Eight years ago I shared a data room with a network administrator. His dream was to break out on his own with a few colleagues and start a consulting firm. (He saw himself performing network administration tasks from the golf course.) All I could imagine was him standing on the sixth hole while trying to terminal service into Citrix from a laptop while his friends moved on. There were too many points of failure: his connection, the battery life on the laptop, and the poor performance and reliability of Windows just to name a few.
Today he could do it. He only needs an iPad and that terminal server, now called XenApp, and he’s off and running. Just install the free Citrix Receiver app from the Apple store and connect to his desktop.
Except for one more issue: Using Windows on the iPad. XenApp looks more like Steve Ballmer’s vision of the tablet. There’s no pinching to resize a screen, and what was on a 22 inch monitor is reduced to a 9.7 inch display. Windows needs a mouse, and you’ll spend too much time trying to play bull’s-eye with your index finger.
The good news is Citrix realized this and came up up with a clever way to restore a mouse to a terminal session over the iPad. They call it a Wireless Trackpad, and it uses the built-in Bluetooth on your iPad and iPhone.
Install the Citrix Receiver and pair the devices via Bluetooth. Once you’re connected, open the Citrix Receiver. A few more taps to confirm the link and you’ve established a session. The best part is you can right click, double-click, and drag and drop with almost no lag.
Now I can work from the golf course.