As if the Apple folks hadn’t made Macs cute and quirky enough straight out of the box, other people are writing freeware to turn your MacBook Pro into a seismograph.
It all started in early 2005, when Apple decided to put motion sensors into the new laptops. Why, you ask? So that if you happen to be playing Frisbee with your laptop, the computer can sense the dangerous accelerations and pull the disk drive head off the disk, safeguarding any tax records or blog archives you haven’t backed up recently.
Enter Seis Mac. Download the freeware and moments later you’re watching the results of your nervous leg-jiggling in three dimensions. There’s even free calibration software in case the fact that the graphs don’t precisely zero out disturbs you.
Here at the Scribble headquarters, we borrowed a handy MacBook Pro, downloaded SeisMac and started waiting for an earthquake. We’ll let you know when we feel one. In the mean time, we made a quiz for you.
Match the graphs in this post to the cause:
(a) a bouncing volleyball
(b) four oranges being unsuccessfully juggled
(c) the Crystal Method playing their big hit “Weapons of Mass Distortion”
(d) a table that didn’t seem nearly so unsteady until we ran Seis Mac
(e) your humble Scribbler waltzing with the MacBook donor
And that’s not all the quirky freeware out there. You can download a program that shows you a near-real-time, 3-D view of how your computer is oriented in space. (You do have to be looking at your computer in order to see the view of your computer, but that’s beside the point.) Soon, you may be able to play your favorite video game simply by shoving your laptop around the table.
Of course, what all this giddy experimentation does to your poor disk drive reader remains unresearched. But Seis Mac creator Daniel Griscom has a detailed disclaimer that only gets better from its first paragraph:
If you’re waving your laptop around watching Seis Mac graph the accelerations and your laptop slips from your hands and goes flying out of a tenth story window, it’s not my fault.
Thanks to Adam Soule for the tip.