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The Virtual Office

Date:  Wed, 3rd-Mar-2004prevnext

Tags: Commentary, Programming, Software

I've been away from the office for the past few days. I'm tucked away in a remote corner of Winchester working with our partners, 8th Day Studios. Whilst here, I have discovered a couple of minor bugs in the Urban Mainframe's CMS.

Thankfully, this is not a problem since all the tools I need to work remotely, on both the application and the website, are available for quick and easy download...

For creating content, editing templates and general administration and maintenance of the website, I need use nothing more than the plethora of tools that are available via the Shapeshifter CMS.

But every now and then, I need to do something a little more hardcore. I might need to edit a record in the database directly, or correct a bug in the application, or tweak the web-server's configuration. There are also rare occasions where either the web-server or the database must be restarted.

All of these tasks and more can be undertaken with the right tools and all of the necessary tools are either freely available or cost only a nominal fee.

My virtual office depends on the following applications:

  • SSH Tectia Client - This invaluable tool provides me with a secure, encrypted connection onto my servers. Once connected I get a full shell console and a secure FTP client. With the console running, I can work on a server as if I were sat directly in front of it and I can do so with confidence since I know that my connection is as secure as it could be.
  • MySQL-Front - This allows me to connect directly to the database and manipulate the contents therein. Of course I can work on the database via the SSH Tectia Client but MySQL-Front gives me a nice, clean GUI to work with.
  • TextPad - In my opinion, simply the best text editor available for Windows.
  • WinCVS - A GUI interface to the CVS repository for my source code and websites. Again, I can work with the repository via the Tectia shell, but sometimes it's just easier to have a GUI.
  • WebMail - Life, as we all know, is meaningless without email. So I also have a webmail service running on my mail server that gives me access to my email, calendar and "to do" list via a standard web-browser. Perfect for keeping in touch when I'm away from my desk.

I'm sure there are other tools I could use to make various aspects of my job easier to perform remotely. What should I be using that I haven't covered here?

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