thegeek (at)

Latest Release

0.5.1a is the latest release as of 11/19/2003, go here for the change log.

What does it do?

It allows people to copy and paste text and images across your LAN, the internet, from one computer to/from another remote computer, etc.. basically on different computers. You might want to call it a network clipboard.

How does it work?

You should refer to the README in the distribution you download, but in a nutshell, let's say you have Computer 1 and Computer 2

  1. Run Clipster on Computer 1 and Computer 2
  2. Set them both up for communication
  3. On Computer 1, you copy some content into your own local clipboard using CTRL-C, APPLE-C or whatever mechanism available to you.
  4. You key-in a magic key sequence (i.e. CTRL-ALT-C on the windows release) and now the content in your clipboard is set to be shared across the internet.
  5. On computer 2 you key-in a magic key sequence (i.e. CTRL-ALT-V on the windows release) and voila! the content from computer 1 gets trasfered into the local clipboard on computer 2.
  6. Now you can use CTRL-V, APPLE-V or whatever mechanism you have to paste that content into whatever app you have running.

What platform does it run on?

Currently I only have a windows version, but it has been designed from the ground up to be easily portable since it is written in Python and all platform specific codes have been isolated. So if you can write code that can manipulate the system clipboard and let the user interact with a very simple preference dialog box, then perhaps you can help make it run on a non-Windows machine! If you're in the mood for it, browse the source to see if you can help out.

Can I see it running?

Clipster in the system tray [ Windows ] Clipster's preference pane [ Windows ]

Where can I can it?

You can download the current release from sourceforge.

Why did you make it?

I have more than one machine at work, and I found myself logging on to a chat service as different users on all the machines just so I can send my alter egos text messages or send image files. What I really wanted was a way to copy/paste among the machines I had. I actually pitched the original idea as a class project, and we did end up with a functioning prototype. Much of the original concept was kept for this release, what has been left out were simply to reduce unneccessary complexity from the software.

Didn't you have other options?

Sorta. I found these

The first one was way too complicated for what I needed, plus it was a real "clipboard" in the sense that it functioned like notepad, not an invisible clipboard. The second one was actually pretty good, and I used it for a while until I got annoyed at the fact that it didn't work with the single most important (well, one of the most) app that I use: Xemacs. The third one was interesting, but the way it worked was too magical for me (auto-synchronization of clipboards). It also seemed to only support text which wasn't good enough for me. So I had to write my own and share. The last one worked, but rather clumbsily. Plus, since I had gotten an ibook at work it was obvious that I needed a cross-platform solution.

A better alternative

Since I wrote this application, a better alternative called Synergy showed up which I've been using personally. You should most def. check it out!!

What's the next step?

Well, for the sake of finishing this up quickly I used wxPython as the base for my GUI and clipboard access needs. What I should do is sever that dependency and use ctypes so that I'm not hauling around an extra 6MB of unnecessary GUI code. I agree that 3.9MB of compressed executable base for such a simple app is quite ridiculous. Oh, I'd love to make it run on MacOS X if anybody has any interest doing it... If nobody does, I'll eventually get around to it using pyObjC or something. One other possibility is to add an auto-discovery feature. That's only important if I find out that users have difficulty setting up their clipsters. Other than that I can't think of what else Clipster really needs... I want to keep clipster as simple and as transparent as possible, and not fall into the trap of becoming something that it was never intended to become. It is supposed to extend the paradigm of copying/pasting text and images on a local computer to go beyond the local machine. Nothing less, and nothing more.

Who the hell are you?

I'm just another guy who likes to solve problems, I guess. If you're really interested, visit my Homepage.

Why am I still reading this?

I have no idea, you should go download Clipster if you haven't yet and start increasing your productivity using multiple machines at once!

2003 © dJsLiM