How to turn your MacBook or MacBook Pro into a SmackBook

by Ross McKillop on October 22, 2006

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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) :)