Life Hacks

While this post is not about programming, ruby, rails, or any of that other stuff, I couldn’t resist sharing this life hack.

I’ve been wanting an Apple TV for a while now because my girlfriend and I use an HDMI cable to watch Netflix and such on our TV. This requires the computer to be sitting near the TV, so very far away from the couch. Now, this isn’t often a problem but when we want to pause whatever we’re watching, we have to walk ALL THE WAY OVER TO THE TV!! This is absolutely unacceptable! (I know, first world problems). Hence the desire for an Apple TV which would allow us to wirelessly display our computer screen on the TV but my fiscally responsible girlfriend thinks this is an unnecessary expense.

Well, given that I already have a bluetooth keyboard for my ipad, I suddenly had the idea to simply connect the keyboard to my laptop so I could press the space bar from the couch to pause the video! WOO HOO!! Problem solved without having to buy an Apple TV!

It gets better. What about a mouse? Well, I could buy a wireless mouse but I don’t have one. So, my genius girlfriend said “There’s got to be an app for that!” After some investigation, I discovered Rowmote. The pro version costs $5 and gives you a trackpad on your ipad/iphone to control the mouse on your mac over a wifi network. I downloaded it, downloaded the Rowmote helper app on my macbook (
and voilĂ , I now have complete remote control of my laptop, projected on the TV, while lazily sitting on the couch, and I set it up while only having to get off the couch twice (to connect the bluetooth keyboard, and to download the Rowmote helper).

This is now my default work-at-home setup, with my keyboard on my lap and my iphone on my side (like a mouse). Added bonus: my posture is much better because I’m looking up at the TV, not down at a screen.

The Rowmote trackpad is surprisingly responsive and fast considering it connects over wifi. In addition to being great for working from home and pausing Netflix from the couch, we’ve discovered that we can easily play 2 player enganglement with our own idevices.


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About Aaron Glasenapp

I am a freelance Web/Rails developer and a hard core recreational mathematician.

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