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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun


Worried About Your Mac Getting Jacked? Get JackSMS

June 12th, 2006

JackSMS 1.0b2 (Freeware)
Panda Studios

One of more interesting features of the latest round of portable Macs is something called the SMS, or Sudden Motion Sensor. Introduced in January 2005, the SMS is a tri-axial accelerometer, which tells your notebook Mac at what rate is it accelerating in the x, y and z directions. The practical offshoot of this ability is that if the notebook Mac detects that it is suddenly accelerating at a high rate, chances are it is falling. This of course implies that it will eventually stop falling and break. When this high acceleration condition is detected, the Mac will park the head of the hard drive, greatly reducing the chance that the hard drive will be damaged. But the SMS can perform some other tricks...

In addition to being able to detect acceleration, the SMS can also provide the Macs orientation in 3D space. If you were thinking that this ability would be a great way to detect if someone is messing with your Mac, then you'd be right. JackSMS is a little utility that will detect such movement, and take the appropriate action. You can configure the behavior of JackSMS via the Preferences.


JackSMS Preferences

The Alarm portion of the Preferences includes the lock screen behavior, the sensitivity of the sensor, and the duration of the alarm. For Macs that are normally connected to a power source, you can also use the change in the power source as a sign that someone may be messing with your Mac. Once you configure the Alarm Preferences, you can then move to the Notification section, where you can configure it to send an SMS message to the cellphone or device of your choice. You can enter the number of the device, the carrier for the device, and a short text message to be sent to the device. If someone is messing with your Mac, you'll get a message in moments! For the curious, kernelthread.com has some additional information about the SMS and how it can be used as a user input device.

So let your Mac tell you when someone is trying to Jack your Mac, and get JackSMS today!

Have any other gadgets that you think your Mac would enjoy? Send an email to John and he'll check it out.

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.


John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

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