How to ‘run’ Windows Vista or Windows 7 from your iPad

Windows7oniPad No, I’m not really ‘running’ Vista or Windows 7 on my iPad, I’m just remotely piloting a laptop running Vista Home Premium and a desktop running Windows 7 Home Premium.  I can do that with the help of two applications: one on the iPad called PC Access and the other, on each PC, called ULTRAVNC.  UltraVNC is a free application while PC Access costs $2.99.  Both are easy to configure.

First, download and install UltraVNC for Windows (MAC OS X has its own VNC server built in, consult the help to find out to set it up.)  Once installed (and make sure you have the correct version, 32 or 64 bit) you will be presented with the server setup window.  You can leave the defaults as they are, changing only the VNC password.ultravnc

Next, on the iPad, go to the app store and download PC Access.  Once that is installed, start it up.   Add a new server.  Give it a name, the IP address of your computer with UltraVNC installed (you can hover your mouse over the tray icon for UltraVNC and it will tell you the IP address.)  The port is 5900 and the display is 0.  Save the settings.  When you are at the list of servers, tap your computer name and tap Connect.  In a few seconds, you should see your Windows (or MAC) desktop show up on your iPad.  Actually using your computer via the iPad can be a bit tricky.  You have use two fingers to move around the screen if you are in 1x or 2x. If you tap FIT, the whole desktop becomes available, but can be difficult to see.  Your finger acts as your mouse, but, be careful as it is really easy to ‘fat finger’ something.  I found the speed to be acceptable and was even able to play, though slowly, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, but I would not recommend that.  This is good for doing something on your computer if you are not near it, but not for long sessions.  There is a way to use this over the internet, but I have not yet tried to do so.

UltraVNC is free and can be downloaded here.

PC Access is $2.99 and is available from the App Store.


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