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Creating a "Virtual Monitor"

by aaron.luman / June 18, 2007 1:41 PM PDT

I have a windows xp media center machine that i have hooked up to big screen and use as a dvr/gaming machine. Everything works as it should, but i would like to be able to administer it while watching movies/tv/ etc. I use tightVNC to manage it from my laptop, which is wonderful through its easy web interface. The only problem is that since i only have one monitor set up, i can only see what is shown on the big screen. AKA, no administering while watching movies. I would like to find a way around that.

Here is my set up:
Intel DG965WH board
ATI Radeon x1600 pro
Windows Media Center with all applicable updates

I would like to find a way to remotely log in and view something other than is being shown on the big screen. Whether that is by setting-up some sort of virtual monitor or through another VNC tool, I am open to any suggestions.

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Can't be done
by jackson dougless / June 18, 2007 2:01 PM PDT

At least not with Windows. If it were Linux or any other *nix, it would be trivially easy, but Windows doesn't have this ability. At least not without some rather expensive software.

I suppose if what you want to do can be done via the command line, you could use SSH, but that's about your only real option.

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SSH acces
by aaron.luman / June 18, 2007 3:06 PM PDT
In reply to: Can't be done

how would one go about using ssh to turn applications on and off and move/rename files? my laptop is a MacBook.

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One is easy
by jackson dougless / June 19, 2007 12:53 AM PDT
In reply to: SSH acces

Moving and renaming files via the command line is simple, you just use the "move" and "ren" commands. Or you can do renaming the Unix way, by moving the file with a different name. Just add a space and "/?" to the end of either command to get a brief synopsis of how to use the command.

You can start a program by just entering the full path to the main executable. Not sure on the closing of programs however. On a *nix system, including OS X, there's the "kill" and "killall" commands for this function. I don't rightly know if there is any kind of equivalent for Windows. Maybe someone else will know.

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Sadly not with VNC. Here's a link about old remote desktop.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 18, 2007 2:18 PM PDT
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To ilmhljf
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / June 19, 2007 5:31 AM PDT

You reply which included a web site link has been deleted.

The web site was an asian language web site and I could see no option for changing it to an English language. Also, your link appeared to be pointing to a Windows 98 solution site. As this problem is to do with Windows XP MCE I don't see how it would have helped.


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by fitzyjoe / July 29, 2009 11:13 AM PDT
In reply to: To ilmhljf

I know this thread is long dead, but I had to respond. I'm shocked by all of the unix-heads who don't have a clue about windows features. What you're looking for is Windows Remote Desktop. It's built-in to windows. I love my macbook pro... and my linux boxes are cool, but it's hard to beat the features of windows.

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unix heads? Don't have a clue?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 29, 2009 8:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Easy...

Your first post in these forums does not seem particularly helpful, especially to what you have already acknowledged is an old thread.

I trust your future posts are less critical.

And you may note that "Remote Desktop" had already been suggested. So, the purpose of your post was.....?


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since you asked...
by fitzyjoe / July 30, 2009 1:25 AM PDT

The purpose of my post was to point out to Jackson Douglass and other passerby's that it -can- be done and that you don't need expensive software. I though that Bob's posting was completely lost on people because as you pointed out the link had been deleted, and the only mention of "Remote Desktop" is in the subject (but not body) of his posting.


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by Jimmy Greystone / July 30, 2009 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: since you asked...

Except that Remote Desktop is likely going to do the same thing as VNC and just show you whatever's on the main display.

These days, now that dual display video cards are pretty common, that would be the "best" solution. Get a second monitor, hook it up as a second display, and use that. To save on power, you only turn it on as needed.

I've even seen some HTPC cases that have a small 4" LCD screen integrated into them. Sure, it's only 4", but that's usually plenty for simple admin stuff.

And before you try writing me off as a "unix head" I'm actually quite adept with Windows and OS X as well. I taught myself DOS by reading the help file one summer, I have been using Windows since 3.1. I have experience with Mac OS 7.5-9.2, and while I missed the early years of OS X, I do have quite a bit of experience with 10.3 onward, and am a ACMT. Of course OS X is really another Unix flavor. What most people think of as OS X is just the Aqua UI. The core of OS X is Darwin, which is a fork of FreeBSD -- which can trace its roots all the way back to the original BSD Unix -- but Apple still makes fairly regular contributions back to the FreeBSD developers from their work on Darwin, as well as integrating some of the changes made by the FreeBSD developers that would be useful to them.

I recently installed a copy of Windows 7 into a VM on my laptop for work. I'm still at a loss as to how it's supposed to be significantly different from Vista. The task bar has gone through another evolution which is moderately interesting, and even in a VM it does run pretty quickly. Still, it looks to be less of an overall change than XP was to Windows2000.

Be careful with the labels before someone brands you a Windows Yokel or Redmond Redneck. I also am at a loss to explain your "expensive software" comment. Last I checked, Linux was available free.

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Link deleted?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 30, 2009 2:40 AM PDT
In reply to: since you asked...

Bob's link works, as shown in the screen print below;

Or do you mean the link I deleted, which, as far as I can remember, (it was two years ago), was in a foreign language that couldn't be translated, and appeared to refer to Windows 98, not XP.

Anything else?

No, scrap that. This continuing discussion is going nowhere, so I am ending it. Discussion locked.


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