found drama

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osx2x (3).

by Rob Friesel

The third installment of this rivetting series!

After about a week or so of using these VNC-wares, I think I’ve got the knack and am pretty set with them and am ready to write up my report.

osx2x-to-WinVNC: The first one I got going. And the one that seems to work best. On Detonator-3, WinVNC seems to have a plethora of easily configurable options (see below). It sits politely in the tray awaiting connections (in server mode) and has (in client mode) allowed me to grab a window in which to view KetelOne. On KetelOne, osx2x is so simple it hurts — just click new connection, punch in the host, and specify type. That’s pretty much it. It hasn’t hogged memory and done nothing else unexpected. Even better, it handles cmd-tab’s well — and by “well” I mean, it doesn’t hang the system temporarily (*ahem* more on this later) and there’s been no noticeable lag in system event responses or anything like that. Top notch all around (so far).

WinVNC screenshot
WinVNC screenshot

osx2x screenshot
osx2x screenshot

Win2VNC-to-OSXvnc: “The other way arounnd” — here’s to rocking the fullsize keyboard and trackball to run both machines. “The way I wanted it” — strictly for the full size action — and because the keyboard/trackball are already hooked up to the PC. On KetelOne, OSXvnc is proving to be a pretty solid and stable VNC server that isn’t too terribly complex in its configuration or anything like that. It has a decent GUI for its options — but I’m leaning twd setting up shellscripts for launching it (etc.) based on location and what not. The only weird hiccup I really experienced the whole time was the initial couple of sessions where the screen saver would launch (even after turning it off) every time the cursor left the screen. Fortunately, the ppl at Redstone were quick in responding to my inquiry (less than 24 hrs!) — letting me know that the cursor shoots to bottom-right corner on “exit” — which is where I had hot-cornered my screensaver. Hmm… Not too bad. As for Win2VNC… It’s also brutally simple and typically connects w/o fail to KetelOne. However, it isn’t as good as osx2x about several things. First of all, alt-tabs are handled badly and wind up causing the mouse (and sometimes the keyboard too) to stop responding for several minutes. This sometimes seems to get resolved with some right-clicking but not always. Also, the option key seems to be mapped to the same key as the Win key … so you lose lots of keyboard shortcuts b/c every stroke of “option” opens the Start menu on the PC and the mouse freaks out all over again. Some other weird system events seem to cause this too. An AIM chat Window launched on the PC and the focus freaked out. Not so sure what all this means (besides the occassional pain in the ass) but can’t really complain about something that didn’t really cost a dime. So… The bug list for the Win2VNC ppl: Fix the key-handling.

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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