Here's how to set it up:
- On the machine you want to remotely control, choose SystemPreferencesRemote Desktop.In the General tab, go to the Sharing area and turn on the "Allow other users to view your desktop" checkbox. In the Security section, turn on the checkbox requiring the controlling party to ask you for confirmation and the checkbox requiring a password to control your computer. Type the password you want to use (which you'll share with your trusted friend). On the Advanced tab, turn on the "Only allow local connections" checkbox if wish to share access only on your local network. Click Close when finished.
- On the computer that's going to be doing the controlling, choose ApplicationsInternetRemote Desktop Viewer.If you're on a local network, you may see the computer that's hosting remote connections listed on the left. If so, select it and then click the Connect button at the top of the window. If you're connecting over the Internet, click the Connect button and type the IP address of the computer you want to control. (If your friend is trying to help you and needs your IP address, you can get it quickly on the Web at www.whatismyip.com.) Type the password from the previous step, and you should see the other computer's desktop in your window. Click the Close button when you're ready to end the session.
Connecting to Windows machines
You can also connect to Windows Vista and Windows XP Professional machines, but you first have to set them up to accept remote control. On Vista, click the Start button, right-click Computer, and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. In the left side of the box, click the Remote Settings link. In the box, choose "Allow Connections From Computers Running Any Version of Remote Desktop (Less Secure)" and click Apply. You also need to make sure your Vista account has a password, which you can do by choosing StartControl PanelUser Accounts and Family SafetyUser Accounts, and selecting "Create a password for your account."On Windows XP Professional, click the Start button, right-click My Computer, and choose Properties from the pop-up menu. In the System Properties box, click the Remote tab and in the Remote Desktop area, turn on the checkbox next to "Allow users to remotely connect to this computer." You also need to make sure your XP machine has a user account password; choose StartControl PanelUser Accounts to set one up if you don't have one.You also need to make sure the person's user account on the Windows machine is in the Administrator group or that the user account is on the list of preapproved Remote Users. Click the Select Remote Users button in the System Properties box to add a person to the list.
To connect to the Windows machine from your Ubuntu netbook, choose ApplicationsInternetTerminal Server Client. In the box next to Computer, type the IP address of the Windows machine, and click the Connect button. (If you can't see the Connect button very well because it's too dark for your netbook screen, hit the Enter key on the keyboard instead.) If all goes according to plan, you next get a box demanding the name and password for the Windows machine. Type these to proceed into your Windows PC to get whatever you need.
Learn more about this topic from Netbooks: The Missing Manual.
Netbooks are the hot new thing in PCs -- small, inexpensive laptops designed for web browsing, email, and working with web-based programs. With this Missing Manual, you'll learn not only which netbook is right for you, but also how to set it up and use it for everything from job-related tasks like working with spreadsheets to hobbies like gaming and photo sharing.