Jon’s Radio Comments

November 2, 2006

All roads lead to VNC

Filed under: Uncategorized — jonsradiocomments @ 3:14 pm

The original item is here.



  1. Hi Jon, I don’t have an answer to your VNC question, but wondered if you’d taken a look at Unyte, which seems to do what you’re looking for. It’s a plug-in for Skype (only needed on the host machine), and generates an email with a link that once clicked, starts a screen sharing session. Dead simple. No affiliation, just a happy user…

    Comment by Paul R. Pival — November 2, 2006 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  2. I recently had a good experience with Bosco’s Screen Share in a school setting. It’s free, peer-to-peer, cross-platform, and requires very little setup. Security is great — since it’s an application rather than a service, it is only active when the application is running.

    Comment by Richard — November 2, 2006 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  3. Hi Jon, I’ve been using for some time now. I’m on a Mac and regularly have to give a demo to interested sales leads. I just send them the url to login and they can see my desktop. Call them by phone and there you go. Works well and crossplatform (“oohhh … you have a mac …”). Downside is that it uses Java and that sometimes causes a security problem.

    Comment by Peter van Teeseling — November 2, 2006 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

  4. VNC’s “listening viewer” shifts the firewall configuration burden off of the projector and on to the viewer. The viewer user starts the VNC Listening Viewer (default port 5500) instead of the usual VNC Viewer. The projector user initiates a connection to the viewer by selecting “Add New Client” from the VNC Server system tray icon’s menu (in Windows).

    Another service out there is the VNC-based Copilot at, offering per-minute plans and $9.95 “day passes.”

    Comment by Baraa Basata — November 2, 2006 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  5. For better or for worse, many employees in large organizations such as Fortune 1000 companies, government organizations, and academic institutions do not have the administrative rights on their own computers to allow them to install applications, or new versions of Java, or even Active-X controls. These are also the same organizations that utilize strict firewalls and port blocking on their networks. To provide screen sharing that works within these restrictions, Adobe Acrobat Connect only requires participants to have the Adobe Flash Player, installed in any standard browser, on virtually any operating system. There is no requirement for Java or installation of any applications for participants. According to independent surveys – the Flash Player is already installed on 97% of desktops, and is approved for use and pre-installed by the strictest government, academic, and corporate institutions. And the Flash Player will automatically seek out the best connection over standard ports like 80 and 443, tunneling and encrypting where necessary to ensure a connection even through firewalls. With Acrobat Connect starting at $39/month for unlimited use by up to 15 people – including screen sharing and telephone conferencing, it is also one of the most affordable solutions.

    Comment by Peter Ryce — November 3, 2006 @ 12:49 am | Reply

  6. Flash, Java, ActiveX, Ajax, Web 2.0, … few people who use web conferencing have a clue about any of that stuff.

    The point of Jon’s article, which reflects my personal view, is that most non-technical people prefer a tool that focuses on doing one thing really well. In this case, “see my screen”.

    They don’t want to be distracted by buttons and menus for features they rarely use, like chat, voip, whiteboarding, emoticons, polling, pen passing, app-picking, and on and on and on.

    All these “features” just clutter up their conversation.

    If they want to do a web demo, many prefer using a tool that only lets their customer “see what they’re talking about”, without the distraction (and confusion) of a gaggle of useless buttons.

    Comment by Rich Baker — November 3, 2006 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  7. The Problem With Screen Sharing

    Last week, Jon Udell wrote a column for InfoWorld where he bemoaned the lack of a Simple, single-purpose screen sharing tool. He talks about the fact that when you want to do nothing more than show off a piece of

    Trackback by The Webinar Blog — November 6, 2006 @ 4:07 pm | Reply

  8. Katri Auvinen asks:
    > GoToMeeting is doing quite a good job and would be affordable, but
    > the problem is that I need to have several group work rooms (e.g. 3)
    > open at the same time. I can do this with GoToMeeting, but only if I
    > use as many pc:s as rooms… Do you happen to know any application with
    > which I could achieve this when using only one pc?

    Comment by Jon Udell — November 8, 2006 @ 11:32 pm | Reply

  9. My investigation of alternatives for a lightweight, cost effective, desktop sharing solution that can be used by viewers in a tightly controlled, locked down environment resulted in BeamYourScreen. It was the only one that met requirements and it starts simply as a screen share. However, it can move on to other features if desired. The one thing that was not advertised but unique about BeamYourScreen is that when you provide remote control of the desktop, BOTH the partcipant and presenter have control at the same time — no need to keep granting/requesting permissions while you work out the wording in a document.

    Comment by Chris Kmiecik — November 9, 2006 @ 12:10 pm | Reply

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