- Customer Smith has a problem with your software?
- Aunt Maggie wants to print this picture of “this really cute cat but it just doesn’t work“.
- Your 80 year-old mum has again forgotten how to log into her Bridge server?
- Your friend Samantha who lives 200 miles away has just bought a new laptop with Windows 8 and is completely confused by all those coloured squares?
You need a remote control or telemaintenance tool. Every developer needs to do some telemaintenance from time to time.
Last week, point 4 hit me. Samantha, a friend of mine living far away, indeed had bought a new laptop with preinstalled Windows 8. And now wanted to write a student paper. And had never before seen or heard anything of Windows 8. And indeed was confused by all those coloured squares.
So she needed some help and called me. But I myself had not much experience with Windows 8. So I couldn’t really fully imagine what was going on on her PC. After some fruitless time trying to help her by phone, I had the saving idea. I remembered a former colleague praising TeamViewer. At the time of this writing, it is free for private use. Then I did this:
- I ran through TeamViewer’s first steps for spontaneous support. (Handbook would be a bit of overstatement. It is only one page. 6 sentences or so.)
- I downloaded TeamViewer 9.0.26297. Installed it and started it. The image above shows the main screen.
- I told my friend to download the TeamViewer QuickSupport customer module from their download page and run it (no installation needed here).
- I told her to tell me her Partner-Id. I put the Id into my running TeamViewer app, hit return.
- A message box asked me for her password which I entered.
- Bingo. I was in. Time needed from my first contact with TeamViewer’s web site to being in control of my friend’s comnputer: ten minutes or less.
Yes. It is that easy. Just fantastic. If I may repeat:
I had never used TeamViewer before.