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How To Install Smackbook On A Macbook Pro

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I suppose that just about everyone has seen this video by now. It’s a clever way to take advantage of multiple desktops and the motion sensor in many of the new Mac laptops. I saw it a couple weeks ago, tried to install it and failed because it was too complex for me. But, I revisited the original site again today and saw that there were a ton of new comments. After a while of reading here and following links there, I was finally able to download Smackbook,  install and use it on my MacBook Pro. I thought I’d take the time to write it as simple as possible for the next guy that comes along and tries to do it. If there are steps that seem too simple, remember that there are others that may need it explained.

Obviously, much credit goes to the commenters on the original post.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download the patched DesktopManager here. (This was originally supplied by, but put a copy on our server in case theirs goes down.)
  2. Download Smackbook’s  zip folder of patches from the original site (direct link)
  3. Download amstracker from this page.

There, now you have everything downloaded that you’ll need. On your desktop, you should have a folder called “smackbook“, a Desktop Manager application, and a gray square called AMSTracker. Now that you have the parts, let’s get it activated.

  1. Put “AMSTracker” into the “smackbook” folder.
  2. Start up “Desktop Manager” by double clicking on it.
  3. Start the application called “Terminal”. use Spotlight to find it or look in your Utilities Folder, which will be in your Applications folder.
  4. When started, the bottom line will end with a $ and a grey box. Right before the $ is your user name. The gray box is where your typing will go. From here type “cd /Users/username/Desktop/smackbook”. Don’t put in the quotation marks and be sure to write your actual username instead of the word “username”
  5. Press Return. You should now see “~/Desktop/smackbook username$” and a gray box.
  6. Now, where the gray box is you should type “perl” without the quotation marks.
  7. Press Return and you will see “AMS hardware present and initialized”

That’s it. Tap the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Start off soft and get a little harder each time so you know how hard to hit it. If you are giving it a good tap and it’s not working, don’t start pounding it. Go thru the steps again and see if you missed anything. You can write questions in these comments if you’d like. I’ll try to answer the ones that I can.

Now, your goal is to show off to your friends, but not so much that they want to tap your computer every time they walk by and keep you from working.

153 Responses to “How To Install Smackbook On A Macbook Pro”

  1. Chris Combs Says:

    Instead of

    “cd /Users/username/Desktop/smackbook”

    just use

    “cd ~/Desktop/smackbook”

  2. Brian Says:

    Chris, that’s a good suggestion. I wanted to write the tutorial as broken down as possible so that even the most beginner would know what they are doing.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Jeff Says:

    Thanks! worked great!

  4. ts Says:

    anyone else not having any luck with Desktop Manager actually running? It launches and disappears instantly for me.

  5. Subnetmask - SF- and PhotoBlog » BlogArchiv » Smacbook - Desktop switch via Motion Sensor Says:

    [...] Entdeckt in einem Artikel bei Umschalten des Desktops mit Hilfe des Sudden Motion Sensors des MacBook. [...]

  6. Allan Says:

    umm does this work for iBook G4′s cause i kinda hoped it would and so far no result…… if u know of anyway to get this to work for iBook G4′s please email me

  7. v1ruz blog Says:

    [...] Buona fortuna! No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTMLallowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> [...]

  8. Brian Says:

    Allan- This wouldn’t work on an iBook because it’s dependant on the motion sensor hard drive…which I don’t think that iBooks have.

  9. bryce Says:

    hey i got this working great, but now i can’t seem to uninstall it, can you help?

  10. James Says:

    The newest iBooks have the sudden motion sensor. Not sure if that means they’re supported though.

  11. James Says:

    The newest iBooks have the sudden motion sensor. And they’re supported.

  12. Ryan Says:

    When I try to open Desktop Manager I get an error that says: “You can not open the application because it is not supported on this architecture” I am running a PB G4.

  13. David Says:

    I have the same problem as Ryan above.

    “You can not open the application because it is not supported on this architecture”

  14. Brian Says:

    I wrote his up specifically for the MacBook Pro. The Desktop Manager app I link to is the one that is comiled for Intel machines.

    If you find the other patched one on the Smackbook site, the rest o the steps would apply the same.

  15. george Says:

    Thats nice, it works on the new macbook not the pro version the macbook! oleeee, like ialertu.

  16. Brian Says:

    George, this works on the Macbook and the MacBook Pro.

  17. Frustrated? Turn Your Macbook Into A Smackbook! Says:

    [...] Some people have said that the instructions aren’t very clear so there are other sites that have written up more step-by-step instructions that should be easier to follow. I don’t have a Macbook to test this out on but there are a lot of people out there that have successfully gotten it installed. [...]

  18. nelson Says:

    somehow. i type a lot of time. it still not work on my 13″ 2.0ghz macbook

    anyone can help?

  19. highchecker Says:

    hi all, thx for this , but anyway it seems that the patch doesnt work, when i start the patched desktopManager it starts and closes after a secound again. i found and insatlled the universal binary desktopmanager 0.6, this app works great, but not with the smack.
    today i insatlled 104.7, this was BEFORE i tried the smack thing, may this be the problem? i would love to run this app, macbookpro, thx for help

  20. clae Welch Says:

    Looks like it would be awesome, after “perl” nothing happens though. how else would I get it to reconize the amstracker. I think I have it right, smackbook folder is on my desktop, amstracker is inside of it desktop manager is on…

  21. clae Welch Says:

    OKay, its working… I just cant get my terminal to close and save this operation, it doesn’t stay working when I close (it “terminates”)
    please help

  22. paul Says:

    hey, for some reason terminal will not recognize the fact that i have smackbook folder on my desktop. it tells me ‘no such file or directory’. im not making any typographical errors and this occurs when using my username and when i just use the ~/ approach aswell. any thoughts?

