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MacSaber Turns Your Macbook into a Lightsaber

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the macs-and-other-jedi-mind-tricks dept.

223

Petey_Alchemist writes "SomethingAwful.com forum goon isnoop has developed a useless but fun app that takes advantage of the new sudden motion sensor available in Macbooks. The MacSaber 1.0 causes your Macbook or Macbook Pro to whoosh and crash like a lightsaber depending on how you swing it around. The reviews from those who have installed it say it is quite fun--although there is some concern about whether or not 'lightsaber battles' fall under warranty."

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223 comments

They could also use this to play Tennis! (4, Funny)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373705)

They could also use this to play Tennis! No wonder the Wii looks like an Apple product, it uses bluetooth to let you use your Macbook (Pro) as a paddle! Hooray!

Re:They could also use this to play Tennis! (1)

iwsnet (946715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15374023)

Does this feature work for both the white and black MacBooks?

Talk about your gimmicks (2, Funny)

Hobbes897 (782722) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373710)

I would buy a new macbook just for this feature (well, that and tri-booting osx, xp, and gentoo).

Re:Talk about your gimmicks (2, Interesting)

Wizy (38347) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373739)

Funny you should say that. Thats exactly what my laptop is setup to do. GRUB loading up and showing OS X, GENTOO, and XP as its three options is a beautiful thing.

Re:Talk about your gimmicks (2, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373763)

The only good thing about having mac OS, gentoo and XP is that when you boot Gentoo you can say "I could boot XP or MacOS, I just choose not to." :-)

Tom

Use the Force Indeed (1)

VeliaFelns (974204) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373711)

Nice little app. Can't say I've tried it myself, but it does give me horrible images of Lucas-ites squealing with glee every time they drop their laptop. Perhaps Mac put this out intentionally to make money off of repair gouging? (And yes, I kid. (Kinda (Maybe)))

Re:Use the Force Indeed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373936)

Perhaps Mac put this out intentionally

I don't think this "Mac" entity of which you speak did. Apple might have, though.

Hooray! (5, Funny)

ThatGeek (874983) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373712)

Now I can take my $1000 laptop and shake it to hear cool sounds! I can't imagine any downside in that. Oh crap, I just dropped my laptop. I can't wait to see the clip of the starwars laptop kid.

Re:Hooray! (1)

somebraincells (952540) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373864)

New bonus also has a crazy-cool oil ejaculation unit built-in to smite your enemies..

this is obviously a gimmick by some desperate apple-repair firms..

fat kid swinging a macbook (4, Funny)

tddoog (900095) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373721)

So when are we going to get a video of a fat kid swinging his macbook around.

...followed by a lawsuit of course.

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373743)

I think we all concluded that the kid was right and did not deserve to become a target for ridicule, hadn't we ?

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373877)

No, we concluded the parents completely screwed the kid up by allowing him to wallow in his embarrassment until he was damaged for life. We also concluded that he was the one who made the video and left it around, it wasn't like someone forced him to do it.

In short, the kid needed to take responsibility for his own actions.

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook QWZX (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373945)

Or get a sense of humor, and appreciate the fans donating stuff to him. Kid gets an instant ticket to (in)fame, and he cries about it, because he's fat and awkward, and looks goofy. Ridiculous.

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373987)

Mass redistribution of something you don't own the copyright to nor have distribution priveleges for... harrassment... conspiracy to cause harm... significant and intentional interference with another's ability to pursue life/liberty/happiness...

I realize not all of these are "crimes" per se (and a lot of them are only considered needing punishment in special circumstances), but, uhhh, yeah, just ignore the law and look at the ethics of it, for crying out loud.

Next time you drop your credit card on the ground and I find it, I'll assume I have your permission to use it freely, right? ;-)
If you left your car door unlocked and the keys in the ignition, does that mean it's okay if I take it for a spin?

There are laws about things you can do with abandoned property... maybe if they had blurred out his face? STill not ethical to capitalize on another's accident/mistake/misfortune/foolishness/ignorance/ etc, though.

Ironic that you speak of taking responsibility for actions... because I think the actions of the kids who distributed the movie are much more deserving of needing to take responsibility for.

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook (3, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373782)

Give me a new macbook and I'll make that video. Hell, I'll even wear a cape. or wookie ears or something. (You'll have to provide that, too.

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook (1)

Keebler71 (520908) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373847)

I'll even wear a cape. or wookie ears or something.

