Pneuma Solutions has just released Remote incident manager. What is it? This is a software package that allows you to remotely control another computer. The way this is done is simple. The controller and the target both choose a keyword to type into an edit box, then the controller is connected. You can also setup unattended access, meaning that someone wanting help can allow for the tech support to connect automatically without needing to type a keyword first.
This is the only remote-control package that is completely accessible to assistive technology users, without requiring the use of a specific access technology product. There are plenty of remote-control software packages out there. I’ve tried many, and I’ve always been sorely disappointed.
Why Use RIM when JAWS Tandem and NVDA Remote exist?
Tandem is a good solution if the person you are connecting to is a JAWS user. However, it does have some limitations. Tandem uses a complicated keyboard command to get to the dialog box where you can enter an alphanumeric code to allow access. You can get to it via menus, but it is still a long process. In my years as an AT professional, so many of my clients have had difficulty with this process. Typing the alphanumeric code can also be tricky for some people who are just learning to type.
Tandem will become unresponsive after about 5 minutes of being idle. If you are trying to explain something or have a conversation, you will probably find that JAWS isn’t talking, and then the only way to get JAWS talking is to disconnect the tandem session. When you try to reconnect, you get an error message and extra steps are required to get reconnected. Additionally, Tandem will often disconnect for no apparent reason, even when actively working on a client’s computer. The above issues can make Tandem remote connections very frustrating at times.
While NVDA remote doesn’t have the number of issues that JAWS tandem has, it can still be frustrating in some cases. As with JAWS, it requires that the person you are connecting to have NVDA and the remote add-on installed.
By far the most frustrating aspect of NVDA remote is that initial connection. You need to get NVDA up and running on the machine, then walk someone through the menus to get connected. Once you have that first connection, you can set things to be unattended, or even setup a shortcut that more easily manages the connection, but getting started can be long and frustrating.
Connecting with RIM
If someone needs technical help, RIM makes it easy to get connected. First, download RIM. After pressing the Install button, you will be able to tab and type in a keyword that the tech support and the person needing help will agree on. The tech types the keyword in, then the person needing help types the keyword in, and the connection is made. At this point the tech can set up unattended access for the future. There will be a yes/no dialog asking if this is OK. Once the person needing help selects the yes button, unattended access has been configured.
Other benefits of using RIM
As I mentioned earlier, RIM is accessible to users of assistive technology. It goes beyond that though. RIM can be used even if no access technology is installed on the remote computer. This alone is a game-changer. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to struggle to get enough access technology running to simply support my customers. With RIM, this problem is solved. In other words, someone who is blind can remotely control any computer and still get speech and Braille output from the remote computer even when no access technology is running. I really cannot stress that last point enough. This is great when a blind technician needs to connect to a sighted user’s computer. It is also great when a screen reader user needs to connect to someone using ZoomText or Windows Magnifier.
RIM is universally accessible, whether someone uses access technology or not. When a remote connection is established, you also have visual support, so mouse users will also feel right at home on the remote computer.
Audio support is another advantage. JAWS tandem and NVDA remote do not send the actual computer sound, just the text-to-speech. This means that if you are doing anything with audio, say, YouTube lessons, it can be difficult because you won’t hear the audio on the remote computer. RIM automatically provides audio to the controller. It is high quality stereo audio. If you want, you can even talk to the person on the other end, and they can talk back. Both computers just need a headset.
Reboot and reconnect is another big benefit. Sometimes, for any number of reasons, you as the tech support person need to restart the computer, but you don’t want to go through the hassle of getting connected to the remote computer again. RIM has a handy option that lets you do that. Once the computer is restarted, the connection is automatically reestablished.
How about copying files? With RIM, copying a file is as simple as copy and paste. With other solutions, you can copy text back and forth but not files.
I never recommend products or services that I’ve not used myself. In the case of RIM, I’ve used it with several of my customers with great success. It has been a huge time saver because I have not had to spend time walking customers through setting up access technology just so I can connect to their computers. I have been able to easily connect to their computers whether they have sound or not, and to conveniently reconnect after a restart. RIM has options for personal, small business, and even Enterprise use cases. So, regardless of whether you need tech support, or if you are providing tech support and/or training, try RIM today. I think you’ll love it!