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Controlling Keynote on Two Macs

I frequently say that the key to getting the most out of Keyboard Maestro is a good imagination. Keyboard Maestro can help with many different tasks, but the help is unique for each situation. Sure, there are some common tasks that most users will share (like inserting preset pieces of text), but when I look at my own macros, many are completely unique to me, things like:

  • An Alert on Command-Q in Eudora to stop me accidently quitting it when I mean to close a window.
  • A long sequence of key presses to get Quicken to print an annual report.
  • A macro to resize my banking web site window back from the crazy size the bank makes the window.

and so on. These are all specific to me and entirely useless to anyone else. But each person has their own set of specific problems and unique solutions.

However, recently I got a request from Bill Jastram at Tualatin Foursquare Church who had a particularly interesting one. He wanted to control Keynote from one Mac and have it simultaneously control another Mac at the other end of the auditorium, which in-turn would control a projector running his presentation.

Bill had already organized the local side with simple macros to control Keynote slides, the trick was to transfer the action to the second Mac controlling the projector. We accomplished this by enabling Keyboard Maestro's web server on the second Mac and creating similar control macros . Then on the first Mac, we added a shell script action to each macro to run curl to make a request to the second Mac to execute the corresponding macro. The end result, Bill changes a Keynote slide on his MacBook presentation, the slide simultaneously changes on the Mac Mini across the auditorium, and the projector projects the change all within one second.

According to Bill: “All we needed was your very useful Keyboard Maestro, a self-contained Airport network (Airport Extreme Base Station), and your curl script to send a command sequence to the Mac Mini. Needless to say, this is a real plus for us, for which we are very grateful.”

More proof that Keyboard Maestro and a little imagination can do amazing things.

Updated Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 3:27 PM. Permalink. Post a Comment.


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