Steinkrug Publications Ltd is launching a new software package for remote control of PCs and associated devices. It is targeting those scientific, industrial and multimedia users with strong video and image capture requirements. The Cambridge, UK company is headed by Peter Kruger, formerly managing director of Digithurst Ltd, a pioneer of electronic publishing when the Internet was in its infancy, and one which suffered the fate of many pioneers (CI No 2,158). Wearing his new hat as managing director of Steinkrug, Kruger says the Remote Control Software will go on limited release in mid-August and general release by the end of the summer. We’re talking with manufacturers of terminals and set-top boxes where remote control can add real value. Also, the scientific community runs applications which users don’t want to monitor. He sees uses for Remote Control Software in several sectors, particularly remote security and monitoring and in push-based internet applications. For example, one user needed to film a weir gate for 24 hours to count the number of fish in the water. With Remote Control Software, the application went through the video frame by frame, sending the captured images of fish via the Internet, explains Kruger. The Remote Control Software (RCS) consists of library functions that work with installed applications software. The software, written in Java, uses Microsoft’s telephone Application Programming Interface, and it comes supplied with configuration programs, a script editor for creating customized commands and a direct dial up facility for calling remote PCs. Since the software operates without a permanent internet connection, it keeps transmission costs to the minimum and alerts remote devices with a direct call that connects to the internet automatically. RCS downloads instructions to perform a given task, posting back to the web page, and the pre-configuration facilities enable the software to respond to local events, performing pre-determined tasks and sending results to a web page. In the event of failure, RCS alerts users via a pager or direct call.