vnc good, but usability problems hampering adoption
Franklin & Mary Beth Bowen
Business "at" Bowen.net
Sun Aug 21 15:42:01 2005
I agree. I am still learning how best to use VNC and a couple of things
have helped me:
1) If you are connecting to other less techy people, have them install
RealVNC w/o changing any options and then have them do a reverse connection
to you and then you can set the options for them. Yes, this still can be
challenging for some users but it does eliminate access to their router as
2) EchoVNC. It sounds like this might do what you want. The real downside
to this, IMHO, is that groups need to be set up by an administrator ahead
of time. Either you need to set up a different group for any two people
that want to connect to each other or you need to set up generically named
groups and give out the passwords to everyone. Or am I missing something?
At 12:35 AM 8/21/2005, you wrote:
>I love VNC. I recommend it to all my friends and
>relatives. I use it to remotely administer their
>machines. But... I'm a network hacker, and I
>find it easy to do things like figure out peoples'
>IP addresses by looking at their email headers.
>It turns out that's important when using VNC widely,
>and this is a problem.
>People somewhat less technical than me have lots
>of trouble using VNC, and I am forever having
>to help them get it up and running again.
>These same people have no problems using GotoMyPC,
>and they tend to give up on VNC and use GotoMyPC,
>paying the $5/month, just because it lets them
>get work done with less hassle than VNC.
>I'm not alone in thinking VNC is hard to use; see e.g.
>So... what can be done about this?
>A usability study would be a good first step.
>Informally, I suspect the main problems are
>1) Confusing setup. Too many options.
>2) Having to know the IP address of the machine you want to connect to.
>3) Firewall problems are hard to diagnose.
>I suspect that a rendezvous server that runs
>on a public web site would help with some of these
>issues. For example, an easy-to-install PHP-based
>rendezvous server could let webmasters add a way
>to start or join VNC sessions by going to their
>web site, and diagnose common firewall problems.
>This might be quite easy to write. Perhaps it
>could even launch the VNC viewer and server modules
>by using the web browser's helper app feature.
>I'd love to code this myself, but my time's pretty limited.
>Is anyone else thinking along these lines already?
>Trying to get a job as a c++ developer? See
>VNC-List mailing list
>VNC-List "at" realvnc.com
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