There are at least two different ways to use a second computer to control the Minix or a Stick PC (and lots of variations on the first of those two methods).
The first, and certainly the most common, is to use remote access software like Microsoft's Remote Desktop, or TeamViewer, or one of the VNC apps, or one of several other third-party utilities (take your pick). However, as far as I know all of these utilities require some type of explicit network connection between the remote PC and the controlling system. The remote control can be done from a desktop computer, a notebook computer (in both cases either a PC or Mac or Linux/UNIX , or Chromebook), or even a mobile system like a phone or tablet (iOS or Android or Windows).
Given the above (remote access software) you can establish your network connection using several different techniques. The first is to connect over an existing WiFi network that has been established using a wireless access point (a separate device, also known as a WiFi router). This can be done fairly easily while at home since most people probably already have a WiFi network running there. However, if you want to take your system into the field then you MAY need to carry and use a separate wireless access point so that you can establish a network while away from home.
Note, I said that you MAY need to carry such a device. That's because it is possible to establish something called an ad hoc network that does not require a dedicated (separate) WiFi access point or router. In this case the two devices (i.e. the Minix and the controlling PC, et. al.) work in what is normally called a point-to-point connection with no need for a separate access point or router. If you look on the internet you will find lots of information on how to do this type of connection using Microsoft Windows 7 and 8. Unfortunately (I guess), Microsoft has changed the level of support that they offer for ad hoc networks in Windows 10.
Be forewarned, there are a lot of links that will come up if you search for ad hoc or point-to-point networking and even if they list Windows 10 in the search results and even if they are titled under "Windows 10" they may NOT show the correct method to create such a network under Windows 10. Most often you will find instructions for earlier version of Windows (Vista, 7, 8, etc.) and I suspect that these so-called Windows help sites are sometimes just a form of click-bait, they want your clicks even if their instructions aren't correct for Windows 10.
Below is a link that seems to offer the "correct" method to create an ad hoc WiFi network under Windows 10. Unfortunately, even though this was written by a Microsoft support tech it is obvious that this person wasn't a native English speaker (either that or he was just having a bad day) and note there are typos in the instructions. Thus, to get these instructions to work you will have to follow the entire response thread and you may even need to reference some more links (to fill in the details). In any case, here is that link:
Now, if someone could point to a set of complete, error-free instruction that they absolutely positively know will work under Windows 10 then I'd like to have that link or set of instructions.
Of course, if you want to avoid some of this grief or confusion you can always use a wired connection over ethernet. In that case you can either use an ethernet router (cheap and easier to setup than WiFi) or go point-to-point between the Minix and the PC using a simple ethernet cable (it doesn't even need to be a cross-over cable because most gigabit network connections offer auto switching to support direct PC-to-PC connections).
Okay, so all of the above was in reference to using so-called remote access software to control your Minix or Stick Computer. So, what is the second method? It's something called Wireless Display and it is supported only in the latest release of Windows 10.
The Wireless Display feature uses WiFi Direct (different that ad hoc networking) and Miracast to establish a point-to-point connection between the Minix and the controlling PC. Once this service is running (and it's supported directly by Microsoft as part of Windows 10) the experience is very similar to using something like Remote Desktop or TeamViewer except that you do NOT need access to a WiFi network, the Wireless Display feature is completely point-to-point by design (think ad hoc networking without any need for YOU to set up a WiFi network). Well, you still need WiFi in both devices and you need to do a simple one-time setup, and (important point) both devices must be running Windows (so no support for the Mac, Linux/UNIX, or mobile devices running iOS or Android).
You should note, however, that it is possible that I am the only person who has ever tried to use the Wireless Display feature of Windows 10 to control a remote PC that is running a telescope or astrophotography session. That said, in my hands it seems to work pretty well and since it is directly supported by Microsoft it should only get better in the future (which is something that you probably can't say about setting up an ad hoc WiFi network, as discussed previously in my notes on remote access software).
In any case, if you review the following links (posts within this very thread) you can get some background on using the Wireless Display feature of Windows 10.
That last post documents some problems I've had with the Wireless Display feature, so it's not 100% rock solid, but certainly good enough for use and I've yet to see any of the remote access style software run without issue (i.e. there is always something and YMMV). In fact, I've recently discovered that one of the problems I was having can be solved by using an HDMI emulator or dummy HDMI plug. It seemed that the Minix didn't need that for the Wireless Display to function, but it appears that if you don't use an HDMI emulator then you may not be able to switch between the desktops that are running on the remote PC (yes, the HDMI emulator is plugged into the Minix to solve a GUI problem on the remote PC).