Wookies have ears? Is this one of those special edition things?

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook (3, Funny)

93,000 (150453) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373955)

Duh. There's a scene in the upcoming Special Editon II where Greedo's first shot ricoches off the cantena wall and blasts off Chewbacca's ears. Han then gets so mad at seeing his companion in pain that he shoots Greedo, even though he doesn't want to and really feels quite bad about it. That's why Chewie is earless for the rest of the trillogy.

Re:fat kid swinging a macbook (0)

BrianRaker (633638) | more than 7 years ago | (#15374038)

It's 'cantina' not 'cantena'. I think someone's noggin has been fried by their use of a cantenna.

Nyuk nyuk.

Okay... (2, Interesting)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373726)

It would probably a lot more cheaper to build a lightsaber out of Lego blocks and some electronics. Trying to catch a laptop lightsaber in mid-air may result in a fatal (physical) crash that AppleCare won't cover.

Re:Okay... (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373742)

It would probably a lot more cheaper to build a lightsaber out of Lego blocks and some electronics.

You miss the point: if you shake a lego brick light saber, you look like a dork. If you shake a Mac laptop light saber, you look like a rich dork.

Re:Okay... (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373791)

You miss the point: if you shake a lego brick light saber, you look like a dork. If you shake a Mac laptop light saber, you look like a rich dork.

Yeah, but a Mac laptop gives you +2 points for style.

Re:Okay... (0, Troll)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373843)

Just keep telling yourself that, mate.

Re:Okay... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373908)

Just keep telling yourself that, mate.
Get back to the barbie, your shrimp's burnin'.

Re:Okay... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373841)

If you shake a Mac laptop light saber, you look like a rich dork.

A rich and homosexual dork.

Suggested mods (4, Funny)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373732)

Can you make it scream in terror/pain when you drop it?

Re:Suggested mods (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373741)

or yell for help if someone moves it without disabling an anti-theft program.

Re:Suggested mods (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373786)

I heard that in the newer version it'll scream like a little girl when you toss it down a chute.

Re:Suggested mods (4, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373797)

I heard that in the newer version it'll scream like a little girl when you toss it down a chute.


I don't know about the laptop, but the owner certainly did.

Re:Suggested mods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373851)

Sure, would you like to sign up for the beta testing?

Re:Suggested mods (1)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373886)

Or perhaps it starts a loop of "Help, I've fallen and I don't posess any limbs with which to get up!"

HDD Motion Detector? (1)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373734)

Is this the same motion detector that IBM's HDD labs came up with a few years ago?

The article is /.'d.

Re:HDD Motion Detector? (1)

chrisgagne (605844) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373747)

It's a good thing the forums are still up so that I can see some sort of thread posted by isnoop. Oh. Wait.

Re:HDD Motion Detector? (1)

BitHive (578094) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373762)

I declare this /. thread the official stopgap forums for all the displaced users. What's going on guys?

Re:HDD Motion Detector? (3, Informative)

samkass (174571) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373867)

Is this the same motion detector that IBM's HDD labs came up with a few years ago?


No. About a year ago Apple starting adding a general purpose motion sensor to the motherboard, accessible via an API. The OS uses the motion sensor to park a HD during a jolt. Others have tapped into it for more fun/useful uses.

The IBM one, by the way, is a feature of the HD controller and is not available via a general API.

Apple's KB article on it [apple.com]
Some developer info on the motion sensor and how to tap into it [kernelthread.com]
Further discussion of above link [kernelthread.com]
A car alarm-style app that uses the SMS to detect if the laptop is being moved when the alarm is activated [alcemore.com]

That's Very Much Incorrect (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373894)

No, what you're saying is incorrect, and unfortunately, what many people seem to believe.

Apple and IBM sensors are similar.

*BOTH* are on the motherboard. Not sure where this "sensor on the hard drive" myth comes from.
*BOTH* use the same technology (they are MEMS sensors).
*BOTH* are manufactured by non-Apple/non-IBM companies.
*BOTH* are driven by software drivers (what else do you expect?).
*BOTH* have a private interface that is not available to third parties.
*BOTH* have been reverse engineered by third parties.

There's already support for using the IBM's sensor in Linux. The first reverse engineering was that of the PowerBook's sensor (the kernelthread.com [kernelthread.com] link that you mentioned) -- way back in early 2004.

