RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Remobo -- another way to connect with your family


Alan E. Mann, manager of Genealogical Community Services, told a session at BYU's Conference on Computerized Family History and Genealogy on April 26, 2010 about a new web service called Remobo. Quoting from the article, "Mann gave a scenario where his cousin runs a different type of genealogy software on his computer. Through remobo.com, Mann can access that program on his cousin's computer (although there might be some licensing questions...)."

I use a PC program called Remote Desktop Connection to connect from my home computer to my work computer. I can log into our PC network both from a PC laptop or from my iMac and instantly, it is like I am sitting at my desk at work. I have all the same programs, access to my E-mail, and even access to my billing program. I can use the Internet either from my home computer or use the network from the office computer. Because we have a cable access to the Internet, there a negligible slowdown either way. I can literally work from home. Now, this is nothing particularly new, I have been doing this for some years now. So, I guess I am wondering how an online file or computer sharing program will somehow become an impact on family history's future.

First of all, both the home machine and the remote machine have to be running some type of compatible software. In the case of Remote Desktop Connection, our network techs have to set me up with an account and I have to login and use a password to gain access to the network. Do I really want to have one of my "social" friends logging into my work computer? Not at all. Imagine the liability issues for a law firm! Look at it this way, do I even want one of my own children logging into my computer? Not really. So let's look at what Remobo and other similar programs are supposed to do.

Here is the list from Remobo's website.
Just login, add users to your buddy list, and Remobo will create a secure network for you to:

Remote control your home computer and access files while at work or traveling.

Privately share large files like photos & docs between computers or with friends & family.

Replace your existing, costly and difficult to use VPN software.

Run games, video conferencing, streaming media, secure instant messaging & more!
The first question that arises is whether or not I want to leave town while my home computer is left running and with access to the Internet. There are lots of ways to gain access to my unattended computer while I am away and almost all of them are bad to really bad. Not to mention power failures, lightning storms, and other problems. If I really need anything from my home computer while I am away, I carry a laptop with all the same programs and a backup copy of my files. As for E-mail, I can access my E-mail from anywhere even from my iPhone. By the way, I see no reason at all to play computer games.

What about video conferencing? We do that all the time. We use Google Talk or iChat or AIM. So why do I need another file sharing program? I don't.

Will file sharing, video conferencing, and remote access change the way we do family history? It already has for me for some time. Will it change it for everyone? Perhaps, some time in the not too distant future when some of the activities become a lot less technical and a lot more common. Will I try Remobo? Maybe, if I can convince one of my technology overloaded children to try yet another program.

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