How to turn your MacBook or MacBook Pro into a SmackBook

by Ross McKillop on October 22, 2006

Mac

If you want to really amaze your PC friends, use the motion-sensing feature of your MacBook and the terrific (free) virtual desktop software VirtueDesktops to turn your laptop into a SmackBook.

Start by downloading and installing VirtueDesktops (homepage is here). The installation is very straight forward, just unzip the file and drag VirtueDesktops.app to your Applications folder.

Launch VirtueDesktops, then select it from the menu, and choose Preferences… from the drop-down list.

Select the Application menu item and place a check in the boxes Launch Virtue on Login and Enable motion sensor switching.


click to enlarge

Select the Appearance menu item, place a check in the box labelled Animate transitions and then choose an animation type. I use (and amaze my friends with) the Cube.


click to enlarge

Now select the Layout & Pagers menu item. Here you’ll need to specify the number of virtual desktops you want to use. I prefer having just 2, but that’s just me.


click to enlarge

Finally, select the Triggers menu item. You’ll likely find that you don’t want to actually have motion-sensitive desktop changing enabled all the time (it can be annoying, esp. if you’re working with your laptop on your lap), so choose keyboard combinations (triggers) to change desktops. Apple-key + 1 and Apple-key + 2 works very well for me.


click to enlarge

When you’re done, close the Preferences and start smacking! (not too hard, your Apple Care won’t cover damage done by over-aggressively smacking your MacBook/MB Pro) :)

  • http://agesixracer.wordpress.com Yong Hwee

    I tried it with an iBook G4 but it didn’t seem to work. Is this trick only for MacBook/MacBook Pro?

  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross

    Yong,

    I believe it’s possible using a G4, check out the comments on this page:

    http://blog.medallia.com/2006/05/smacbook_pro.html

    Keep in mind that article uses a different virtual desktop manager (not VirtueDesktops). I had to give my iBook back when I quit my last job, so my only mac is a MacBook Pro (otherwise I’d try to get it to work on older models as well). As long as your iBook has motion sensing support, you should be able to get it to work, it just depends on how determined you are :)

  • Pingback: Motion Sensitive Computers Get Jiggy With You at Remove The Labels :: gadgets, deals, VoIP, rants and more…

  • Pingback: My Apple Menu Bar - Simplehelp

  • Jason

    Just tried running VirtueDesktops (tried both from this site and from it’s actual website), and it seems to error and not load. Any ideas?