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To project beamer slides from a Mac laptop in a seminar room, you will need the following:

  1. A Mac laptop running MacOS X.
  2. A PDF file containing your mathematical beamer slides, located conveniently on your laptop's hard drive.
  3. The VGA adapter/connector that came with your laptop. This is a small (three-inch) white double-headed connector with asymmetric plugs at both ends. Note that the video out ports and the accessories vary with the laptop model.
  4. Turn on your Mac, turn on the video projector using the toggle switch on the wall or below the blackboard, and lower the screen by pressing the "down" button on the wall.
  5. Locate the video cable in the room and connect it to the VGA connector (or adapter). Apple recommends that this be done before the next step in order for your Mac to properly recognize the video environment and initiate the display automatically.
  6. Now plug the other end of this assembly into the appropriate port on your Mac.

After a few seconds, a display of your Mac's desktop should appear on the screen. The icons may appear oversized, jumbled, and fuzzy - not to worry, they will be restored after the video session. Launch Adobe Reader and open your beamer PDF file — in standard environments you would do this by simply double-clicking on the PDF's icon. The first page of your presentation should now appear on the screen.

You may want to display your slides in full screen mode: Do that from under the "Window" menu in Adobe Reader by selecting "fullscreen mode".

You can advance pages manually by using the arrow keys or the return key on your laptop. A better way is to use something like a Keyspan presentation remote, which is available from the Scholar's Workstation or M.A.C. in Berkeley. This device uses no software, only a small transmitter that plugs into a USB port on your Mac that talks to the remote that you hold in your hand. The hand-held device also has a laser pointer, and can control your mouse.

Another issue to watch out for is the power supply. If you laptop is not fully charged, be sure to bring your power adapter with its grounded power cord, since the receptacles installed in that room won't accept a plug with no ground.