Usually I don’t prepare what I’m going to say word for word. But this time was different. I had written a somewhat over-the-top treatise in praise of the hyperlink and I wanted to read it out. But I didn’t want to stand there reading from sheets of paper — I wanted more contact with the audience. What I needed was some kind of teleprompter.
The functionality is quite basic. A
div containing the text is constrained to the dimensions of the browser window. Then, by clicking on the text or pressing return, I can toggle the scrolling of the text. The speed of the scrolling can be increased by pressing ] and decreased by pressing [.
Initially the code was very rough’n’ready — I was using global variables to keep track of the scrolling (yuck!). Fortunately, the flight from London to Copenhagen was just long enough for me to whip the code into shape.
My presentation ended up going very well. I read from a laptop on a high table in front of me, occasionally tapping the keyboard to adjust the speed. Meanwhile, I had another laptop on a chair which was connected to a projector. I controlled that one from my mobile phone and used it to display some minimal, tangential slides. I had to keep reminding myself not to confuse controls: I was fighting the urge to adjust the scrolling speed from the phone or move onto the next slide using the keyboard.
Posted by Jeremy on Tuesday, June 6th, 2006 at 12:17pm