Help me send my desktop over teh internets!
October 19, 2007 6:04 AM   Subscribe

How can I stream my desktop to my boss?

My boss is in the US and I'm in the UK. He wants a live web broadcast (ostensibly because we can both see the internet but we're both behind various firewalls) of my desktop. One frame a second or so would be great, but I'd be happy with even 1/5 frame a second.

I thought about writing something that would snap my screen every 1-2 seconds and FTP an image up to a website, but it'd be super-nice if something like this already existed (a 'push' client at one end that sends to a web server, some PHP script, and a 'pull' script (JavaScript?) at the remote end that constantly updates the image in his web browser).

VNC / TightProjector or similar won't work because there's no way I can open these corporate firewalls. (Okay, fine, there's a way but it'll take two weeks and I need this by Sunday). Super bonus points for something generic like the old webcam-sender programs that takes a "most recent" image (JPEG) and uploads it to a webserver, then updates an index.html type file on the webserver and refreshes its content smoothly. Or something.

Thanks in advance!
posted by ostranenie to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
VNC / TightProjector or similar won't work because there's no way I can open these corporate firewalls.

Hamachi or Copilot spring to mind. But you do realise corporate firewalls are there for a reason, right?
posted by Leon at 6:06 AM on October 19, 2007

was my first hit on google with "capture desktop ftp support"

sounds like could be a winner
posted by moochoo at 6:07 AM on October 19, 2007

Can't you just use something like Windows Live Meeting?
posted by mealy-mouthed at 6:15 AM on October 19, 2007

Response by poster: Windows Live Meeting takes weeks to set up - we have some kind of LiveMeeting deal in the works and you have to almost redesign your network around the software. (LiveMeeting/NetMeeting/similar would involve a point to point connection or dedicated server.) I have just a plain vanilla web server that'll do PHP. I'm not looking to circumvent security, just show him what I'm doing--live. Thanks for the ideas!
posted by ostranenie at 6:17 AM on October 19, 2007

Have you tried any of the GoTo products from Citrix? I find they work reliably (on Macs and PCs) around most firewalls.
posted by skylar at 6:19 AM on October 19, 2007

Response by poster: I seem to remember some software that would upload your desktop live to the internet and display it to clients in Flash. It was an n-seat webcast type server where you paid $x for n clients to connect and watch your desktop at the same time. Anyone know what that was called? It had code you could just upload to your PHP web server that would handle the initial setup and store all the partial images, etc.,...
posted by ostranenie at 6:28 AM on October 19, 2007

I'm with Leon. Just use Hamachi and Tightprojector. It's all free and can be setup in less than 15 minutes.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:28 AM on October 19, 2007

Seconding the GoTo options from Citrix. I've had GoToMyPC work in places where I really didn't think it would. I'm pretty sure all of them offer free trials, so you could check it out today and see if it's an option.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:29 AM on October 19, 2007

Hamachi + VNC is very easy to setup and can bounce right thru those firewalls no problem.
posted by bigmusic at 6:37 AM on October 19, 2007

In order of preference:
- LogMeIn - (best video compression because it uses its own mirrored display driver)
- ShowMyPC
- TeamViewer
posted by mysterious1der at 6:56 AM on October 19, 2007

Thirding GoToAssist. We use it here at work and it is almost seamless.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:27 AM on October 19, 2007

WebEx is usually pretty good about getting through firewalls if you can get out to the web.
posted by jferg at 7:28 AM on October 19, 2007

logmein logmein logmein.

so good its worth mentioning thrice. Its free as well.
posted by daveyt at 7:38 AM on October 19, 2007

It should be a last resort, but you could do a video chat and just point a webcam at your screen. The quality will be pretty poor, but whether it's good enough will depend on what you're doing.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:08 AM on October 19, 2007

I just signed up for logmein this past week, very cool and very free.
posted by shinynewnick at 8:21 AM on October 19, 2007

I think the correct answer is "sorry, I just couldn't find anything that does that".
posted by Chuckles at 8:59 AM on October 19, 2007

Timbuktu Pro
posted by mattbucher at 11:50 AM on October 19, 2007

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