Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper' Other Hardware
I have long dreamed of having "digital paper" that simply appears as a Bluetooth printer that I can print whatever I want to, and have laying around on my desk. Think of it as infinitely reusable paper. Well, that day is here... sort of.

I just got a Parrot Photo Viewer 7", which is a digital photo frame with decent resolution and Bluetooth built in. This hint turns it into digital paper by using a purpose-built Automator workflow and the Print dialog's PDF Services feature. This hint can also be generalized to "print" to any willing Bluetooth device. Things you will need:
  1. Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) or greater
  2. A Bluetooth device to "print" to that supports Object Push and a common image format (e.g. JPG)
  3. The Bluetooth Object Push 1.1 Automator action.
Part I: Install the Bluetooth Object Push 1.1 Automator action
  1. Unzip the bluetooth-object-push.zip file you downloaded
  2. Open the resulting bluetooth-object-push folder, control-click on the BlueActionMove-Installer_1.1 file, and choose the Show Package Contents from the pop-up menu.
  3. In the window that opens, drill down into the Contents folder, then the Resources the folder, then the Actions folder
  4. Drag the BlueActionMove.action file in the Actions folder to some place you can get to it (e.g. your Desktop)
  5. Open Automator (/Applications/Automator)
  6. In Automator, choose the Import Actions... menu item from the File menu and import the action you just extracted
  7. Verify that a Bluetooth item now appears in the Library column of the window in Automator (it will be at the bottom of the list initially)
Note: These steps were necessary for me, as running the BlueActionMove-Installer_1.1 to try to automatically install the action didn't work at all. Your mileage may vary.

Part II: Write the Automator Workflow
  1. In Automator, start a new Workflow
  2. In the Library column, select PDF, and from the Action column, drag the Render PDF Pages as Images action to the top of the workflow assembly pane.
  3. Make any adjustments to the Render PDF Pages as Images action's settings that you'd like (e.g. pick your image file format, etc.).
  4. Back in the Library column, select Bluetooth, then in the Action column, drag the Bluetooth Object Push action to the bottom of the workflow assembly pane.
  5. Make any adjustments to the Bluetooth Object Push action's settings that you'd like (e.g. specify a specific paired Bluetooth device to push to).
  6. Save the workflow somewhere you can find it for future access (e.g. your desktop) with a meaningful name (e.g. "Push JPG to Bluetooth Device")
Part III: Install the Workflow as a PDF Service and Test it Out
  1. Open the /Library » PDF Services/ folder to make the workflow available to all users, or to ~/Library/PDF Services/ to make it only available to you.
  2. Place a copy of your saved workflow into this folder. You will likely need to authenticate if copying to /Library/PDF Services/.
  3. Open any application you like and choose the Print menu item from the File dialog.
  4. In the Print dialog, click the PDF button in the lower left hand corner, and then choose your workflow from the drop down menu.
Presto! You have just "printed" to a Bluetooth device (in my case, turning my photo viewer into digital paper). One image file will be created per page of the document being printed, and each of these images will be pushed sequentially to the Bluetooth device.

[robg adds: I haven't tested this one.]
    •    
  • Currently 2.22 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (9 votes cast)
 
[19,782 views]  

How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper' | 11 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the 'How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: Nem on Oct 12, '07 08:51:06AM

WARNING - the "Bluetooth Object Push 1.1 Automator" available for download at the URL in the hint only works on PPC machines.

---
Nem W. Schlecht
http://geekmuse.net/



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: Nem on Oct 12, '07 12:35:47PM
Okay, I've got an Intel version of this working - but its Intel only (sorry, I'm not good with Xcode, I'm lucky I got this far).

Anyways, it's available here:

http://geekmuse.googlepages.com/BlueActionMove.action.zip

Extract this, then run Automator and then go to File -> Import Actions and select the BlueActionMove.action filen that you just extracted. The new action should show up in the "Finder" section (you should see the Bluetooth icon in there).

I created just a simple Finder plug-in that lets me right-click on files and select "Send to Phone" - which then sends the file to my cell phone. Pretty slick.

For me, though, this hint has problems with my phone. My phone will only receive the first page before it complains - the first image is too big for it to display so it freaks. I think I can still get it to work if I tweak the PDF->Image settings, though.

---
Nem W. Schlecht
http://geekmuse.net/

[ Reply to This | # ]

How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: morespace54 on Oct 12, '07 12:55:23PM

Wouldn't it be easier to keep the output as a PDF file (multi-pages or not)? Does the iPhone ave a PDF reader?



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: cryptonomicon on Oct 12, '07 01:06:16PM

Sadly the iPhone does not yet support Object Push, so this hint doesn't work for it. And if it did, I'd guess that you'd need to push an image file, as the iPhone only displays PDFs in the context of email attachments and web page downloads.

There was a cryptic message on the Apple Bluetooth developers mailing list from an Apple employee about them expanding iPhone Bluetooth capabilities in the future... so maybe someday Object Push will be added and this hint will work for the iPhone. One can only hope.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: Nem on Oct 12, '07 02:31:27PM

I agree - I would rather just store/save a PDF file.

I can transfer *any* file I want via the Bluetooth File Exchange program to the transflash card on my phone. However, with this method (perhaps its the ObjectPush - I have no idea) my Motorola RAZR complains of an unknown file type and rejects the transfer (ie - no PDF)

Also, I have to approve file transfers on my phone, even though I've configured it to automatically accept transactions with my laptop. Again, Bluetooth File Exchange works great (no prompting on the phone). Hopefully the new Automator (this month still?) will have better Bluetooth device support.

---
Nem W. Schlecht
http://geekmuse.net/



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: cryptonomicon on Oct 12, '07 03:21:18PM

Note that you can easily modify this hint to push a PDF file - simply don't convert the file to an image first.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: cryptonomicon on Oct 12, '07 01:03:51PM

Try setting a custom paper size to print to - I think that PDF Services always prints at the same ppi (pixels per inch), so by reducing the paper size, you're reducing the number of overall pixels, and thus the resultant image size... I think. To do this go to the Page Setup... menu item in the File menu of an application such as Safari, then in the Paper Size drop down menu go to the bottom and pick Manage Custom Sizes...

Note that setting the paper size also allows you to adjust the aspect ratio the resultant image - my picture frame as an aspect ratio of 1.5, so I made a custom paper size of 12.75" x 8.5".

You can also adjust the JPG compression settings in the Automator workflow.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: Swordsman on Nov 22, '09 06:07:40AM

*oops should have replied to the intel thread*

The intel version does not work under Snow Leo - OS 10.6. Says that it needs to be 'universal'.

Any advices? Would love to be able to easy peasy send files through a finder submenu instead of through the bluetooth menubar.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: mkikkawa on Apr 06, '10 08:04:45AM

I just compiled "Bluetooth Object Push" written by Marc Schlichte on Snow Leopard and it works great at least with my Nokia N95.

If I find a right place (please suggest me!) and get permission from Marc, I will post the action.



[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: mkikkawa on Apr 08, '10 08:22:08PM
I uploaded a Universal version of PushObjectBluetooth.action to my dropbox. Here is the link: PushObjectBlueetooth.zip

[ Reply to This | # ]
How to turn a Bluetooth device into 'digital paper'
Authored by: Swordsman on Nov 22, '09 06:06:51AM

The intel version does not work under Snow Leo - OS 10.6. Says that it needs to be 'universal'.

Any advices? Would love to be able to easy peasy send files through a finder submenu instead of through the bluetooth menubar.



[ Reply to This | # ]