.  This is handy because it’s an automatic process but the down side is it ties up your PC right after your session.

Method 2

Use the new Transcoding Wizard provided by GoToMeeting.

Method 3

Use the free Expression Encoder from Microsoft as documented here to remove the codec and edit the recording.  The benefit of this method is it lets you remove to codec whenever you want plus you can edit the recording.  The downside is the free version of this application does not let you convert the recording from WMV to another format, but there are other free applications you can use to achieve this.

If you are having trouble with this method, it may be due to changes made in GoToMeeting v5.4.  Please see this new post for a solution:

I would like to thank everyone who have left comments, and shared their own helpful tips!

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?