Sunday, September 03, 2006

Hamachi, VNC and the Nokia 770

Over the last couple of months I have been having a "general tussle" improving my understanding on how best to create a personal private secure network before I begin increasing the "Freedom & Access" to my home PC and my personal interest AV media; wherever I happen to be in the World at any time.

In my quest to obtain both the knowledge, software applications and methods to achieve my overall aim, this is my current workable(ish) solution :-

1. Secure Virtual Private Network SVPN

Hamachi is a great application to create a Secure Virtual Private Network VPN for my personal PC's and "Internet-Net workable Devices" such as my Nokia 770 Internet tablet. Thanks to Internet Tablet Talk Forum I quickly found Hamachi (Maemo Port) that runs on the Nokia 770 all be it currently at command line level, running in an Xterm window.

2. Virtual Network Computing VNC

TightVNC (Version 1.2.9) is the VNC server application I have currently chosen to run on my XP PC. There are a number of other free options available such as RealVNC, UltraVNC, I am not sure which provides the best features for my needs.

VNC Viewer (Maemo Port) Version 0.3 is the VNC Viewer application that runs on the Nokia 770 enabling me to log into and control my XP PC remotely. Here is an Internet Tablet Talk forum thread which takes us through more recent developments of VNC Viewer for the Nokia 770 (OS 2006) and the various options on its use etc.

3. Set-up and use.

After reading up a little I was not about to let TightVNC sever run merrily on off onto the World Wide Web and the outside world, opening up ports on my router which would say "Here I am, come and hack me" without first understanding how I could set up Hamachi to create a secure personal Network.

Installation of Hamachi and VNC was relatively easy on the PC and the Nokia 770 device

First I installed Hamachi on my XP PC and my Nokia 770 and then made sure that they could see each other across my very first Virtual Private Network . Then I installed TightVNC on my PC and established that with Hamachi there was no need to open any ports on my router. Then it was simply a matter of starting the VNC Viewer on the Nokia 770 connecting to my Hamachi IP and hey presto; I was controlling my PC remotely using via a secure Hamachi VPN network session.

4) Notes:
  • "Hamachi & TightVNC Win32 Server" programs need to be set as exceptions through the XP Firewall.
  • With Hamachi running there is no need to open any ports for the VNC server on the router, you simply use the Hamachi provided IP address to connect VNC Viewer to the TightVNC server running on the PC
If anyone is sufficiently interested I can provide more information.

Media Streamer for the Nokia 770

Today I found out about and downloaded a small application for the Nokia 770 called Media streamer. This application enables me to playback AV material on my Philips SL300i and Hi-fi using my Nokia 770 to control events. Here are some screen grabs to illustrate Media Streamer running on the Nokia 770.

1) Below we can see (On the left) Mikes Twonky as the selected UPnP Media Server on my Network. Note the three folders Music, Pictures & Video as these can be drilled down into to select items for playback. Items selected appear in the right window as a Playlist.

MediaStreamer with Twonky Media Server

2) Below we are now playing the Keane track "Can't Stop Now" on the Nokia 770, served by Twonky, notice how the next track will be Sunshine, but with the use of the small arrows either side of the remove option we are able to promote or demote tracks in the Playlist.

MediaStreamer playing Keane, Can't Stop Now

3) Below we are playing a Steve Winwood track Horizon, not on the Nokia 770 but on my UPnP hardware player running on the network and connected to my Hi-Fi.

Media Streamer controlling select & playback on SL300i

As we can see, to be able to playback my interest in Pictures, Music & Videos on the TV and Hi-Fi from my PC and the Internet using the Nokia 770 is already a reality.

Media Streamer can be downloaded to the Nokia 770 using the built in Download Manager on OS 2006.
  1. Tap and select Tools, Application manager
  2. Tap Install new applications
  3. Find Media Streamer in the list & tap it twice to install it. If you don’t see Media Streamer on the list, refresh the list from Application manager > Tools > Refresh list of packages
Twonky is just one example of a UPnP Server that can be installed on a number of devices and/or PC's which will interoperate with the Nokia 770 and Media Streamer and/or a Hardware UPnP Player.