I came across this great program for controlling computers remotely on another forum and in doing a quick search only found it mentioned once before on this forum. It's called Team Viewer and it enables you to take control of others' computers absolutely free of charge if it's for non-commercial use.

I can see people getting a little queasy about allowing others to access their computers but the program needs to be running on both computers and is password protected so either user can opt out at any time during the session or in the future. I also believe a new password is created for each session unless designated otherwise.

I am finding it particularly useful for assisting family and friends with their computer issues and not having to travel to their houses or trying to direct relatively computer illiterate family/friends over the phone is a bonus. It can often be a struggle when you don't have the particular operating system in front of you but the remote access takes all this out of the equation.

I very much doubt that strangers are going to allow someone to access their computer remotely but friends and family can sit back and watch what you manipulate their computer and therefore watching your every move and have the option to stop it. It also comes in handy if you need to access your 2nd computer remotely. There are many more functions including video chat and file transferring.

http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx

I think it's fantastic.
Cheers