Virtualization, Cloud, Infrastructure and all that stuff in-between

My ramblings on the stuff that holds it all together

Using an Apple Remote Control to drive PowerPoint in a Windows VM using Fusion

I recently purchased a remote control for my MacBook Pro so that I could use it to control presentations without having to be at the keyboard, rather than opt for anything flashy I just assumed I could use the normal Apple Infra-red Remote Control, install the Bootcamp drivers to my Win7 VM and use it with PowerPoint, ah how wrong I was!

Even with the Bootcamp drivers installed Powerpoint does not recognize the IR remote as a “clicker” so after some head-scratching and a bit of Google-Fu I came up with the following solution;

Insert your OS X installation CD into your Windows VM (not the Mac, the DVD seems to be dual-format and has some partitions that only show up in a Windows host) you can do this via the virtual machine CD/DVD menu in Fusion as shown below

image

Install the BootCamp Drivers from the DVD (will require a reboot)

When it’s finished, run Apple Update to get the latest version (you’ll probably have an older version unless you have a brand-new Mac, reboot required)

Map the Apple IR receiver to your VM (screenshot shows it already connected here)

image

You will get some driver being installed mumbo-jumbo in Windows

Download and install the latest build of EventGhost

Download and extract the configuration file I have created here

Run EventGhost

Choose File/Open and locate the configuration file you downloaded.

I would also suggest setting it to run at logon via the file/Options menu

image

If you get an error about loading the HID plugin, then you may need to add it manually, right-click on HID: Apple Computers Inc IR Receiver and choose configure (you may have to remove/add it again as the file I exported may have device-specific IDs that don’t match yours exactly)

Now when you are in presenter mode in PowerPoint the left button will back-up one slide, the right and centre buttons will advance to the next slide.

the up/down buttons still map to the Mac volume control.

This is a pretty basic configuration, but it works reliably – it doesn’t seem to recognize the Menu button on my remote so I assume this is a limitation of the generic HID driver.

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6 responses to “Using an Apple Remote Control to drive PowerPoint in a Windows VM using Fusion

  1. Marwa April 17, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Many thanks for posting this. I’m trying to get my power point presentation working using my apple remote. My Mac pro is partitioned to be running Mac OS and Windows 7 and thought that I wouldn’t need to follow the first steps of installing the drivers as I already did. I tried to download the configuration file but the link just opens an xml file. I’d really appreciate it if you upload it again. Thanks 🙂

    • vinf.net April 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm

      Marwa, the .xml file is the configuration file you use with EventGhost, right-click save-as and download it.

  2. David Hill May 24, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Would it not be easier to just use Microsoft Powerpoint for MAC? Then use the remote control that way?

  3. vinf.net May 25, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Yes, that would obviously work too (assuming one had the correct licenses etc.) 🙂

    I do find some ppt’s that don’t render correctly on the Mac version of Powerpoint – borders/page edges seem to be a particular problem

  4. müzso June 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    True. The Mac version of MS Office is far from being 100% compatible with the Windows version. The first time you run into a serious bug with the Mac variant, you’ll understand why people revert back to the Win version (via some emulation like CrossOver or a virtual machine).

    @Simon: thanks for the hint on EventGhost and the XML file you made. 🙂

  5. Charlie November 10, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    F**** genius! Thanks a lot! You saved my final thesis presentation!

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