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Control Your Mac With Bluetooth Phone 69

reidconti writes "Ever wanted to control your Mac remotely? Now you can, with the Sony Ericsson Clicker by Jonas Salling. Play MP3s or DVDs, command Keynote and PowerPoint presentations, all from your Sony Ericsson Bluetooth phone. Nifty proximity mode lets you pause your music when you leave the room and automatically resume when you re-enter." It uses AppleScript, to control whatever AppleScript can control.
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Control Your Mac With Bluetooth Phone

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  • Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neillewis ( 137544 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @06:40AM (#5377628)
    Bravo, if this works, it looks like Bluetooth might finally turn the corner to become more than just a way to have a wireless headset...
    • Yeah no kidding. I had to go out and buy a new phone this morning (my beautiful Panasonic Allure finally kicked the bucket. it was a faithful phone...) and I was all set to get a Motorolla v60, but after this news came out, it was living proof that people are going to do something interesting with bluetooth. After reading this article, I had to get the T86i over the v60.
  • Great geek aid (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrMickS ( 568778 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @06:53AM (#5377668) Homepage Journal
    This is a great addition to my hotel room automation kit. Now as well as being able to use my Palm to control the TV I can use my T68i to control my computer. I never need to leave my bed again :)

    On a serious note it's saved me having to buy a remote from Keyspan [].

    • Re:Great geek aid (Score:3, Informative)

      by MacGod ( 320762 )'s saved me having to buy a remote from Keyspan

      I actually own one of the keyspan remotes, and I gotta say, it's great. One of the coolest features is that you can program it for any remote (this only works in OS 9 unfortunately). If you know the bit time and frequency of your remote, you can point it at the receiver, press a button, and it will tell you what the command consists of. This is great for those of us with huge universal remotes.

      Plus, the Keyspan remote costs $50US, the T68i cost about $100 more than a similar-but-not-BlueTooth phone from my carrier.

  • by capmilk ( 604826 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @07:11AM (#5377711)
    Seems like Ericsson now provides all those cool features that made having a Newton so exciting. Reminds me of the software that turned a Newt into a remote control for Sony CD Players and a couple of other things.
  • its cool that bluetooth has the flexibility and integrates easily between different supporting hardwares. but one must admit that if you want to enjoy it all you dont want separate gizmos in your pocket that do one or two things, thats where a palm makes a comeback cause you can just "configure" it to connect/administer this or that other device via bluetooth technology. to facilitate all that it would be nice if all supporting hardware and applications would connect via a moro common application layer to support such required flexibility, otherwise you are going to end up with your ear set in your shirt pocket, your palm in your jacket pocket to control your pc or stereo or even an application running on either or etc etc... dum controllers strikes again (ok palm is not such a dum device as the headset...)
  • by davo39 ( 637000 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @08:32AM (#5377911) Homepage
    This is really a geek tool. I love it .. especially the proximity sensor. You can actually program your Mac to execute a task via Applescript when you leave the BT radius, or re-enter it.

    We need longer battery life now. Bluetooth is a real drain on your cell phone (or your Palm for that matter).
  • I can't seem to get the plug in to work, it doesn't appear in System Preferences no matter which PreferencePanes folder I choose to put it in.

    Tried pretty much everything.

    Anyone have any ideas on how to get it to work, or anyone with similar problems... looks very cool, would like to get it working!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Quit System Preferences, delete the file in your ~/Library/Caches folder and re-launch Sys Prefs
    • The same thing happened to me. I had a co-worker help me out so I don't know specifically what he did, but from what I could tell, he created a root account, logged in as root, then was able to copy the files to the folder, then logged back on as me. Worked perfectely. Good luck.
  • Is there any chance this could work with other bluetooth-equipped mobiles?
  • I like the idea of integrating gadgets into the computer environment.

    Now that someone has opened the door, I'd like to see more of this. Technically, Mac OSX already supports talking commands to the computer ("Speech" application)

    So using a bluetooth headset, you should be able to produce the same result. Turn down volume when leaving the room and controlling the computer by executing applescripts.
  • by thefinite ( 563510 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @11:17AM (#5378715)
    Here are some scripts that add to its functionality:

    -DVD player - get back into the menu
    tell app "DVD Player" to go to the main menu
    -Start up the screensaver (for when you leave the range)
    tell app "ScreenSaverEngine" to activate
    (make sure screensaver is turned off or two of them will run)

    -Telling you when you are in or out of range (so you know how far you can go).
    say "You are out of range"
    say "You are in range"
    This application is so great. The possibilities are endless. -
    • by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @12:17PM (#5379217) Homepage Journal
      That is /quite/ a nifty idea, the screensaver thing. (Assuming there's any security with the phone range thing at all.)

