While I love Terminal Services for most of my remote administration tasks for our server farm, I've got several 'foreground' applications that only run from the actual live console. As you may or may not know, by design, Terminal Services (even in adminitrative mode) does not EVER allow you to view/control the console session (the console session is the same as if logging in directly at the computer).
Previously, I used WinVNC, a seemingly simple and effective remote control package that is FREEWARE. Things like Symantec's PC Anywhere were too 'thick' and cost additional dollars. WinVNC, lacking real security and file transfer ability, was also a HUGE CPU hog, to a point that the extra cycles just to run VNC could cause my streaming video publishing points to actually stop their services.
The solution? Microsoft installs it on every one of your Win2k Professional and server versions. Netmeeting. Yes, the little chat/video conference tool has a wonderful built in function called Remote Desktop Sharing.
Low overhead, efficient bandwidth management and FREE pricetag have made it my exclusive choice to controlling systems.
Be sure to set your security in the options section to secure incoming and outgoing calls. Then walk through the wizard "Remote Desktop Sharing". After you exit NM, there'll be a new icon on the system tray. Use this icon to actually activate RDS.
Netmeeting will change your remote control thinking...again.
This was first published in August 2001