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Mac Remote Control

 
 
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 08:34 am
I rely pretty heavily on my computer (a MacBook Pro) when I teach: I use it to play audio tracks, to show slides, less occasionally to use online resources like YouTube. I teach in a large classroom--a modest lecture hall, really--where all of the cords connecting my computer to the speaker and projector are tucked in the corner, so whenever I need to start and stop audio tracks or advance the slides, I have to walk over to the corner. I don't mind doing it much but it is something that has been noted in my evaluations ("Teacher often walks back and forth between the front of the room and the corner to use the computer").

I know there are a few remote controls that would enable me to use iTunes or Powerpoint from a distance, but the one or two I've tried do not have the ability to switch between applications: i.e. I can play audio tracks from iTunes remotely, and I can advance Powerpoint slides remotely, but I still have to walk to the computer to switch from iTunes to Powerpoint. Does anyone know of a remote control that can switch between applications remotely?
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Type: Question • Score: 1 • Views: 1,681 • Replies: 9
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 08:48 am
@Shapeless,
How about a wireless keyboard and mouse?
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 08:57 am
@DrewDad,
That would be tricky because I'm not able to see what I'm clicking on from the front of the room. I've got the computer and projector in dual screen mode, so the projector is always showing the slides while iTunes is on the computer. To see what I'm clicking on, I would have to walk over to the computer anyway.

I suppose I could have the computer and projector mirror each other so that everything is one screen. But in that scenario, when I want to stop or start an audio track I would have to bring the iTunes window to the front of the screen for a moment, which means everyone would lose sight of the Powerpoint slide during that time. Not a tremendous problem but something tells me that would distract the students even more than my walking back and forth between different parts of the room.

The ideal situation would be to have my computer at the front of the room with me, I guess, but I think the IT folks would rather try to find a remote than get all of the necessary extension cords (one for the computer's power, one for the audio, one for the projector, etc.).
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 10:31 am
@Shapeless,
You can probably get a keyboard with programmable hotkeys. It would then operate much like a remote.
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 11:08 am
@DrewDad,
That's a thought. How do hotkeys work? I can assign an application to a key such that when I hit the key it will switch to a specific application?
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jul, 2010 11:29 am
@Shapeless,
I believe so. Haven't done much with hotkeys, myself, but my keyboard has mute, volume up, volume down, and play/pause buttons.
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DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2010 05:46 pm
http://www.thinkgeek.com/electronics/home-entertainment/5a20/
Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Aug, 2010 08:23 am
@DrewDad,
Awesome! .....if only I had a PC! But now that I know this exists, I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I find the Mac equivalent.

Thanks for your help!
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 06:20 pm
@Shapeless,
I keep seeing this topic on one of our dev sites with a db export from around this time and wanting to answer it, so I'll go ahead and answer it here:

You could use VNC on an iPhone or an iPod touch to control the Mac. Here is a video demo (someone else's video I just found to illustrate the software):

Shapeless
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Dec, 2010 09:38 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Great... thanks for the tip, Robert.

A few weeks ago I acquired an iPad and have since discovered a similar application called HippoRemote. In function it's similar to what you posted above, but I like VNC's ability to view the exact contents of your desktop. I might have to give it a try despite having already paid for HippoRemote's Pro version....
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