      How about some more:

      say "Get back to your desk you slacker" -- going out of range

      say "Help me, he's coming right for me" -- coming into range

      tell application "Safari"
      set docList to index of every window as list
      repeat with theWindow in docList
      if URL of document theWindow contains "" then
      else if URL of document theWindow does not contain "" then
      end if
      end repeat
      end tell

      -- coming into range or going out of it! ;-D

  • Just tried the app on a T68i. It's a bit buggy right now, but I just love the possibilities it creates. My computer now launches my email app when I come in and quit it when I leave, and I'm only starting to get ideas. I'm going to explore all the Applescript possibilities. I just hope the final version of this app is not too expensive, or that someone develops a free alternative.
  • by rleyton ( 14248 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @11:41AM (#5378918) Homepage
    The program is truly awesome in it's usefulness and geek-chic factor, but don't forget that it's time-(limited/crippled), ie. it's good to the end of February, which gives you a mere week!

    There's no indication of how much it'll be to buy at the moment, but hopefully not too much. I'd not want to spend more than £10-£20 on this, as a techy it's of limited 'real' use.

    Here's hoping the author will issue another time-limited release...
  • It Works?! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This BT setup works flawlessly in my tests. Make the T68i (in my case) discoverable iTunes starts to play (as per my setting). Turn BT off on T68i and iTunes stops; also during DVD playing the BT device worked like any old remote, however, the T68i is color, screen is bright and the blue light flashing like mad were just things to note (not gripes just notables) :)... The concept rocks, where can we go next and how can I help???

  • Theme Song (Score:1, Funny)

    by TeknoTurd ( 312601 )
    Now I can live out my boxing fantasy by telling the Sony Ericsson Clicker to play the Rocky theme song whenever i enter the room!
  • by jarrod.smith ( 580058 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @01:43PM (#5379959)
    The PowerPoint control requires "Visual Basic for Applications" to be installed. If you haven't got it, PowerPoint will tell you. In this case, run the Office X installer and select only the "Visual Basic for Applications" option from inside the "Tools" dropdown - then finish the installation process. If you've already applied the Office 10.1.2 patch, you will need to patch it again. PowerPoint kept crashing on me when I tried to start the slide show from my phone until I re-applied the patch. This is a truly awesome application.
  • cker/index.html []

    I was going to post about this, but wanted to wait until the actual website was up...

    dear God.. i guess i have to face the facts... i've become a KARMA WHORE!

    oh well, it could be worse.. i could be a California asembly person.. and spend other people's money like a CRACK WHORE.
  • by affegott ( 104661 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @04:20PM (#5381335)

    Does anyone make a very small Bluetooth keychain type device? I really like the "Proximity Sensor" mode... but I don't want to need a Sony/Ecicson phone to use it... :-)

    Something like a keyless entry keychain, but with Bluetooth... someone must make one, right?!?

  • by blootooth ( 653423 ) on Tuesday February 25, 2003 @04:42PM (#5381484)

    I have proximity locking and unlocking both running beautifully here. 10-12 second delay for either. Big wow factor around the office.

    Range on my T68i is way more than 30 feet. Maybe the author will add a range slider on the proximity tab. For unlocking you need something like Extra Suites ($10) or your prefered OSAX that can generate keystrokes. This allows you to enter text via AppleScript as if from the KB and thus unlock the screen. The 'type string' and 'type key' commands are part of Extra Suites.

    To lock the screen use this as your action.

    set previousState to do shell script "defaults -currentHost read askForPassword "
    do shell script "defaults -currentHost write askForPassword 1"
    tell application "ScreenSaverEngine" to run
    do shell script "defaults -currentHost write askForPassword " & previousState

    This will not permanently alter the preference you have set in your screen effects panel.
    To unlock the screen you can use the following script. NOTE! This requires entering your user PW as plain text into the script. Use this method with caution. A person who gets access to your box could, with the appropriate tools, extract your PW from the preference pane plist and then get access to your box!
    Oh, I guess they'd already have that huh? ; )

    tell application "Extra Suites"
    type key "enter"
    delay 1
    type string "YourUserPasswordGoesHere"
    delay 1
    type key "enter"
    end tell

    Hoping this helps someone wow their boss into mac lust.
    • Another way to log back in, that is free, is to use the Apple UI Scripting Beta []. First, it also is not secure, so use it at your own risk.

