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Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

NTS News Center - Latest News in Testing, Inspection and Certification

Remote Access using RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol)

Remote Control Your Windows PCPreviously, we discussed using VNC to remotely control a test platform. Today, a quick introduction to Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Like VNC, RDP provides remote access to a platform, using an RDP server and RDP client, to control the keyboard and mouse of the platform as if you were sitting right in front of it. However, there are many differences between the two products:

  • While VNC is GPL’d software, RDP is Microsoft’s proprietary protocol. So, while both the VNC server and client have been ported to multiple platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, etc.), the RDP Server is typically a Windows-based product.
  • Windows XP & Windows Vista ship with Remote Desktop Connection and Remote Assistance, both of which use the RDP protocol client & server protocols. While Mac OS X and Linux (Ubuntu, etc.) typically ship with VNC-based products.
  • Due to Microsoft’s low-level hooks in their software, RDP connections usually perform much better than VNC products.
  • Microsoft’s products use RSA Security’s RC4 cipher for encryption.

Which one is best? That’s up to you. Both offer many functions. If you’re using Windows platforms and you want the greatest performance, grab a copy of an RDP-based application like Remote Desktop Connection. If you’re cross-platforms, VNC may be a better tool for you. Either way, get your remote connections setup so you can get out of work on time!

Snippy! Snappy! Screen Captures

Screencapture ToolWhen you’re testing a product, you often may want to highlight a particular bug or issue with a quick screenshot. Of course, 90% of the time, you just need to show a small part of the screen. Snippy is a handy tool to grab part of a screen in Windows XP. Just click on the icon in your systray and circle the area on the screen. The image will be saved to the clipboard where you can drop it into an email or document. It’s free, it’s simple, and you don’t even need to install it so it keeps the test system relatively clean.

You can also grab a copy of Cropper which provides a nicer user-interface to allow you to grab sections of your screen, saves the area in many different formats, and works in Windows Vista. If you’re running Windows Vista, you can also use the built-in Snipping Tool. All three offer more features/capabilities than PrintScreen…