Work is where the WIFI is (with LogMeIn)

Once upon a time, nobody had much flexibility.  But with mobile technology, suddenly our lives have opened up to numerous possibilities.  I used LogMeIn to work remotely for a week, but this is not quite a “review” in the traditional sense.

Last week I was working remotely.  But I was in fact working at home.  How could this be?

Did you see the movie Avatar?  Jake Sully walked among the Na’vi, but his blue body was only an avatar.  His real body was back at the station.

Did you see The Matrix? Neo walked about in what he thought was the real world, but in fact was a simulation of the real world – the Matrix.

As it turns out, my wife had to go out of town on business for a week.  That left me to drive my daughter to school in Ottawa, and back home again after school, since she normally commutes with my wife.  No problem, I can drive her into the city and pull an Avatar.  Technology makes me and my life mobile, flexible.

Me, the Avatar

I spent the week at a library in Ottawa.  That’s where my physical body was.  But whatever I typed onto my laptop was being replicated 40 miles away at my main desktop PC.  I had complete control of my PC from a remote location through  And all I needed was WIFI.

Tweet this quote: “Technology makes me and my life mobile, flexible.”

Early morning, I did not have access to WIFI.  But I did have access to an Internet-connected computer.

Remote Office

Yes, it does look like a duct-tape office, and yes it was excruciatingly slow, for four reasons:

  1. Old computer, perhaps
  2. Not the highest speed connectivity, I suspect.
  3. I was forced to use Internet Explorer
  4. There is actually some lag time when working remotely.

Fortunately, by mid-morning I was able to enter the library….

Cubicle at the library

Then I could use:

  1. My own laptop
  2. WIFI.
  3. Firefox
  4. There was still some lag time when working remotely.

Lag time does get frustrating, especially when scrolling.  It’s not just the impatience – although there is that – it’s also the clicking on something, only to have the page scroll out of under the cursor and you end up clicking on the wrong thing.

Aside from the lag time, there were a couple other inconveniences working remotely.  Because I have a nice sized screen on my desktop, the screen resolution did not render perfectly.  Periods and commas tended to disappear, and the slightly fuzzy text did mean I had to give my eyes more frequent breaks than usual.

One additional inconvenience is that if either computer, my laptop or my desktop, loses Internet connectivity even for a moment, the connection is broken and I need to log in again.  This did happen once or twice each day.  Not a big deal, I suppose.

Big deal! Technology means flexibility

What was a big deal, however, was that my wife was out of town, so my daughter could not commute to her school in the city with her. What was a big deal was that I was able to drive her to the city and still get a reasonably productive work day in.

All in all, I would give my LogMeIn experience B+.  I have no way of measuring it compared to other computer remote control services.  I don’t think the issues I have mentioned are within any service to control. So this is not so much a review of LogMeIn, as it is my rating of playing the role of avatar.

Yes, there are some inconveniences.  But when your business is sole proprietorship and there is nobody back at the “office” holding down the fort, it makes life a whole lot more flexible.

And there are worse places to work out of than the public library.

Ottawa Public Library - St. Laurent


  1. Very true David… It’s amazing how technology has made our lives so much easier now. Imagine those days of floppy disks and huge computers and how frustrating it was. Now, like you said, one can do anything anywhere… with just wifi connection.

    Really amazing.

    The funny thing is that in a couple more years kids will even take it for granted that it’s not easier than it is now. While the older folks who have been there from the early days of floppy disks will continue to be blown away at how much easier things are now, 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Working remotely is easy now days. I’ve worked from internet cafe’s in South America, my boat in an anchorage, and from many coffee shops here in the US.

    My question is why were you connected to your home computer as opposed to working directly from your laptop? I assume you have programs on the PC not loaded on the laptop…

  3. Hi David,

    Just today my daughter called me about an issue she and hubby were experiencing with their computer. When I asked her why didn’t she just do so-and-so, she replied, “but I thought you could just login and take control of my computer and do that?!” LOL

    While I never log into my desktop and operate it remotely, I do have occasion to do that with both family and clients. I find the remote control services to be slower than remote software installed on both computers, probably because the services tend to use “http” and be browser-based.

    I’m grateful for the speed at which technology has moved. I remember 20 years ago, even 10 years ago wishing I could do this-or-that and have witnessed those things come to pass. No doubt about it, technology like LogMeIn is an entrepreneur/solopreneur’s true friend! 🙂

  4. I love LogMeIn. It lets me work at client facilities and save them the bucks I would charge to travel there. Of course, I still visit them often enough to understand the office dynamics.
    Oh, and I make sure I always have a superb internet connection.

  5. Seriously, LogMeIn and (another alternative) are the best thing that has ever happened to helpdesk (or sons and daughters that do helpdesk for their relatives). I wouldn’t use it for working for any long term myself, but when you are stuck in an airport and just need that file that happens to be sitting outside your dropbox folder… it’s a godsend.

  6. Dear David – You did what any dedicated husband and father would do. Where there is a will, there is a way and you found one to make it work. I could feel your frustration with slow connections, fuzzy screens and not the most conducive work spaces. But, the feeling of job well done, overcoming obstacles and getting through a week gives a feeling of accomplishment. Blessings, Debby

  7. I love the title of your blog post! Where there’s technology, there’s an opportunity to be productive. While it was frustrating to lose your connection a few times, at least you could still be productive while being away from your home office. It’s hard to imagine what we did before technology, except for increase our stress level because there was so much work to do and no way to do it. Being in a home office with hi-speed internet is ideal, but sometimes it’s good to get away and work remotely.

  8. I liked how you related this to Avatar. It’s just a good analogy!

  9. Good stuff David as we are blessed to be able to work remotely. Sometimes the lag is rough, whether through a remote service or just the internet.

    The speed here in India has been surprisingly good for many weeks yet we have a super slow day here and there. My patience is tested, but then I remember how it feels to travel and live the internet lifestyle, and to NOT be stuck in traffic in NJ driving to one of my old jobs 😉

    Thanks for the share!


  10. So true!!! I should tell my boss who is not on the WIFI era… haha

  11. Michael Moore says

    In cases of slow and unstable Internet connection you may consider using Aeroadmin which a way faster than LogMeIn though it lacks some features of the latter. Hope that helps!

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