Most importantly, please don't say "Apple sensor has an API" etc. Apple certainly never made anything public about how to "use" the PowerBook/iBook/MacBook/MacBook Pro sensors. kernelthread first reverse engineered it, and then the whole idea became popular all over the net in no time.

And while we are at it, IBM started including such a sensor in ThinkPads a long time before Apple. Like Apple, they didn't make their "API" public either.

I must say (1, Insightful)

random_amber (957056) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373744)

I couldn't access the site (see below), but it sounds extremely bad ass. Definitely is a selling point for me to see if I get a Mac this time around or not. It's been so precariously balanced for years...always in favor of NOT getting one, but this year with the Intel changes and lightsaber capability I'd have to say that I may as well get a MacBook for the wifey.

site dump:

WordPress
Error establishing a database connection

This either means that the username and password information in your wp-config.php file is incorrect or we can't contact the database server at localhost. This could mean your host's database server is down.

        * Are you sure you have the correct username and password?
        * Are you sure that you have typed the correct hostname?
        * Are you sure that the database server is running?
        * Are you sure WE haven't been severely pummeled by /.?

If you're unsure what these terms mean you should probably contact your host. If you still need help you can always visit the WordPress Support Forums.

hope he's got 10bux (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#15373746)

SomethingAwful.com forum goon isnoop has developed a useless but fun app

Then he got banned after it got mentioned on slashdot, because slashdotters use linux and every proper SA goon knows that linux sucks (see JeffK's site and the "lunix" stuff)

Old News (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373751)

My two year old Toshiba M200 TabletPC has an accellerometer built into it. It can tell which way it is oriented so you just press a single button to go from Tablet to Slate mode. It even came with an app that would either activate an app or play a sound if the tablet was shaken.

Pity I didn't realize if I attached a lightsaber sound to it I could have gotten Slashdotted.

Re:Old News (3, Informative)

System.out.println() (755533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373772)

The Macbook (and before it, Powerbook) line has had the motion sensor for a while now. The sensor isn't the news.

Typical /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373986)

I'd say it's not news at all; at least not worthy for the front page.

I just can't wait for the a post about someone gluing some LEDs to their iPod.

Complete Idiocy... (3, Informative)

localman (111171) | more than 6 years ago | (#15373752)

And I love it :) I'm sitting here waving around my spankin' new 17" and smiling like an idiot. Luckily you don't have to wave it too hard to get the cool sounds.

And the SMS data display is just kinda neat anyways. I had no idea it was so detailed... now I know that my desk leans 3 points to the left.

Cheers.

iPod - iSaber (2, Interesting)

MasterPi (896501) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373769)

This could be the thing that finally convinces me to get an iPod. I've been resisting, but that would just be too cool. Especially if they used semitransparent casing and made the indiglo spread the whole way 'round. They could call it the iSaber

Re:iPod - iSaber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373920)

Not exactly sure why this prevented you from getting an iPod before. Or were you planning on waving your MacBook around while you held the iPod in the other hand to give the appearance that it was the iPod making the noise? In which case, the people you're trying to impress must be blind not to notice you waving the laptop around. It'd almost be easier to put some lightsaber mp3s onto the iPod and hook it up to some speakers.

Quick! (1)

minitual (966089) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373784)

We need new Apple commercials! The Apple guy with his MacSaber and the PC guy with his PCBlaster. Steve Jobs can enter and make a witty comment about the PCBlaster being crude and uncivilized.

I understand... (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373800)

I understand that this is News For Nerds and all that stuff but MacSaber? Sounds like a good way to advertise to the world that you have never been laid and you never will be.

Re:I understand... (1)

PhoenixK7 (244984) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373896)

Maybe in a classroom, but my girlfriend just got a kick out of it and kissed me after showing her this and the iAlertU app. It's probably just because she things I'm insane, but it's fun just the same :-)

Accelerometer (3, Interesting)

gjuk (940514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373801)

How accurate is the Mac's motion detection? Does this mean I should trade in my PC, stick a Mac in my rucksack, and let it work out how many calories I burn cycling to work?

Re:Accelerometer (2, Interesting)

Rosyna (80334) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373859)

Does this mean I should trade in my PC, stick a Mac in my rucksack, and let it work out how many calories I burn cycling to work?

Yes, however you'd probably have to connect a dummy DVI connector in order to keep the laptop from Sleeping. Note that this will drain your battery life in this configuration. You'd only be able to take about a 3-4 hour "trip" with all the power saving features turned on. But if you don't live that far away from work, battery life shouldn't be a problem.

