FTP as a file manager

Having a graphical FTP program (such as Filezilla) open can be handy when you are accessing a remote device via a terminal. Not only can you quickly get familiar with the directory structure, but you can do some file system operations such as creating directories, searching, and even editing files with the convenience of a graphical interface but without running a GUI on the remote device.

BBC’s 13 Minutes to the Moon

This great podcast goes into considerable detail about the development of the hardware and software for the onboard computers used in the Apollo program.

The development process was a bit different in the mainframe days, when you didn’t get to run things from your terminal and get immediate feedback. One interesting bit is that the keypunch operators acted as a sort of syntax checker. You don’t need to really understand code to spot an unclosed parenthesis.



Recently I used GoToMyPC to connect to a client’s computer, and here’s my thoughts on it.

The client created an account for me to use, so I can’t say anything about that part of the process.

Logging on was simple enough, enter the email address and a password on the GoToMyPC site. The site then asks to download a small app. You run this app, choose which computer to connect to (if there’s more than one associated with the account) and enter a password associated with that computer, and a window to the remote desktop opens.

Audio was apparently enabled by default. I was able to hear when USB devices were connected and disconnected, which was nice.

I used a terminal program and some hardware control programs, which worked normally, with hardly any lag.

In addition to the desktop, there is a menu for doing things like sending files and chatting.

The chat box works nicely. It opens a separate window on each computer, which is convenient because I could move that out of my way onto another monitor, or keep it open on top even when I had a window from my computer open over the GoToMyPC window
or had the GoToMyPC window minimized.

The file transfer works, but leaves a little to be desired. Navigating to the directories I wanted was time consuming, and it didn’t remember which directories I had recently used. It would have been helpful there had been shortcut buttons to commonly used directories such as the desktop, or customizable favorites. Or if it had popped up a standard windows file dialog.