      Secondly, you will need the GUI interface scripting beta, downloadable from Apple at Be sure to follow all of the directions of the readme when installing.

      Thirdly, the coordinates for the "click at" command are probably specific to my computer (PBTi), so you will need to set these yourself. (I did it using the UI element inspector downloadable from Apple at the link above. Start it. Start the screensaver. Hit Apple-F10. It will be in the red text in the UI element inspector.)

      Finally, you need this text:
      set pword to "password" as text

      tell application "ScreenSaverEngine" to activate

      tell application "System Events"
      tell process "ScreenSaverEngine"
      repeat with i from 1 to number of text items in pword
      keystroke (text item i of pword)
      end repeat
      delay 1
      click at {730, 610}
      end tell
      end tell
      For whatever reason, this generates an error in Applescript, but it still works. Go figure. Set this to a new action and then to act when you come into range.
    • For the unlock script, may I suggest the following:
      do shell script "kill `ps axww | awk '/ScreenSaverEngine/ {print $1}' | head`"
      which doesn't require saving your password in the script. (I used that construction instead of killall because killall wasn't working for me. YMMV.)
      • Much better than my original solution! Boom the screensaver dies! No password required!
        The following script is similar but handles multiple instances of screensaver running.

        set ssInstances to do shell script "top -l1 | grep ScreenSave"
        on error number 1
        set ssInstances to {}
        end try
        set AppleScript's text item delimiters to return
        set ssInstances to (text items of ssInstances) as list
        repeat with thisInstance in ssInstances
        do shell script " kill " & word 1 of thisInstance
        end try
        end repeat

    • A person who gets access to your box could, with the appropriate tools, extract your PW from the preference pane plist and then get access to your box!
      Oh, I guess they'd already have that huh? ; )

      Not really. The entry for the screen saver looks like: = {
      askForPassword = 1;
      hotCorners = (("-1", "-1", 1, "-1"));
      idleTime = 300;
      moduleName = Forest;
      modulePath = "/System/Library/Screen Savers/Forest.slideSaver";
      The password is not stored there or in the plist.
      • I was thinking of the plist for the ericsson Clicker app. ~Library:Preferences:com.salling.SonyEricssonClick er.plist
        It stores the scripts as plain text...

        *string>do shell script "kill `ps axww | awk '/ScreenSaverEngine/ {print $1}' | head`"*/string>
        *string>7A69A305-48BC-11D7-9839-000393A38870*/stri ng>
        *string>unlock screen*/string>
        *string>set previousState to do shell script "defaults -currentHost read askForPassword "
        do shell script "defaults -currentHost write askForPassword 1"
        tell application "ScreenSaverEngine" to run
        do shell script "defaults -currentHost write askForPassword " & previousState

        *string>7D9669C8-48D2-11D7-9839-000393A38870*/stri ng>
        *string>lock screen*/string>
  • Here's the issue. It seems to me that bluetooth's range isn't that great. Therefore if you can control your music with your phone it would be nearly as easy to just control it with your keyboard. I suppose there is that "geek chic" factor. But the nice thing about bluetooth to me is how easy it is to sync my devices - no cables everywhere. This, however, seems to be of limited usability.

    Perhaps other people have better range than I do. But this seems like one of those solutions in search of a problem. That or else it is akin to the theming software or Konfabulator which is just to show off to geeks and nerds while people who use their computer to *do* things couldn't care less.

    Just one man's impression.

  • Has anyone tried hooking this into the Speech preferences or [insert your favorite ASR software here]?

    "Computer, get new mail"

    "I'm afraid I can't let you do that Dave..."
  • For some reason I can't get auto-redetect to work. Not just with the Clicker application, but anything. I have my phone and my iBook paired and both are set to discoverable, yet for some reason I always have to re-initiate contact between the two when I come back into BT range.

    I noticed a note on the Clicker application that says that not all BT adapters support auto-redetect. However, I am using the standard DLink USB adapter.

    Any ideas what might be going on?
  • No one is going to read a post this late, but for what it's worth:

    I was having trouble getting autoredetect to work, but a few things helped out. First, go to the bluetooth serial connections utility and uncheck the iSync port. Second, do not put the computer to sleep. On my iBook, auto-redetect would work as long as the computer was not put to sleep (screensaver mode works fine). If the computer goes to sleep, it appears that the connection cannot be re-established until the computer has been restarted.

I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller