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Log me in March 30, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.

privacy   We recently started using a software tool called logmein.com to keep track of some of our computers remotely. We have faculty members who borrow machines, get into trouble, and then call us on cell phones expecting us to walk them through the steps needed to resolve their crisis. We thought this tool might help

This online tool allows us to connect with a computer remotely and, using Active X controls, take over the machine. This is the free version of the software. The more expensive version will allow us to transfer files and folders between machines, broadcast files to multiple machines, and much more. I used the tool once or twice to retrieve a document I had left on my office computer.

We have used a similar tool in the computer lab to get an overview of the lab remotely. NetSchool Support enables us to transfer files and view every desktop in the lab at the same time. Occasionally a casual global glance around the lab reveals some disturbing browsing on the part of students. Now it was never my intent to police the lab for pornographic pages that appear on desktops, but I do encounter them. Usually all I have to do is sidle over to the user who is usually sitting on a machine with a monitor facing away from me. Often they turn off the machine and quickly leave the lab. That is usually all I need to do to remind them that they were using public machines and had signed a document stating that they would use the machines for academic purposes only.

The reason I mention this is that logmein.com raised the question on the part of some of my colleagues about privacy. One person suggested that I leave a note on the machine that I could remotely visit their machine at any time. I suppose it would be helpful but I do not even have enough time to keep up with my reading of blogs and e-mail much less monitor how people are using the computers.

Right now, I only have a few machines logged in while I am experimenting with the software, but if the program expands, I will certainly have to address this issue.  



1. Zs - March 31, 2006

I was always wondering how in the world some students (since I suppose you do not have outsiders come into the lab to use the computers) have enough time to just browse; and more than that to browse porn sites? I was always in a rush, always trying to catch up with my next deadline and finish assignments. And I am not talking about only grad student life, it was ALL college student life. I don’t remember just hanging out and wasteing time.
A couple of days ago someone asked me what I do when I am bored?
my response: “I don’t remember, I don’t remember when I was bored last time!”
I know there are many bored people out there…
Perhaps an add on the lab’s door: “please do not be bored here, I can see what you see, I am watching you!” :-)

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