Remote tech support with anything – would I do it?



I’ve tried to ask myself if I’d trust someone enough to let them run a remote session on my own desktop to solve a problem. I think the answer is “it depends”. If you think about it, I do tech support for home users quite a bit and they let me come into their homes. If I were weighing someone coming into my house, or onto my computer desktop, I think I’d choose my desktop. …


But, let’s face it, any problem that is solvable by a remote desktop is probably something that could be reproduced in another user account on linux – right? If I were having an across the board problem, I might create a new user (*windows or linux*) and run a remote desktop support session that way. At least that way, none of my files would be accessible (assuming it was a Windows limited user account.) Of course, over time, if I trusted them, I might allow a remote desktop support session to my main desktop if I trusted the technician and knew what the goals of the session were (and that I was observing and could “pull the plug” at any moment.) I would not give my password information for all the tea in china…. and if for some reason I did, I’d promptly change it after the connection.

I have a tendency to only go to technical support as a last resort. I don’t know, maybe it’s self reliance – a joy of solving puzzles, or maybe it’s just that the first two levels of tech support walk you through things I would try anyway. For that reason, all of the above is more of a mental check as to how comfortable I would be if someone were suggesting they could help with an issue remotely.

Soon, I’ll start offering remote desktop tech support services for Windows and Linux. I don’t know what kind of acceptance there will be of it. It certainly isn’t for every problem. I suspect the main takers will be those that already know me and have had me work on their computers before. I plan on requiring 30 minutes worth of time pe-paid for new customers. ($20) (At the end of which, it can be discussed if more time is needed and why/what goals remain.) Established customers can choose to be billed after the session.

When the service rolls out payments will be processed by Paypal, mainly because that seemed the simplest most straightforward way to setup payments online. Payments are possible from credit card/bank transfer or paypal account, although the paypal account will not be required. The nice thing about letting them deal with things is that they get to deal with the credit card information, it will not be stored at (or even touch) the averyjparker.com server, which I like.

Well, I’m quite pleased at the moment with the state of the support downloads that I’ve got, I think they’re relatively easy to use, and fairly reliable. The only wish I have at this point is if I had a Mac version of things, but…. I don’t have a Mac to test with, so that will have to come later. I’ve enjoyed sharing the mashup of x11vnc and my wrapper script and hope it’s of some use to someone, it’s already been a great use to me, if for no other reason than the process of learning/envisioning a solution to a problem.

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