By strange coincidence, this article was posted today:
It explains how to install a ready-made Web-based file search interface on your server. The Debian Administration site is brilliant for useful little articles like this...
WRT WeirdMind, I couldn't make it work either, and since development on it had stopped I wrote it off. VNC itself includes a Java applet, so once you have set up VNC you can point your browser at the appropriate port on the server, and off you go. Again, the lack of built-in encryption unfortunately makes this unsuitable for use over the Internet.
If you do want to do more with VNC, my own notes on setting it up are here: