Project Aardvark

Full Disclosure

Friday, July 1, 2005 posted by Yaron Guez

Project Aardvark presents…


Fog Creek


coming soon from Fog Creek Software


Fog Creek Copilot is a service that lets you help your friends, relatives, and customers fix their computer problems over the Internet.  Built on a VNC core, Fog Creek Copilot sets itself apart from other remote assistance software and services in its simplicity and ability to work through any home or office firewall without having anything to install or configure.  Fog Creek Copilot uses invitation codes to connect a helper to a user in need of assistance in order to fix any problems remotely by “copiloting” his or her computer.  Invitation codes are sold as Day Passes that are active for 24 hours from their first use, during which time they can be used as many times to help as many users as needed. 


The Fog Creek Copilot service is initiated by the helper copilot, who enters his or her name into the website and can then choose to either pay for theDay Pass him or herself, pass the payment on to the pilot needing the help, or try the service free for five minutes.  The copilot is then supplied with a download link and a twelve digit invitation code which can automatically be e-mailed or IMed to the pilot.  After the pilot enters that invitation code into the website, he or she is provided with a download link as well.  The download is around 200k and is preconfigured by the Fog Creek Copilot server such that once both parties run it, and the pilot agrees to let the copilot connect, the connection is established.  There are no user names or passwords to remember, no settings to configure, and the connection is completely secure with 128-bit SSL encryption. 


While connected, the helper copilot sees what the pilot sees.  Both parties can control the mouse and keyboard as if the copilot is physically at the pilot’s computer. The helper copilot can fix simple to complicated computer problems remotely without having to worry about walking the pilot through any complicated installs or software and port configurations.  Once the connection is closed, the download automatically deletes itself.  The program can be redownloaded as many times as needed to connect to any other computers so long as the Day Pass is still valid.


Fog Creek Copilot is designed to be as simple as possible and will revolutionize the way users help their friends and relatives with computer problems.  Connecting remotely to another computer in order to provide assistance has never been easier. 

A private Beta is scheduled for mid July, and a public Beta a week later.  Version 1 of Fog Creek Copilot should launch sometime in early August.