April 6, 2007
Accessing your documents on your office PC from out-of-office
~ written by Sung Lee, Micro System Solutions
As more and more people work from home, remote computing has become a necessity in our daily lives. Most legal professionals are tied up during regular work hours for court appointments, client meetings and phone calls. The ability to access your work computer from home means you can catch up on your emails and drafting while still in your pajamas.
There are quite a few products that can accommodate your needs, but most of them cost money either when purchasing the software or on monthly basis. However, a remote desktop program comes standard with Windows XP & Vista operating systems, and you can also download it for free from the Microsoft website. Meet Windows Remote Desktop.
- Access your files - Once connected from the home PC using Remote Desktop, you can use your office PC as if you are in your office – editing documents, printing to either office printer or home printer.
- File transfer - You can transfer documents/files between work PC and home PC if the local drives are attached to the session (sometimes it fails to attach, which is a somewhat annoying glitch).
- Copy and paste - You can also copy and paste text between your home PC and office PC in the same way you copy and paste between two applications in one computer. This becomes useful when you can’t transfer files back and forth.
- Printing – You can print the documents to your office printer or home printer. When you are ready to print, your default home printer along with the printers connected to the office PC are listed for selection. At times, the home printer fails to show up in the list of available printers – that’s when the file transfer or copy & paste features come handy.
Operating System Requirements: Remote PC: Windows 98, Windows 2000 Professional, All XP & Vista versions. Host PC: Windows 2000 & 2003 Terminal Servers, XP Professional, & Vista Business or Ultimate version.
Though you don’t have to pay for the software, the initial setup could be technically challenging. However, once it is setup correctly it is very easy to use and saves the cost of software and ongoing subscription fees. It’s a great tool (and a FREE one) for a busy attorney.