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GoToMyPC for iPad rocks!

I have an announcement to to make. I really love my iPad 2. I know, I know, let the Apple fan boy flaming begin right? Hold on a minute my friends and let me tell you one of the reason I have really fell in love with the iPad 2 and tablets in general. A little while ago I got an email from AT&T stating my wife is nearing her monthly limit of 200mb of usage which costs us $15 dollars a month. She is not a heavy data user but my son had a baseball tournament and she went Facebook nuts posting pictures and looking at all the other parents pictures as we drove home. So I figured I would be getting this email from AT&T letting me know that they would be charging me another $15 dollars for every 200mb that she goes over. It just boils my blood that AT&T does not cap out their data charges at $25 which is their charge for the next tier up 4gb plan. So now I have a $30 dollar data bill for 500mb of data usage. I will obviously be upgrading her tomorrow, but that made me mad damnit! So I set out to write a rant about it and grabbed my iPad 2. I started thinking about how I was going to write this rant. I had a few options available to me to chose from: 1) WordPress app for iPad, 2) WordPress admin UI through a browser (most likely Skyfire), or 3) use GoToMyPC and access my laptop and write this using my favorite blogging software Windows Live Writer. I had already signed up for the free one month demo, because it was free, but I wanted to see just how well it would work.

So I had just read my lovely email from AT&T about my wife going crazy on Facebook and maxing out her data limit, which was at first, the point of this article. I was mad! A rant needed to be written about AT&T and their unfair price gauging! Okay, first things first. Normally I would use the AT&T Data advisement letter as an inserted picture in my article and use the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 7 (and Vista). I was not sure how this was going to work using GoToMyPC, but a new challenge was being laid out before me.

I had previously signed up and downloaded the GoToMyPC App on my iPad 2. (Did I mention I love this damn thing?) I fired up the GoToMyPC and logged on to my GoToMyPC account. After successfully logging on, I had a second log on screen which logs me on to my Laptop which I had given a unique name already. Log was a success and I was welcomed to the home screen of my Laptop sitting across town at my office. normally I bring it home, but I knew as I said earlier, I would not be home this weekend as my son had a baseball tournament out of town and I would not use it. GoToMyPC did something kind of unexpected, it rendered my home screen all in black. It seems GoToMyPC does not like Wallpaper. So I see my laptop screen and all the icons on the bottom and everything other than the wallpaper is as it should be. Cool, let’s get to work!

I open up Gmail and found the email from AT&T and fired up the Snipping Tool. I like to use the rectangular snip and was a little curious to see how the capacitive screen iPad 2 would handle the normal click, hold, and drag of the mouse over the area I wanted to capture. The Snipping Tool box popped up as normal, I tapped on new, and the screen was highlighted, moment of truth. I single finger tapped and held the upper left corner and dragged my finger straight down. It was a little different and slightly clumsy but it worked! I captured the image and saved it out to my folder of choice without incident.

Step two. It’s time now to open up Windows Live Writer. WLW opened up beautifully and because I have a wide screen laptop and the resolution set accordingly, I rotated my iPad to the side and opened the keyboard up which is done by tapping a tab at the top of the screen. The keyboard on the iPad is excellent and I found I could type very quickly on it. What I did find troublesome was how tiny the print was. So a quick pinch to zoom had the laptop screen and the writing area on WLW perfectly expanded to the screen of the iPad.

The first problem I ran into with GoToMyPC was the two finger press and drag method of scrolling within a box in Windows like the category box on Windows Live Writer. It was very difficult to do and I kept resizing the screen. This got very irritating and I eventually resorted to just clicking on the bottom arrow button on the scroll box to move through the content.

As it turns out I have lost a lot of my anger for posting the rant on AT&T. We have touched on this before and I think most of you get tired of listening to us bitch about AT&T. Besides this is turning out to be a much cooler article posting on my experience writing an article on my iPad 2 using GoToMyPC. So here is a ancillary “Screw you AT&T” just so that I can feel truly good about abandoning my original rant!

Another cool feature I found in using the keyboard on the iPad and GoToMyPC is that they supply you a floating arrow keys box that allows you to move around the article in spite of the fact that Apple neglected use them in favor of tapping on the place you would have wanted to arrow to. However, I found the arrow buttons and the floating arrow box very useful in typing this. I found myself not tapping the screen nearly as much.

Okay, I am almost done with this half hearted rant about AT&T turned mini-review on GoToMyPC’s app for the iPad. So far I can say I have really enjoyed the GoToMyPC experience and can see me justifying 10 dollars a month which is the usage fee to keep the software past the thirty day trial period. I travel quite a lot and have lost the love of toting around my heavy 17” screen laptop. I seldom need it’s power and really only need it to blog when I travel. it appears I have found at least a “lighter” solution in GoToMyPC!

One last note. There are other apps on the App Store that after the initial purchase of the software are free to use after that with no monthly subscription cost. Windows Remote being one of them. Several guys on the Mobility Digest team use it. So try them all and pick which one works for you.

Oh, here is the image of the letter I got from AT&T.

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