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Issue #650: January 5-11, 2020

Q: I tried to implement the “God Tools” (I.G.T.M. #647, Dec 15, 2019) and it didn’t work. Came across some notes in Wikipedia that MS had broken this in Windows 10. You may want to advise your readers.

– Dwight F.
Niceville, Florida

A: I’ve implemented God Mode on several Windows 10 machines, Dwight, and it worked on every single PC on which I tried it. I test this type of thing before I would ever dream of tempting my readers to try it. But, I took your report seriously, so I looked up the Wikipedia entry that you mentioned, and it does indeed say “Microsoft broke the display” of the folder name.  What this means is that the custom folder name you can provide doesn’t display properly, but God Mode itself works just fine.  If it didn’t work for you, I suggest you try again, and rather than try to manually type-in the code, visit my website and copy/paste it.

• • •

Have you ever been at work, or, for that matter, anywhere away from home, and found yourself needing to get some information off of your home computer?  Wouldn’t it be awfully convenient if you had a way that you could see the screen as if you were sitting in front of it?  For example, you could launch applications, look up data, or even access any devices on your home network.  I have exactly that need each Christmas season, as I have a computer inside the house that runs my light show, but I’m outside in the yard performing repairs and doing tests.  Rather than constantly run into the house to click something to turn lights on and off, I just keep an iPad with me.  The difference in platform is not an issue, because I’m simply looking at a picture of the screen, which includes the mouse cursor, which I can drag around and click on things.

This ability is typically referred to as Remote Access, and there are several popular software packages that provide this ability.  Among the most popular is a title called TeamViewer, which I have used, but cannot, in any good conscience recommend.  The company provides their software free for non-commercial use, and charges a hefty fee for users in a commercial environment.  Unfortunately, the publisher has a tendency to suddenly decide that you are using the product commercially, and then locks you out of it.  In my experience, I was locked out right when I needed the software the most.  They didn’t tell me what I did that made them think I was using it commercially, and they take weeks to respond to e-mails, if they ever respond at all. 

Rather than put yourself through all that, check out some of the other Remote Access Software options.  These include the titles RemotePC, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, VNC Connect, SplashTop, and Google’s Chrome Remote Desktop. All of these are a mere Google search away.

If you have a non-Home version of Windows, you already have Remote Desktop functionality available right in the operating system.  Click Start->Settings (the gear icon).  Then click on “System” and “Remote Desktop” to begin the configuration process.  You’ll need to download the Remote Desktop client app on whatever device you want to use to access it.  As I described earlier, platform is irrelevant – there are remote client apps available for Windows, Android, iOS and even macOS devices.

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