Boot up from distant locales

Anyone who relies on the fax/modem in their PC to receive faxes knows the problem: you’re away from your machine, it isn’t turned on and set to receive, and someone wants to send you a fax right away. Or, you desperately need a file that’s on your home computer, and the only way to retrieve it is by returning home and copying it manually.

The aptly-named “PC OnCall” aims to change all that, allowing you to turn on your computer from any remote location with a telephone, and transfer files, receive faxes, load communications software, and do almost anything else you can do sitting right in front of your keyboard.

Users simply call home, activate their computer with a secret touch-tone code, then hang up and call back a few minutes later with a remote PC or laptop to take complete control of their PC. Ten minutes after you’re finished with your communications session, PC OnCall shuts down Windows and removes power from the PC. A hardware add-on selling for about $100, PC OnCall works with your existing phone line and answering machine, and doesn’t require a dedicated phone line.