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Mac Hacks by Chris Seibold

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Chapter 11. Hack Some Hardware

Hardware hacking is the scariest and, for some, the most interesting type of hacking. You’ve got a Dremel (the high-speed cutting and polishing tool all hackers love), a Mac, and a few spare hours—what could possibly go wrong? The truth is that a lot can go wrong, but when things go right the result is often fantastic. So why not try to beef up that aging laptop? Not enough of a challenge? Then turn it into a tablet computer. And as long as it’s in pieces, why not dye it fluorescent green or give it a one-of-a-kind paint job? Hardware hacking is where it is at!

Hack 47. Have Your Mac Automagically Recognize You

What if your Mac knew when you were in the room? It can sense when you’re near with the help of some clever scripts and Bluetooth exploits!

In the movies, smart homes automatically greet you when you return after a hard day at work. And while that does sound like a neat trick, until recently it hasn’t been very easy to actually accomplish. Fortunately, technology and clever programmers are catching up with the fantasy. With the Mac you already have, your cellphone, and a little scripting, you can be living in a house that automatically does things for you when you arrive; no buttons required.

What’s the ingredient that makes this possible? Bluetooth. Although it wasn’t designed for this use, it turns out that Bluetooth provides a way for your computer to know when you’re home by inferring your presence from the cellphone or other Bluetooth-equipped ...

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