VPN+VNC = Remobo

Recently I discovered an interesting piece of software, Remobo. A combination of Virtual Private Network (sort of like creating a LAN over the internet) and Virtual Network Computing (remotely controlling computers) technology, Remobo looks to make remote computing easier by combining mutiple tools into one convenient program. Up until now, I have been using Hamachi for VPN and tightVNC for VNC, and have had no problems, even during cross platform connections (Linux to Windows). I decided to give Remobo a test drive, and see what it could do.

The installation went smoothly, and no restart was required, so I got to testing right away. On first start, I was asked to create a Remobo account, which was very easy, all done direclty in the program. I then logged in with my account, specifiing a location (e.g. Desktop). After logging in at my desktop, I used the same account and password to login on my Laptop, entering my location as “Laptop”. Now, I could see the Laptop user from my Desktop, and Desktop user from my Laptop. Via context menu, I remotely connected to my Desktop to test out the VNC capabilities. It connected with little trouble, using the Remobo account password when prompted. Unfortunately this is where Remobo started to fall short. You are unable to change the image quality, and so, VNC is extremely sluggish to refresh, making control difficult. This is something I hope gets changed in the near future with updates.

Although VNC did not work great, Remobo also has an interesting file sharing feature. It uses bittorent technology to transfer files from peer to peer. Unfortunately, when I tested the file sharing, the Remobo tracker was not working, a problem which is hopefully only temporary. I think that the file sharing feature via torrents would be great, once it works.

Overall, I have to say that Remobo looks promising if it can work out the bugs, and improve the VNC integration. For now, at least the VPN feature works flawlessly, which means competition for Hamachi.

Photoshop vs GIMP

Photoshop is one of the most popular, and powerful photo editors available today. It is also one of the most expensive. With a license for Photoshop CS3 Extended costing around $250, some users may not be willing, or able, to buy a license. That’s where GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Project) comes in. Open source, completely free, and feature rich, GIMP provides some competition for Photoshop. The interface of GIMP is very similar to that of Photoshop, and many of the tools available in Photoshop are also in GIMP. One difference that I found however was the lack of “Selective Color” tool in GIMP. Which is useful for sprucing up the sky, as seen in the comparison below (click for full size view):

Comparison

While GIMP may not have every feature of Photoshop, you can’t argue with the pricetag. So, if you are looking for an advanced photo editor, and are on a budget, give GIMP a try.