14 February 2011

To The Cloud?

I want to maximize my time in the cloud, but as a Software Engineer, I currently spend a majority of my day developing web applications tethered to a desktop development environment loaded onto a workstation running a popular operating system developed in Redmond, WA.   This is a fine environment when I am capable of getting to my cubicle at the office, but when a massive ice storm (as an example) prevents my journey to the office park, I must be able to work remotely.  

There are many solutions to this problem, and most require some form of secure connection to my work network followed by a remote desktop session to control my machine at the office.  Traditionally (before my chrome notebook) I had no reservations doing this as an adequate means to get my work done.  On my Cr-48 my traditional methods of remotely connecting to my workstation are not possible, so I set out to find my new solution, a web-based remote desktop solution.

There are plenty of these remote desktop solutions to choose from.  A popularized method in recent commercials stating "to the cloud" is not applicable here since it would require a cloud connection via "Internet Explorer 6 or later (32-bit version only)", which is probably not how I'll be connecting using my Google Chrome OS notebook.  A couple of other web applications that will allow remote access that I have tested since getting my Cr-48 are LogMeIn and TeamViewer.

After trying out both of these I think I'll settle on TeamViewer if I need to connect remotely.  This application is extremely user friendly and quick to set up.  Download the installer onto your remote PC, get the connection information, log into the web access site and you are looking at your remote PC.  Just as with other remote connections it seems to lag a bit but I was connected and able to navigate my applications remotely without much trouble.  I did experience one minor issue where the character mappings from keyboard input were a bit off, i.e.  '/' key became '§' but still nothing to prevent me from utilizing TeamViewer in a pinch.  

After going through all of this I feel that my real goal should be to get all of my work including the code base to the cloud so no matter where I am, what computer I'm sitting behind, I can get to work.  Thats what I plan to do next with some amazing new tools like KodingenCodeRun, and once I get my hands on the beta, Cloud9