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MacBook SMS Sensor – Car Alarm & Saber

In the last few generations of iBooks and Powerbooks Apple introduced the SMS sensor, designed to detect sudden movement and shut down the hard drive to prevent any impact damage. SMS sensors are now standard in all of the MacBook’s, but don’t think the fun stops with hard drive damage prevention.

My first non-standard SMS application is the amazingly useful MacSaber (that’s a joke, it doesn’t do anything but simulate lightsaber sounds while you swing the MacBook around). A fun little software toy but that’s about it. If you try it out don’t get too crazy. The last thing you want to do is throw your expensive new portable across the room as you become the next Star Wars Kid.

The one useful application I found that uses the SMS sensor is iAlertU (via Lifehacker, link includes a demo video). Think of it as a car alarm for your MacBook. You enable/disable it with the included remote control (just like a key fob) and it even chirps like a car alarm. iAlertU will also activate the built-in iSight camera to try and take a picture of the would-be thief, and future versions will include the ability to e-mail the picture to a target address. All the usual input devices (keyboard, mouse, etc.) trigger the alarm and so does any change to the power connection.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I did find iAlertU out of necessity. I spent some time at the Gone Wired Cafe today and really needed a bathroom break. I’m sure you can figure out the rest 🙂

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  1. June 23rd, 2006 at 16:27 | #2

    Hi Alex – Welcome!

    I’ve actually tried installing the smackbook rig and the desktop manager they link doesn’t seem to work on the Mac-tels (Intel Macs, like the MacBooks).

    I’m hoping they’ll make a universal binary for it soon. Thanks for the tip though!

    By the way I really like your site layout.  Makes this one look pretty lowly in comparison 🙂

  2. June 23rd, 2006 at 17:15 | #3

    hey jay thanks! check out the link in this comment to a new compile that should work on macintels. It has to work on macintels, the one in the vid is a macbook pro after all. hopefully that will work. even if the motion sensor rig doesn’t work, desktop manager is worth it even using key commands. anyhow, take it easy dude

  3. June 23rd, 2006 at 17:15 | #4
  4. June 23rd, 2006 at 17:50 | #5

    Awesome… got it working now 🙂

    Thanks Alex!

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