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Using Your Handheld PC or Pocket PC to Control Your Windows XP Machine Remotely

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Having trouble prying yourself away from your desktop PC? Kulvir Bhogal shows you how to use Windows Remote Desktop to connect your handheld client to your PC, giving you access to all your files and applications remotely, whether you’re out on the road or just in the next room. It's time to get out and smell the roses — just remember to bring your handheld!
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My wife constantly complains that I spend too much time in front of the computer—I think she'd like me to be permanently (and surgically) removed from it. Though the information in this article gets me away from my computer physically, it doesn't exactly help her cause. In fact, this article presents a way that you can access your machine via another avenue. I'll show you how to access your Windows XP machine remotely, from the living room for example, via Windows Remote Desktop and your Handheld PC or Pocket PC, running Terminal Services Client Software. It's allowed me to spend time with my two loves—my wife and my computer—simultaneously.

I am going to assume that you have either a Handheld or Pocket PC, such as the Hewlett Packard iPAQ, equipped with an integrated wireless LAN connection (e.g., 802.11b) so that you can connect to the Internet. I'm also going to assume that the Windows XP machine you're trying to connect to is up and running on the Internet. Remember, only Windows XP Professional Edition allows you to connect to your machine via Remote Desktop. Remote Desktop is not available for Windows XP Home Edition.

Some Words about Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop does what it sounds like—it allows you to have remote control of your computer, including access to your data and applications. Unlike programs such as VNC and GoToMyPC, which basically push changed pixels of your screen to a client, Remote Desktop is much faster, because the client (also known as your Pocket PC) receives the onus of rendering much of the UI locally, making the interactive experience much smoother. Windows XP Professional only allows for one interactive session at a time with the operating system (whether local or remote). Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2003 Server, on the other hand, allow for simultaneous local and remote connections.

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