Over the last few years I’ve always used BluePad (the author’s blog, source and packages available at sf.net) when I had to do a presentation. BluePad allows me to use my Nokia 6230i to send PgUp and PgDn signals to my laptop via bluetooth and thus control my presentation without standing next to laptop all the time.

Unfortunately the author hasn’t updates his .deb packages in a long time, so trying to install the BluePad .deb on a recent Debian or Ubuntu machine will fail due to missing dependencies. I work around this issue by installing BluePad only when I need it and removing it afterwards. Here is how to install it.

dpkg -i --force-depends bluepad_0.4_all.deb

In older Ubuntu installations this was enough, but with Ubuntu’s Unity interface replacing Gnome the BluePad icon doesn’t appear in the top menu bar anymore and as a result it isn’t possible anymore to interact with it. So you’ll have no way of connecting the laptop to the phone.

To remedy this use the following command to allow all applications to show up in the system tray:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['all']"

Restart Unity or log out and back in to get the changes accepted.

After the presentation is over and the BluePad removed, use this line to reset the system tray settings:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['']"

(That’s two single quotes within the brackets).