Tag Archives: laptop

It’s Playtime: Fun MacBook Apps

If you’ve read my previous posts, you would know that every MacBook comes equipped with a motion sensor. The primary purpose of this sensor is to quickly stop your hard disk from operating when it detects that your laptop is falling. This is done to minimise the damage of the hard disk.

Technical stuff aside, the motion sensor also brought a new breed of apps. These apps utilise the motion sensor to give various feedback.

Got another friend with a MacBook? Then try playing MacSaber!

Imagine you’re Luke Skywalker, and your friend, Han Solo stole your TV Remote and you would like a revenge.

MacSaber simulates your MacBook as a lightsaber by playing lightsaber swing sounds as you swing your MacBook. How cool is that!

Download MacSaber here.

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Another cool app is LiquidMac. This app basically simulates liquid orientation, so if you tilt your MacBook to the left, the liquid will flow to the left and vice versa.

Download LiquidMac here.

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Lastly, this fun app is a dream come true for Pong fanatics.

Enter Wally Bally, the brainchild of a very talented designer Julius Eckert. Wally Bally is a game that allows you to bounce a ball to the left or right, and the rule of the game is to only bounce the ball when the wall turns green. If you bounce the ball on a red wall, it’s game over!

Download Wally Bally here.

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Know any other cool MacBook apps? ;)

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Apps and Tricks Every MacBook Warrior Should Have

Every MacBook comes with a technology that dims your display when it thinks you’re not around anymore – to save power. However, ever find it annoying when the screens dims on you when you’re watching your favourite cam whore video on youtube? You had to move the mouse once in a while to keep the screen fully lit. The guy next to you probably thought you were a mouse fettish.

Fret no more, enter Caffeine. No, it won’t order Starbucks for you so you could stay awake for more cam whore videos. This little app stays in your menubar with a coffee icon, clicking on it will switch it between two modes. When the icon shows an empty cup, your MacBook will act normally as described above. When the icon shows a cup filled with coffee, your MacBook suddenly feel the need to stay awake. Not that it needs to burn the midnight oil to install huge software updates, but rather it needed to stay awake to give you the pleasure of enjoying cam whore videos on youtube without getting a wrist injury.

P/S: This app also prevents your laptop from going to sleep, or screensaver mode. Pretty handy for presentations too I guess.

caffeine.png

Download Caffeine from:

http://www.lightheadsw.com/

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Next, this trick is pretty much an internal blog post I did when I first started writing. This trick allows you to display text messages on your Login Window so that if your laptop ever gets lost, some good samaritan should be able to find out who the laptop belongs to with the info written on the Login Window when he tries booting it up.

Click here  to go straight to the blog post.

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Next up, ever wonder why on earth is your MacBook Pro so hot? If you’re using the first generation MBP like me, chances are the heat from your laptop got you fantasizing if you could cook bacon and eggs on it. Make sure you don’t put your MBP on your lap for more than 5 minutes unless you’re not planning on having babies in the future.

macbreakfast.png

A good solution to this issue would be to get a laptop cooler, or… you could crank up the fan speed inside your MacBook.

Enter smcFanControl 2, this app allows you to set your minimum fan speed from 1000 rpm up to 6000rpm. Personally, I set mine to 2500rpm when the weather is cool but most of the time I find myself cranking up the speed to 4500rpm especially when my MBP gets into heavy usage.

smcFanControl 2.1 can be downloaded from the following link:

http://homepage.mac.com/holtmann/eidac/software/smcfancontrol2/index.html

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Next, this app will turn your MacBook into a BMW. Ok, you must be wondering, what the heck am I talking bout?

Enter iAlertU, this app allows you to make use of your (LOL $19) Apple Remote as a…… CAR REMOTE!!?!?!?!

Technically, when this app is run and you hold your Menu button on your Apple Remote, your MacBook will get locked (with some PEWP¬† BMW sound in action). When your MacBook gets moved (as detected by motion detector), it will go….

PEEWEWEWEWEWEWEWEW@#@@$!@$#$#

Ok, I’m bad at sound-to-text translation – but you know what I’m talking bout. Not only it pumps out a loud noise, you can even set it to send an e-mail with a picture taken with your iSight cam. Pretty cool eh?

Hold your menu button again and your laptop will go.. PEWP PEWP! Just like a BMW!

I haven’t used much of this app but I think it could be useful for some people. The only time I used this app was for showing off purposes ;)

If you’re interested, head on to:

http://www.slappingturtle.com/home/

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This final app will be an app that you WILL love. Ever wonder if you could speed up the sleep and wake process of your MacBook? Look no further, SmartSleep is here to save the day.

To briefly explain the need for such an app is:

Ever since Apple implemented the hibernate feature onto their laptops to allow people to swap batteries while their laptop is asleep, laptops now take ages to go into sleep mode because it copies all your RAM contents into your hard disk so that everything stays in tact just as it is before you let your MacBook go to sleep and you swap out the battery for another one.

