I’m a system administrator. So regularly, I need to log on to servers. Primarily this is done through the remote desktop protocol (RDP) for short. When I first thought of using an iPad as my main computer when on the go, my main thought was, how am I going to connect into a server if it get’s into trouble when I’m on the road. Fortunately microsoft have a native remote desktop solution for the iPad called R D Client. This app is really well thought out. It supports saving credentials and connections. It even has workspaces to separate out the connections. This is great because I don’t just have remote desktop connections for work. I also have them for other companies.

The question you will have is how do I use assistive software such as Jaws on a remote machine? Well, it’s very simple. The sound is sent from the remote system to my iPad just like standard system sounds are. Latency seems exceptionally low. Even when connecting to machines on remote networks.

Remote networks brings me to a great point. I’m really glad that I’ve been able to find several VPN clients for the iPad to enable me to connect to the various networks that I need access to. So, yes. Even on the iPad, I can connect to everything I need. There’s one draw back though. I seem to have a problem connecting to some VPN’s when I’m using the iPhone as an access point for the iPad. I will investigate this further.

Remote desktop connections are quite efficient when on the iPad and with the iPad I can certainly log in and poke around. However, for any kind of serious work, I find that I need a keyboard with propper control, alt and F keys. I have some more research to do on this topic. I have ordered a USB C to USB A cable so that I can try different keyboard combinations. There are other major limitations that I’m hoping to get around.

The major limitation at the moment is the caps lock key is not sent to the remote machine. Therefore as Jaws uses this as a modifier, I am unable to issue Jaws specific commands. I’m hoping to get around this with a propper Windows keyboard. You can expect me to write more regarding this topic in the coming days.

Over all though, I’m happy with this solution. I haven’t had to do anything on a Windows server in an emergency and that’s when I”ll really tell if this is a viable solution for on the go.