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Remotely Control User Desktops— for Free
Simple, repetitive tasks such as adjusting a user's screen resolution or fixing the "my printer isn't working" problem can be quite time-consuming, especially when you have to physically visit the desktop system to solve the problem. Remote-access solutions let you administer user desktops from a central location, but many of those solutions require you to install client software on each system before you can administer it remotely.
Peter Vogel, a network and systems administrator from Vancouver, British Columbia, faced a barrage of tedious tasks but found a solution that didn't require him to install software on the client, saving him heaps of time. Vogel got his hands on Gensortium's GenControl and quickly reaped the benefits. "Within seconds of installing GenControl, I could deal with maintenance issues on the other side of the building. I simply installed the product on the administrative machine and was immediately presented with all workstations in the domain. I just clicked on the client machine, and I was in."
GenControl lets administrators perform maintenance tasks from the comfort of their own computers. When connecting to a client machine, the product drops a small client file onto the remote machine and automatically removes the file at the end of the session. GenControl is a free download.
Save Time with Server Migration
Today's fast-paced work environment continually introduces new challenges to our work routine and requires us to do more in the same window of time. In no area is this more obvious than IT. Dave Romesburg, a senior infrastructure management analyst for a large Pittsburgh data center, has in the past spent a lot of time and money streaming servers between physical and virtual machines (VMs). But with PlateSpin Power-Convert installed in his infrastructure, he's seen this otherwise costly, lengthy undertaking become a quick, seamless task. "I can take an existing server, boot up using PowerConvert, and the product will take a full server image and transform it to a virtual image on VMware ESX Server or Microsoft Virtual Server. Additionally, I can take an existing server, specify hardware and OS settings, and PowerConvert will take care of the configuration changes and migrate the server to the new hardware."
PowerConvert also lets you store server images, then push them out to a new physical server or VM by dragging the image from the PowerConvert repository and dropping it onto the new server. Additional PowerConvert capabilities include server consolidation, disaster recovery, automated test lab deployment, and data center optimization.
Free All-in-One Communications Tool
With all the types of Internet communications in use today, wouldn't it be nice to have one solution that provides music streaming, photo sharing, file sharing, and remote access to your desktop? These are just a few of the features that Veselin Kulov of Sofia, Bulgaria, has enjoyed while using Qnext. In addition to the features just mentioned, Qnext includes universal IM, audio chat, videoconferencing, file transfer, online gaming, group text chat, and Internet Relay Chat. "Best of all, Qnext is free," says Kulov. "I like that I can listen to my home music collection while at work without downloading any files. I have also saved hours when transferring large files and cut down collaboration time with the product's built-in videoconferencing."
Kulov notes that Qnext is very secure. The product uses what it calls Zones, which gives you control over who has access to your photo albums, who can share files with you, and who can chat by letting you assign permissions to specific individuals. Qnext works not only on Windows XP, Windows Me, and Windows 2000 but also on Mac OS X and Linux.