In the last few months I have been using my MacBook to give presentation,
both at work and not. I've been meaning to buy one of those presenter
remotes. I even got to borrow one and tried it once and I must say it
worked pretty well.
Then I remembered that the MacBook came with that useless remote that I had
forgotten in a junk drawer somewhere. Well, that remote happens to work
well with more than just Front Row. I heard it works with Keynote for
presentations. I don't use that application and I'm not planning to buy it since
Powerpoint 2007 works very well for me on my PC and I'm too cheap to
I typically save my PowerPoint presentations to PDF and show them on
the mac using Preview (a simple PDF viewer). The remote does not work
with Preview out of the box but I found this little freeware called
iRed Lite that can
make the apple remote control just about any application, as long as
the application is controllable with AppleScript, which most apps are.
The only problem was that iRed Lite came with support for Preview but
it did not work well for the full screen mode, which I needed. Time
to get my hands dirty with AppleScript.
The idea here was to bind the commands associated with the left and
right arrows of the remote to the keys PageUp and PageDown, respectively.
The iRed Lite utility allows you to edit each command by assigning a
keystroke or an AppleScript snippet. Initially I tried the keystroke
alternative but I could not figure out how to send a PageDown or PageUp
to the application because on the keyboard they are Fn+UP and Fn+DOWN
and Fn was not available in the utility. The AppleScript ended up being
rather minimal, as seen in the screenshot.
For the Next Page command I entered:
tell application "System Events" to key code 121
For the Previous Page command I entered:
tell application "System Events" to key code 116
You can find all these key codes in the file /System/Library/Frameworks/Carbon.framework/Frameworks/ HIToolbox.framework/Headers/Events.h provided you installed the developer tools from the OS X installation DVD, i.e. you
have Xcode installed.
Wow. All this trouble to save $50? I guess I just liked the fact
that I found a use for that remote. Now I just need to hack a
laser diode inside the remote to use as a pointer too.
12-20-2008 2:03 PM