Re:Accelerometer (1)

jimbolaya (526861) | more than 7 years ago | (#15374079)

You'd only be able to take about a 3-4 hour "trip" with all the power saving features turned on.

Good lord, man, just how long do you think the guy's commute is?

Re:Accelerometer (3, Informative)

iphayd (170761) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373971)

The Sudden Motion Sensor is accurate enough that there is a dashboard widget that emulates a bubble level. Of course, this is in my PowerPC-based Powerbook, so the SMS is not actually "new."

Hasn't this been around for a while? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373806)

WTF? I thought the sudden motion sensor was added with the new PowerBooks back in January/February 2005.

If you are a Jedi like me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373808)

...and you expect to play current games on your lightsaber, you may be disappointed with this hack. Stick with PCs and consoles for fashioning your lightsabers. Studies show that Jedi's that don't game enough have a 64.5% increased chance of turning to the dark side.

Rendezvous (5, Funny)

Avatar889 (670455) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373812)

Maybe they can use Rendezvous to tell how close they come to other lightsabers for more realistic crashing noises at the right time.

Re:Rendezvous (2, Interesting)

jrockway (229604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15374032)

Rendezvous has nothing to do with physical proximity. What they could do, though, is associate two machines via bluetooth and see how the link quality changes as the machine move nearer to each other. You could do this with 802.11 also, but the proprietary drivers won't give you enough information to do anything useful. This could be solved by using the Linux drivers for the Intel Wireless, which are open source, and give you good information about the link quality. (Do the MacBooks use Intel Wireless, or did Apple choose some other vendor?)

A lightsaber in more than one way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373835)

I thought this was gonna be about using your overheating Macbook (hey Apple, save some thermal grease for the rest of the world!) to slice off your father's bionic arm.

Expensive controller (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373836)

How well does it work as a Wii controller?

WordPress Has The Nicest Errors (1)

1Oman (308666) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373842)

I second that it would be cool to get this to scream when you dropped it.

Thanks alot. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15373899)

I just installed this and started playing around with it.

My daughter saw me and wanted to try. So I let her.

This lead to a saber duel and the lopping off of her imaginary friends toe.

Now, I am at the imaginary emergency room.

Re:Thanks alot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15374021)

Much to our chagrin you are a real-life retard.

Oh my Gates! (1, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373904)

MacSaber 1.0 causes your Macbook to whoosh and crash like a lightsaber

"Crash"? Then it should be called WindowsSaber ;-)
     

Re:Oh my Gates! (1)

pdpTrojan (454023) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373966)

HOLY SHIT! I am not going to be able to stop laughing for at least a WEEK after reading your ingenious joke. Wow, you should write a comic strip or something.. you'd make a trillion dollars overnight.

Think different (3, Interesting)

knappe duivel (914316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373929)

With the ambient light detector, sudden motion sensor, infrared port, isight, airport, bluetooth and microphone a macbook pro should be able to pry more information out of its surroundings than a tricorder. How about putting that into a game in stead of starting dangerous new fads.

Re:Think different (1)

Zaphod2016 (971897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373981)

Has anyone used Flash or another web hack to use the iSite camera via a web browser?

Am I the only one who expect to see this soon?

This was all it needed... (1)

tyson.cpp (961191) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373953)

The sounds now complete the MacBook as a lightsaber. It was already hot enough to sever limbs and cauterize the wound at the same time.

Torque on the hard drive (1)

insecuritiez (606865) | more than 7 years ago | (#15373956)

Doing this will increase the chance of damage to the hard drives to do torque while the platters are spinning.

iAlertU over a bluetooth mobile? (1)

Sryn (976155) | more than 7 years ago | (#15374018)

If iAlertU uses the bluetoothed Front Row remote, surely someone can come up with a way to use a bluetooth mobile instead... Sryn

Doesn't quite work on a 12" PowerBook (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 7 years ago | (#15374076)

I tried this on a 12" PowerBook, and it doesn't quite work. At idle, the registers say the following:

Roll: Left 1835
Tilt: -2070
Force: 0 0

Motion of any kind doesn't really affect it (obviously, I didn't try too hard, because I don't feel like having sector errors all over the place). The sensor registers seem to spike at quasi-random intervals, and adjusting the brightness control seems to move the registers to opposite corners. The version of Sudden Motion Sensor in the 12" PowerBook is 1.0; perhaps the newer SMS versions in the MacIntelToshes have better magnitude-sensitivity.
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