And here is an article that discusses the Wireless Display feature in Windows 10 (with instructions on how to set it up):
As for the simple script that I wrote to support auto connection to the Wireless Display at boot time (to a headless and keyboardless Minix), the entire process that I used to create this is something that is not that easy to document and I don't want to risk going to full-time software support. Suffice to say that the method involves a keyboard script that runs at startup time on the Minix with the aid of the AutoHotKey utility (basically a keyboard macro).
It's kind of a "hack" but I think completely safe and it doesn't require any patches or extensions to Windows (other than the free AutoHotKey utility). Having said that and recognizing that I don't want to offer free, unrestricted software support below is the script that I run at startup time (note, you need to disable any login requirements to the Minix, since this script must be run while you are idle at the startup desktop, you also need the free AutoHotKey utility which you can download from the internet, this is a script that must be run by AutoHotKey).
Basically, all this script does is wait for the Minix to boot and then issue the keyboard shortcut WindowsKey+K, then wait again for the Wireless Display list to populate, and then issue a Tab and an Enter key. This starts the Wireless Display connect process between the remote PC and the Minix (you could do the same thing with a keyboard, this script just automates the keystrokes). Note, you want to start/boot the remote PC first, then start the Minix (the power-on sequence is remote PC first, then the Minix).
Note, although I believe that this script is "safe" to use and the the AutoHotKey utility is similarly safe I neither offer or take any responsibility for use of this script or the AutoHotKey software. Basically, use at your own risk.
; AutoHotkey script to connect to the first PC in the Wireless Display List
; Requires Windows 10 Home Anniversary Edition of later.
; wait to finish startup or wake
; dismiss any splash screen
; wait for screen to dismiss
; second attempt to dismiss any splash screen
; wait for screen to dismiss
; keyboard shortcut for the Wireless Display Connection, Windows+k
; wait for window to appear and for list to populate
; check to see if the Wireless Display window is active
; Move to the first PC in the list and send enter to select, we assume success as there is no
; way to determine whether the wireless display was found.
; dismiss Connect window
Note, this script takes a minute or two to run, since it waits for several seconds at various points in its operation, be patient, if nothing has happened on the remote PC after several minutes of waiting you can probably assume that something went wrong on the Minix. In my hands it works almost all of the time and when it fails it is usually because Windows has put up a login screen (happens now and then even though I have disabled login) or because Windows has put up some other type of alert at startup (i.e. something has gone wrong in Windows or they are reminding you that you want to update to Microsoft Office, etc.). My rate of success in connections is very high, well over 95% and if it fails you generally just need to restart the Minix.
So, as a quick review and guide for using the Wireless Display feature that is in the Anniversary release of Windows 10.
1.) Follow the instructions to setup the Wireless Display as shown at the link I provided above (laptopmag.com). You'll want to have a display and keyboard connected to the Minix for this part of the process.
2.) After you have the Wireless Display feature working the way you want download the free AutoHotKey utility and use that to create a standalone executable (.exe) from the script file that I provided above. You'll do this part of the work on the Minix, that is the system that will need to run the standalone executable that you just created.
3.) DISCONNECT from any current Wireless Display session that you may have already opened and test that the script executable (.exe) can initiate a new Wireless Display session (from the Minix, just double click on the executable). You'll still want a display and keyboard connected to the Minix during the testing to see that everything is working correctly.
4.) If everything seems correct, configure the standalone executable to automatically run at startup time on the Minix (if you don't know how to do this just search for the method on the internet, it's straightforward and a feature that is natively supported under Windows).
5.) Now reboot the Minix and the Wireless Display should be automatically re-connected (the Minix desktop should be displayed on the remote PC). Note, you need to disable any login screen on the Minix, otherwise the boot process on the Minix will stop at the login screen.
6.) Now, shutdown the Minix, disconnect the display and keyboard from same and press the power button to restart everything. You should get the Wireless Display connection automatically on your remote PC. After this point you should no longer need a display and keyboard connected to the Minix as long as the remote PC is already running when you start the Minix.
Edited by james7ca, 11 March 2017 - 07:14 AM.