Netopia has released Timbuktu Pro 5.0 for the Mac OS, the latest version of its highly regarded remote control software, plus a new product called HouseCall geared toward technical support. Timbuktu Pro 5.0 for Macintosh offers improved performance controlling remote computers via a modem, a TCP/IP browser for local networks, improved intercom and voice-over-IP capabilities, plus a new Tele/Modem toggle that enables users to switch between voice and remote control functions on an analog phone line without re-dialing. Timbuktu Pro 5.0 requires a PowerPC-based machine with Mac OS 8.1 and at least 16 MB of RAM; single-user licenses start at $99 with discounts available for multi-user packs. Upgrades from previous versions of Timbuktu start at $30, with similar multi-user upgrade discounts.
Netopia’s new HouseCall is designed to enable Macintosh experts to provide technical assistance to other Mac users online. The expert runs a free Doctor version of HouseCall, which communicates with a licensed HouseCall Patient control panel on the remote system. Together, the Doctor and Patient software enable the expert to observe and control the screen of a remote Macintosh plus exchange files, just like Timbuktu. HouseCall also offers the same Tele/Modem toggle for both controlling a remote computer and talking with its user over an analog phone line without constant redialing; Netopia also runs a HouseCall Internet Locator service so HouseCall patients can be located by their doctor whenever they’re online, even over dynamic dialup connections. Netopia seems to be aiming HouseCall at folks – you know who you are – to whom new or inexperienced Macintosh users constantly turn for technical help or advice. HouseCall requires Mac OS 8.1 and a Macintosh with a 68040 or PowerPC processor; client licenses start at $30 for a single user, going up to $200 for a ten-user pack. The HouseCall Doctor application is free; evaluation versions of HouseCall (and Timbuktu Pro 5.0) are available from Netopia’s Web site.