Best (free?) Remote Desktop solution for working with a typist
Thread poster: Artem Vakhitov

Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
Sep 12, 2011

Due to intermittent hand problems I sometimes delegate typing to my friend. Currently she types on my laptop to my dictation, with me sitting next to her and looking at the same display.

I would prefer that we both used our own laptops connected using some kind of Remote Desktop software, so that she could access Trados and Word on my laptop and I could watch her typing on my display, occasionally switching to the browser or other windows. One problem I can envision with this is that her mouse and keyboard actions could interfere with mine, therefore it might be neccesary to only publish Word and Trados application windows for her. Is it possible with any of the free Remote Desktop solutions? Does anybody use such a setup?

Of course, the simplest variant would be for her to type on my laptop and for me to watch it on hers using any Remote Desktop software in read-only mode. I do keep this option in mind but am curious anyway - can we do it all using our own laptops?


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Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons)
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
What about DNS? Sep 12, 2011

Hi,

Sorry for your health problems. What about using a dictation program as Dragon Naturally Speaking, for instance? That would leave your friend free to do something else in the meantime! It does not come for free though.


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Germaine  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 22:16
Member (2005)
English to French
+ ...
From an efficiency point of view Sep 12, 2011

Using a dictaphone, I can easily type 10 to 12 pages an hour, which is not the case when the client is sitting by my side dictating. I would recommend that you simply record your translations and give the tapes (with a paper copy of the original for page making) to your typist. You will save on that invoice and while she is typing, you can go to the next project. This way, not only do you optimize your time, but you also clear your mind, which will allow you for a better review of the translation when it gets back.

And I agree with G that Dragon would be a nice alternative. Look at it as an investment.

[Edited at 2011-09-12 19:10 GMT]


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 04:16
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Just use an external screen Sep 12, 2011

It'll be simpler to hook her laptop up to an external monitor and place that monitor beside your computer. Set her laptop to "clone" mode, which means that the same image will be shown on her screen and the external monitor. You can watch what she's typing on the monitor and do your research on your laptop. Even if you don't happen to have a spare monitor you can use, you can buy perfectly decent 17" or 19" monitors for next to nothing. They are very useful in "extended desktop" mode for when you're working alone, as well.

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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The word is, it doesn't work well for Russian Sep 12, 2011

Giuseppina Gatta, MA (Hons) wrote:

Hi,

Sorry for your health problems. What about using a dictation program as Dragon Naturally Speaking, for instance? That would leave your friend free to do something else in the meantime! It does not come for free though.


I did research the possibility of using DNS, but last I read on it, the colleagues' consensus was that it was not suitable for serious work with Russian, being basically a toy. And they don't even seem to provide free evaluation copies nowadays. Besides, as a flatmate, my friend does get some benefits from me for her help


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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Working habits and technical specifics Sep 12, 2011

Germaine wrote:

Using a dictaphone, I can easily type 10 to 12 pages an hour, which is not the case when the client is sitting by my side dictating. I would recommend that you simply record your translations and give the tapes (with a paper copy of the original for page making) to your typist. You will save on that invoice and while she is typing, you can go to the next project. This way, not only do you optimize your time, but you also clear your mind, which will allow you for a better review of the translation when it gets back.


This doesn't suit my working habits very well, in that I need to see what I have translated so far in order to make corrections on the fly and ensure consistency.

Also, with technical texts containing many unpronounceable IDs (software developer documentation etc.) - which I translate a lot of - this can get complicated, too.


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Artem Vakhitov  Identity Verified
Estonia
English to Russian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Desire to look straight ahead at all times + need to install SW Sep 12, 2011

FarkasAndras wrote:

It'll be simpler to hook her laptop up to an external monitor and place that monitor beside your computer. Set her laptop to "clone" mode, which means that the same image will be shown on her screen and the external monitor. You can watch what she's typing on the monitor and do your research on your laptop. Even if you don't happen to have a spare monitor you can use, you can buy perfectly decent 17" or 19" monitors for next to nothing. They are very useful in "extended desktop" mode for when you're working alone, as well.


I would like to look straight ahead at one display at all times. Besides, in this case I would need to install Word and Trados on her laptop, which may be a violation of the respective licenses (and we use different Word versions anyway).


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 04:16
English to Hungarian
+ ...
screen sharing Sep 12, 2011

Artem Vakhitov wrote:

FarkasAndras wrote:

It'll be simpler to hook her laptop up to an external monitor and place that monitor beside your computer. Set her laptop to "clone" mode, which means that the same image will be shown on her screen and the external monitor. You can watch what she's typing on the monitor and do your research on your laptop. Even if you don't happen to have a spare monitor you can use, you can buy perfectly decent 17" or 19" monitors for next to nothing. They are very useful in "extended desktop" mode for when you're working alone, as well.


I would like to look straight ahead at one display at all times. Besides, in this case I would need to install Word and Trados on her laptop, which may be a violation of the respective licenses (and we use different Word versions anyway).

Well, in that case you could try Skype 4.2 or higher. That's the simplest option I can think of for just screen sharing without the need to control the other machine (which is what remote desktop is for).

The problem with these solutions as opposed to a simple external monitor setup is that they require an internet connection. I'm not sure if they are smart enough to recognize that you two are on the same wifi connection and route traffic through your router without going through external servers. If they aren't, there will be a little lag, and it could be unstable/expensive depending on how good your net connection is.

Edit: the above was written with the assumption that she installs trados, or the two of you switch computers and she types on your laptop, which has Trados installed.
It doesn't really work any other way. One computer has one mouse cursor and one active window. If you give her remote desktop access to your computer, then she will control your mouse cursor and select the active window. Chances are that your own screen will be blank and she will have exclusive control. Even that wasn't the case, the inputs from both of you would be mixed. There's a bit of vector math involved: if you move the mouse left and she moves it right, the cursor will stay put etc.
Also, Trados was specifically designed not to work with remote desktop so you would need to circumvent that restriction first.


Windows actually contains built-in remote desktop functionality (in higher-end versions such as Win7 Pro or Ultimate), but I don't think it'll be of any use to you (see reasons above).


[Edited at 2011-09-12 20:42 GMT]


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Teymur Suleymanov  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:16
Russian to English
+ ...
You can also try TeamViewer Sep 13, 2011

There is an freely available tool called TeamViewer (http://www.teamviewer.com/en/index.aspx).

When I worked as a PC support technician, I frequently used this tool (in fact, I still do) to help my numerous PC-illiterate or semi-illiterate friends.
You have many options there:
- you can see everything they do in real time from any PC in the world (of course)
- you can control the user's mouse/keyboard, or you can disable it
- you can chat with them thru built-in chatter
- You can exchange files via file upload/download between the PCs

I cannot think of other features, but just go to their website, get registered, its free, download and install the app on both PCs and voila - you can collaborate together.

HTH,
Teymur


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