TweetMyPC: control your PC remotely by sending a Tweet

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TweetMyPC is a free Twitter application that can shut down your PC remotely and/or perform a range of commands as soon as you send it a tweet.

Other commands include restarting your PC, downloading stuff to your PC, and even sending files to you from your PC – all based on your tweets. TweetMyPC v2.0 is multiplatform (Windows/Mac).

[Editor’s note: this review was contributed by blogger Ishan of ILoveFreeSoftware.com].

When Twitter was launched, I was really skeptical about how far it would go. 140 characters seemed like a joke.

However, Twitter has proved me and tons of others wrong. Part of its strength is attributable to Twitter’s openly accessible API, whcih anyone can use that for free to build their own custom software (and which developers, unlike iPhone applications, do not need to get approval from Twitter). This API is why many people have come with up some really innovative applications around Twitter, and TweetMyPC is one of them.

To start, you need to install TweetMyPC on the PC that you need to control remotely. I find it useful to install this on my home PC, so that I can get stuff from it while I am in office or on vacation. After that, you need to associate the program with a Twitter account that TweetMyPC will monitor for your tweets. It is recommended that you create a separate Twitter account for TweetMyPC rather than use your primary Twitter account. Also, you should disable public access of your new Twitter account, so that no one else can do some fishy activity on your PC by sending tweets to your new account. To disable public access of your Twitter account, go to Twitter then Settings. In the “Account” tab, you will see an option at bottom that says “Protect my tweets”. Once you check this option no one can follow your tweets. Also, do not follow anyone with this new account, otherwise their tweets will start coming in your timeline, and can confuse TweetMyPC.

TweetMyPC-Image1

Another step you need to take is associate a Gmail account with TweetMyPC. This email account will be used to get files from your PC (as I will explain later). You can choose an existing Gmail account, but you will need to provide your Gmail password as well, so I would recommend creating a new Gmail account for this. Once you are done with the setup, TweetMyPC will monitor your assigned Twitter account in one minute intervals to see to see if there are tweets that it needs to act on. Once you send a command to TweetMyPC it will act on that tweet and send you a tweet in response.

Here are some of the main things that TweetMyPC can do for you:

  • Shutdown/Restart your PC: just tweet “Shutdown”, and TweetMyPC will shutdown your system. Similarly, “Logoff”, “Reboot”, “Lock”, “Hibernate”, “Standby” will do the respective tasks as their names suggest.
  • Get Screenshot of your system: if you are wondering what might be happening on your system in your absence, you can just tweet “Screenshot”. TweetMyPC will grab a screenshot of your PC, and post it on Twitpic. It will then tweet you link to that screenshot.TweetMyPC-Image2
  • Download a file to your system: let’s say you want to start downloading some big file on your system so that the download is completed by the time you reach home. To do that, just tweet “download URL”. TweetMyPC will start downloading the file from the URL that you mentioned. Note, however, that you need to use a URL shortened by Bit.ly
  • Get a file from your PC: Let’s say you want to get a file from your computer. Just tweet “get” followed by file path. TweetMyPC will send you the file from the specified path at the Gmail address that you specified above. If you do not know the exact path of the file, you can tweet “getfilelist” followed by drive. TweetMyPC will send you list of files and folders in that drive. You can use that to find exact path of file you are looking for, and then use “get” command to get that file.

TweetMyPC has some other interesting commands as well and also an option to define your own command. All this makes TweetMyPC a really versatile tool that is very intelligent and still one of the simplest applications to use. Shoban, the developer of this software, has done some great out of the box thinking to come up with the idea for this innovative freeware, and then to implement it so beautifully. Love it!

Version Tested: 2.0

Compatibility: Windows, Mac. Windows version requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 or higher.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 931K).