Control Keynote presentation with your mobile browser

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keynote presenting

A little moan to start with…

I owned a mid 2009 MacBook Pro, I never used it for presenting stuff to others but I actually bought a remote control for it. The computer cost me a lot of money, it was top end stuff when it was bought. The remote control cost me the money as well. I also have a copy of Keynote. It also cost me money. A while ago I’ve switched to a new MacBook, the Retina one, top end as well. It cost even more money than the first one.

As it turns out, next month I will be speaking at a conference and I thought it would be great if I could use the remote control to switch between the slides. Right? Well, except that the new, very expensive computer, doesn’t have a built in IR receiver. There goes an idea of using the remote. But hold on, there must an application to control Keynote presentation using a phone, surely. Emmm… there was. It was called Keynote remote. But Apple pulled it from Appstore and merged the functionality with Keynote for iOS. Keynote for iOS costs money. Now, I could’ve just bite the bullet and buy the damn thing. But something kicked off inside of me though…

Why would I spend another c.a. €8 for a bit of software to flip the slides from my phone?

Dear Apple, I’ve spent so much money on the stuff already:

  • 2 MBPs roughly €6k together
  • ~€700 on a phone
  • €20 for Keynote

I mean, come on, surely you’d at least give me a remote for free. Hell no, not paying for it. It’s not like I can’t afford it, but I’m not paying for it…

Sinatra presenter

Here it is. The application is called sinatra-presenter and is now available on github. I’ve built it purely to vent off my frustration…

All the instructions on how to use it are available in the readme file.

Quick rundown through the features:

  • lists presentation placed in a given directory (RTFM)
  • selecting a presentation from the list opens it and puts it in slideshow mode starting with the first slide
  • go to the next and previous slide using the buttons on the screen
  • if the presnetation is put in the background (say to switch to the terminal to demo something), clicking next/previous buttons will restore the presentation into slideshow and handle slide change correctly
  • if it happens that the browser interface is reloaded, the state will be restored by introspecting Keynote state

Is it free?

Yep, it’s free. Available under LGPLv3 license.

Have fun with it.