After installing SmartSleep, my laptop sleeps in THREE f**king seconds! Amazing. Before I used SmartSleep, my laptop would take the same amount of time I went to pee and return.

smartsleep.png

Also, what makes SmartSleep so special is that it helps you to switch back to hibernate mode automatically when your battery level reaches a certain treshold that you’ve set. If you don’t need that, you can even set it to plain sleep mode.

Download SmartSleep from:

http://www.jinx.de/SmartSleep.html

P/S: Make sure you install it for all users on the computer, because the writer of this app claims that Apple stocks will fall furiously if you don’t.

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Alright! That’s all for today’s tech tip. Hope you’ve enjoyed it. If you liked it, kindly donate me a new 4th generation MacBook Pro. ;)

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Image Sources:

Egg on MacBook – http://sillydog.org/forum/sdt_11750.php

Is Dell leaning towards a sexier tomorrow?

3 years ago, I would’ve just skipped over pictures of Dell products. They looked ugly as hell. Their laptops looked like a chopping board (no, seriously).

The only Dell products I’ve ever owned was a Dell Axim x30 pda (ebayed coz I never really needed a pda) and a Dell 20 inch widescreen monitor, which was the cheapest S-IPS a.k.a 8-bit LCD screen back then.

Fast forward to present. Most of their products still look ugly (just being honest), however there are some very well designed products that were released during the last 6 months. Namely the XPS M1330 pictured below:

m1330.png

Sexy eh? It’s like a cheapo version of a Sony Vaio.

Also, the XPS M1530:

(Just picture the XPS M1330, only bigger)

Then, you have the Dell Crystal LCD Panel:

dellcrystal.png

Looks cool, but IMO this monitor is kinda overrated for its price ($1199). Also, the design is not really my taste… but it’s still sexy!

And…. wait.. what? Another sexy product from Dell?

Well, what I’ve got here is a leaked picture of an upcoming Dell Latitude E-series laptop.

delle1.jpg

Wow, now that’s what I call sexy. Is it built with brushed aluminium? That would be awesome. So far the only info as reported by Engadget:

“So far we know there will be a 4.25 pound / 14.1-inch and 5 pound / 15.4-inch version, both with WXGA and WXGA+ LED backlit displays, as well as a 12-inch (pictured above) and 13.3-inch version for road warrior types. Expect DisplayPort, eSATA, plenty of USB ports, and PC or ExpressCard slots in the larger models.”

Mmmm, WTB more info!

What do you think of Dell’s recent (sexy) progress?

Pic sources: Dell, Engadget

DeviantArt Laptop Messenger Bag

Just received it this morning. The bag itself feels really solid. At a price of $56.71 USD ($38 without freight charges), this is a good buy considering the fact that Crumpler messenger bags back in Aus are really expensive (around $140 AU).

bag1.jpg

The bag itself.

bag2.jpg

Interior of the bag, with my MacBook Pro and some magazines.

Delivery [from US to Malaysia] only took several days, which is amazing. You could have a look at it here. (Currently out of stock at time of writing :P)

I personally rate this bag 4/5 for build quality, 4.5/5 for design and 5/5 for value.

Tech Tip: Insert text message on your login window (Mac)

So you got that spanking new [Macbook Air?] laptop. So freaking light [yet so easy to get stolen, or lost]. You would like to somehow “watermark” your laptop so that if an Apple technician OR a good samaritan boots up your laptop, he/she would see a message on the login window….. so he would know who to return this laptop to.

Example: “This is a property of Mike Cannon, if found please contact me at +6012-345-6789. Thanks.”

Behold….

This is a tip I’ve submitted to Macosxhints.com but the editor insisted that it is a dupe when clearly the 2 years old hint does not work anymore on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Also, please note that I’ve only tested this method on Leopard but it should work on older versions of Mac OS X such as Tiger.

Before you apply this tip [especially on non-Leopard machines] please note that I take no responsibility whatsoever if your computer decides to explode into pieces or refuse to play your porn videos anymore.

  1. First, navigate to /Library/Preferences folder.
  2. Right click on com.apple.loginwindow.plist and click Get Info.
  3. Click on the lock icon on the bottom right (under Sharing & Permissions) and authenticate.
  4. Now, you should see that the ‘+’ button is un-greyed. Click the ‘+’ button and choose your account name. Give your account name ‘Read & Write’ priveledge. (NOTE: This will only give your account temporary read & write access to the current file until you log out.)
  5. Open this file with Property List Editor. (You need to install Xcode Tools from your OS X Installations discs if you don’t have this)
  6. Expand Root and click on Root. Click on New Child. Name this child ‘LoginwindowText’ without the quotes. Make sure the class for this child is String.
  7. Insert whatever message you would like your login window to display in Value. (NOTE: If you would like line breaks in your message, the workaround is to open a text editor such as TextEdit and craft your message there first, then paste it back into the Value box.)
  8. Save the plist file (Apple+S).
  9. Finally, log out and check to see if your login window now shows the text message! :)

loginwindow.png
Sorry about the poor quality picture. I left my digicam back in Aus. Till the next tech tip, I hope you enjoyed this one.