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History of VNCSara.

I'm glad you've come here, there's not too much history about VNCSara, but this is a little story about its name...

In the beginning:

For some time now I've worked for a company that are very strict with their proxy servers and firewall's. They make it exceedingly hard for anyone to circumnavigate... Which I fully understand as we hold lots of sensitive data. Anyhow, as I work for myself part time this does have its downside. I could not SSH or Remote Desktop back home. I need to be able to do this every now and then to ensure things are ticking over just fine.

One day a guy called James Agate introduced me to a product called pcnow Webex (this was a log time ago before things like logmein and gotomypc were advertising on the TV). This was great!!!! I could remote control my windows pc at home from work. The only down side to this was it costs me about £80 a year... which doesn't sound that much, but boy do years come round quick.

Over the last 3 years I've moved away from my windows pc and moved on to Ubuntu (Linux) and OSX (Unix). I still have 1 windows pc remaining which is running down some old web sites. Webex works on OSX but not on Linux, so this is rubbish for me now. So I looked around and there were one or two other products that could work, such as NTConnect, but this site is blocked by the proxy at work, so this was unsuccessful straight from the start.

So I decided to look at HTTP tunneling VNC connections. This would work, but boy it's complicated... Ok not for me but most people would struggle. I started to think that there must be an easier way for people to run their own remote desktop web site.

So Then It Happened:

I was doing a little reading about HTTP Tunneling and I started to think "Surly it can't be that hard to adapt the VNC Java Client to deal with Tunneling?". So one weekend over christmas 2009 I thought, "You know what, lets give this a go". To my surprise I think I spent about 4 hours before I had got a VNC Session working through the Apache Web server and could control another computer. Brilliant I thought!!! All I need to do now is see if it will work when I'm actually at work.

So the next day I got to work nice and early and guess what!!!! It worked, I was so pleased I couldn't believe how easy it had been.

I showed a colleague and he was amazed, and suggested that I should make it easy to use and maybe release it on sourceforge. Nice idea I thought, I have been relying on open source software solidly for the last 3 years maybe it's time I gave something back.

So I had a little think and thought the webex interface is actually very simple and easy to use. I wondered if I could create something similar to that.... So 1 or 2 weeks later here I am, I posted my first copy of VNC Sara on the web and now we're here waiting to see if people like it. Although it is by no means a finished product I think it's a good starting point.

What's in a name:

I spend a lot of time on the computer, I love the things. I work all day on them doing a proper job, but then when I get home I like to use computers hard core. However this takes it's toll sometimes. I have a wonderful fiancee who loves me loads and gives me lots of support for my computer antics. However, understandably, she gets a bit annoyed when I'm just stuck upstairs in my little hobbits den, playing on the computer.

So when I told her about this amazing bit of software I was going to write she was pleased for me... but the first question on her lips was how much money will it make? It baffles her, and me sometimes, that people will spend their hard earned time creating software and then what do they do... they just give it away for free. It's madness, but I'm glad so many people do it.

So she said "You know I love you, but I would like to spend more time with you. I like to see you happy but I don't see why you would do this for nothing. I know you enjoy it and you love doing it, but I don't get anything out of you doing this." Which is true, makes me happy to do it, make you happy to use it, doesn't make her happy because she doesn't want it, doesn't use it, and doesn't see me away from a computer.

So here was the compromise.... My Fiancees name is "Sara". I said I would dedicate this software to her and let the world know who Sara is. I said I will also ask people to donate money if they find this project useful and that all the proceeds would go to her so that she did get some benefit from all the hours of work that I put in, and she spent sat on her own.

So if you have spent the time to read this far, please click the donate button at the top of the page, so that I'm happy, you're happy and more importantly... Sara is happy. This will also help to ensure I have some time to improve and complete VNCSara.


© Dan Holliday. 2010

This software is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of