Yoics, a remote access app built around VNC tools, offers a Gmail sidebar gadget that makes grabbing files, browsing pictures, or controlling a remote desktop a one-click affair from your inbox. Yoics installs a highly customised version of WinVNC on your Windows, Mac, or Linux system and lets you connect to it over the web with a single login/password. In this case, Yoics' sidebar gadget simply launches the relevant web link to your documents, pictures, or desktop, if you've chosen to share all of them. Installing and setting up Yoics took me about 10 minutes, between the relatively lengthy sign-up forms, system checks, and configuration demands (including a very mandatory changing of your WinVNC default password). Installing the gadget, though, was as simple as any other.
Choosing the "My Pictures" link gives you a customised gallery view of your documents:
The My Documents view is much more straight-forward, offering simple folders and right-click-able direct file links. As for the remote desktop, I couldn't quite connect back to my own desktop from the gadget link, but others have testified that it works, well, about as well as any Java-based VNC connection. All of these tools have time-limited access windows through their Gmail/web links, but most any VNC client can connect to your system if you have it configured correctly, and connecting through the Yoics software itself on another system has no such restrictions. A bit of caution, though: Yoics is not exactly light on system resources, and can be a pain to stop from running when you're not really interested in freeing up your system. Still, it's not a bad VNC system for those needing a little hand-holding when it comes to remote access, and if you don't mind taming it a bit in the configuration options, you might find its Gmail, web, and easy desktop access convenient. Yoics and its Gmail gadgets are both free for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems. Hit the link below for instructions on installing Yoics and its quick-acess Gmail tool.