Ask the IT Guy

Q: How can I track information about the people who visit our school's Web site?

A: Many commercial services provide this functionality, but there are also free ones. For example, at you can sign up for a free Web counter and the HTML code needed to view site statistics: unique visitors, where people have linked to your site from, the most trafficked pages on your site, and more. The service tracks up to 20,000 impressions per day; if your site receives less than 20,000 page visits per day (a likely scenario for most schools) then this service might fit your needs.

Q: I am not running Windows XP so I don't have the Remote Desktop option. However, I still need remote connection capabilities. What's a quick and painless fix?

A: You can use a free VNC software program to remotely connect to another computer, even if it is running an operating system sans Microsoft Remote Desktop. Go to and search the software database for VNC, then go to the bottom of the page and limit the search results to free software licenses. Give any one of the resulting software programs a try. Installing freeware or shareware applications can present stability and security risks; check with your district IT department first.

Wesley A. Fryer ( is director of instructional support services a the College of Education at Texas Tech University.