Wednesday, August 28, 2013

[Article] Monitoring PC remotely using TeamViewer

When you overclock your CPU, you need to test it for a long time. It is very ineffective if you do it when you are at home. You miss the chance to use it for something useful. You might be able to watch a movie or listen to music or browse the internet while the stress tests are running in the background, but if might crash and that would drive you nuts.

Hence, I stress test overnight while I am sleeping. But that is not a long time. 6hrs or so at best. The best time to run stress tests is when you are at work. But the issue there is, if the PC crashes while testing, the PC will restart and sit there not doing any useful work - wasting power as well as time. If you could either turn the PC off or change a small setting rerun the stress test, it would be great.

That's where TeamViewer comes in. I installed TeamViewer in my PC and iPhone and I can monitor the current state via the mobile app. But you should enable "Automatically Restart" option in an event of a crash, otherwise it will be stuck at the blue screen. (But this is the default setting, so if you haven't changed anything it should work as we want.) But there is one problem. I have an iPhone 4S and it doesn't support LTE. So it is pretty slow. You can monitor somehow, but shutting it down or changing a setting and restarting the stress test are hard work. Sometimes it works quickly depending on where I am and how congested the network is.

No thanks to the quality of SoftBank's 3G network, most of the times the only thing that you can do with the iPhone app is shutting the PC down. Now that I am using Intel XTU as the stress test, I can do everything from one software, thus it is easier than having to run AISuite III and Prime95 at the same time. However, it is still a tedious thing to do with the small screen and the crappy connection. Windows 8 isn't helping me either. You know how many steps shutting down requires, right? So I created a shutdown shortcut and added it to the Start Screen so that I can quickly shut the PC down. Luckily, I haven't had to use it yet. (i.e. XTU not HandBrake didn't crash)

Most of these apps have a web console and I searched if TeamViewer had one too as it would be faster than using the iPhone. It seems the web console only allows you to join web meetings. You cannot connect to your PC from a web interface. The issue is that I cannot install any software on these common PCs (the ones that has internet connectivity) so I cannot run TeamViewer application. Luckily, there is an official portable version! I downloaded it and tried it out. It worked flawlessly. Now I don't have to use the phone to do the monitoring. Of course I cannot do it all the time because this is not my work PC. I can check the status from phone and if there is something wrong, I can log into a common PC and do the big stuff from the Windows application.

Right now I am running the H.264 transcoding tests to see if the CPU is stable. (So far so good!) I am monitoring the status through TeamViewer. Pretty cool.

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