Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Remote Possibilities

One of my favorite things about my Macs is that they are like compact entertainment centers. Sure, I bought them to facilitate my business needs but any Mac user knows that the reason you bought a Mac vs. a PC is because they're more fun!

I don't own a stereo system. My iMac and some fancy computer speakers does the trick. It's great–all my CD's are packed away because they're all in my computer now. In fact, until a few months ago, my 20" iMac screen was the biggest screen in my house. If I wanted to watch a DVD on the big screen, I watched it on the iMac. It does a great job. The new iMacs even come with remotes and software called Front Row to simplify your interface when in entertainment mode. Cool, but that doesn't help me. I got my iMac before they added that feature.

That's okay; I already have a remote for my iMac...my Treo 650. I have been using Salling Clicker for about two years now to turn my bluetooth equiped smart phone into a remote control for my computer. Salling Clicker is a software utility that turns a mobile phone or PDA into an advanced wireless two-way remote control for your computer. It works on both Macs and PC's. It really does it all. It lets me use the touch screen to control the mouse. I can control Powerpoint or Keynote from my Treo. I can control just about every app on my Mac from my Treo. Really the only apps I use it for are Keynote and iTunes.

iTunes is really the reason I bought it. It lets me browse my play lists, play, pause, fast forward, rewind, you get the picture. It even shows me the album art that is associated with each song or album. The best part is that it doesn't require line of sight. I can walk around the house with my phone in my pocket, as I always do, and have immediate access to my iTunes controls. It's really a great program for about $24. It's a cheap way to satisfy your inner control-freak. Enjoy!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yep, Salling Clicker is a great idea, nicely implemented. However, the Treo's Bluetooth is so badly implemented, that mine can never stay connected to my Mac for more than a few seconds. Even when the Mac is only three feet away.

Sigh.... I couldn't even use it with Keynote on Sundays because it couldn't maintain a connection.

I wish Clicker would show the next slide on the Treo screen when using Keynote, but that really doesn't matter b/c I can't get a good Bluetooth connection anyway.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I'm the guy who posted as "anonymous." Sorry. A little quick on the return key there.

Unknown said...

Bummer, I haven't had the disconnect problem. Showing the next slide would be awesome! Salling's blog says he is introducing some improvements very soon. That feature seems too good to be true. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't have the technical knowledge to know whether or not it is possible to show the next slide (or next animation). I assume, though, clicker could parse the text on a slide and tell you what text would appear on the next click. That would be good enough.

Also, a timer and a clock would be helpful. Hey, I've just described Keynote's presenter tools. But, wouldn't that be better on the lectern in front of you, or in your hand rather than having to turn and look at the Macbook screen? I think so. It is a presenter's dream come true.

nathan said...

ok boss man - you totally have me hooked on this blog. I want to know if I can hook my treo 700p up to salling clicker. After looking through the forums I didn't really get a clear answer. I thank you for this avenue for my geek side. I hope to be as techie as you :-) thanks man
Nate Hairgrove

Unknown said...

I'm glad you like the blog. Thanks for reading it.

Clicker will work with the 700p but you need a work-around. It sounds like they are planning to build in the work-around soon and then they'll list the 700p as a supported device officially.

You can get the details at http://xrl.us/vr4h