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You can log into a Linux computer remotely in a number of ways.
I think there's a SourceForge project called rdesktop (?) that will let you use Windows Remote Desktop.
The native GUI mechanism is to use a remote X session. For security, this is usually disabled by default; look for the “remote X session HOWTO” on www.tldp.org for setup instructions. This will require you to install an X-Windows server on the MS-Windows machines.
There are also products like Citrix that give cross-platform GUI desktops.
Out of the box, you can get a console login using either telnet (installed on Windows by default) or the more secure ssh (look for puTTY for a Windows SSH client).
It's also not unknown to use an old-fashioned serial terminal plugged into the serial port. That way, you don't even need a network
scuzzman is right. TightVNC comes in windows and linux flavors. I use it on my windows box to get a graphical (mirror image) of my Mandrake desktop.
Hint: If the remote window you open is set to a lower resolution than the machine you are sitting at, the window will be easier to get around in (no scrolling). Also be prepared for a small amount of latency as you move around the remote desktop, especially if you are really, really remote.
There is a file called rc.local, usually under /etc/rc.d/ or /etc/init.d/ or /etc/rc.d/init.d/. This file is really a script that gets run as root when the computer starts up, after setting up everything else up, and before you can log in.
If you add a line like this:
su user -c 'command'
where: user is the username you wish to start the server as, and command is the command you would use to start the server
…then it will automatically start when the computer boots up.