  23. KCMac Says:

    paul wrote:
    OKay, its working… I just cant get my terminal to close and save this operation, it doesn’t stay working when I close (it “terminates”)
    please help

    To stop smackbook from running just hit control-c and it will kill the process and you’ll get your cursor back in Terminal. In order to keep using smackbook using this method you will need to keep the terminal window open and as long as the last line in the Terminal reads “AMS hardware present and initialized” it will continue to work.

    Hope this clears that up.

  24. KCMac Says:

    hey, for some reason terminal will not recognize the fact that i have smackbook folder on my desktop.

    There’s a shortcut for this, after you type cd then just drag the smackbook folder from your desktop into the terminal window and it will enter the path for you.

  25. gabe :) Says:


    these were by far the easiest instructions to follow and everything is working perfectly. thanks for sorting everything out and writing it our for all of us nontechnical folks to use!!!

  26. Shaundel Says:

    Works Perfectly!!! – But does anyone know how to get the NEVERBALL GAME to work.

  27. Brian Says:

    Shaundel, for me it was as easy as starting the app up.

    ( for those of you who don’t know what game it is)

  28. Brad Says:

    i understand how to install everything and do all of your steps but after i get that the AMS hardware present and installed, then it wont work. Ive tried redoing the steps a couple of times and it just wont work. Im using a newer ibook g4 that has the motion sensor. Any tips or ideas?

  29. Brian Says:

    Brad, my first guess would be sure to get a copy of DesktopManager that is ready for a PPC machine. The one I link to is the Intel version.

  30. gj Says:

    do you have to type cd/ blahb lah and perl everytime you wanna use Smackbook? because as soon as I close Terminal, it stops working.

  31. Morgan Miller Says:

    I have the new macbook, have downloaded everything stated above (smackbook, ams tracker and desktop manager), have put ams tracker in smackbook folder, started up desktop manager and terminal, entered in the cd/users/username/desktop/smackbook (replacing username with ACTUAL username), it reads ~/desktop/smackbook and after i put perl it still reads ~/desktop/smackbook username$. any suggestions??

  32. AJvK Says:

    VirtueDesktop has ‘smackbook’ functionality built-in

  33. Morgan Miller Says:

    how hard do you have to “smack” your computer? cause i’ve hit it hard enough and i’m not hitting it any harder cause i don’t think it should be THAT difficult to switch screens. is anybody else having difficulty with having to hit their macbook too hard? or is it just me :-(

  34. Brian Says:

    Morgan, it should be jut a slight tap. If it’s not working then either it’s not running right…or your motion sensor is broken.

  35. Corey Kimball Says:

    Hey what’s up everyone… I just got my new Mac Book Pro few days ago, it’s simply amazing… It’s my first mac. but anyway, I did everything the steps told to do… And actually deleted everything after it didn’t work, and once again, tried it again…

    I’ve got everything until I hit the “perl” part, I enter that, and I don’t see the AMS Initialized thing… So I’m not quite sure what to do… But I would love for someone to either email me, or reply to this post with some help, or reasons why this is not working for me…

    And also, if I can’t get this to install and run, is there anyway I can get it completely removed from my computer? I don’t want it to effect anything, any other programs… Thanks, appreciate it.

  36. Rozz Says:

    It works for me, it’s just not sensitive enough. I have to literally lift the laptop up and move it around to make it switch desktops.

  37. Dan Says:

    It works splendid on my MacBook. One problem though: How do I keep the perl script running after I’ve closed the Terminal?

    Smackbook is one cool thing to impress your friends with but not with that ugly Terminal window hanging in the background…

  38. dan Says:

    when i type in the cd /Users/username/Desktop/smackbook and hit enter it comes up with: No such file or directory
    i am putting my user name in, any ideas why this doesnt work?

  39. BeRon Says:

    I have the same problem, once i get to the “Perl” part, it doesnt do anything… can anyone help??? please???

  40. wexx Says:

    I have not yet installed the smackbook functionality, mostly because I’m using 0.6 of desktop manager.
    I’m using 0.6 because upgrading to 10.4.7 broke 0.5.3 of desktop manager.

    However, for everyone that wants to close the terminal app after doing the “perl”, this is what I would do. I use this method whenever I want to start any GUI application from the command line and then be able to close the terminal.

    Simply add a space and a & after

    So you would type this:
    perl &

    after hitting enter, and confirming you get the line that says its working, you should be able to type “exit” to close the terminal window, or you could just click the x in the corner as usual for any window.

    On the off-chance that the smacking functionality does stop when you close the terminal (which would be because its a perl program that’s running the smacking functionality), in this case, add “nohup” to the start of the line. so you would end up with this:

    nohup perl &
    You should then see this: sending output to nohup.out

    The confirmation line that smack has initialized will not appear on your screen. The confirmation line will be stored in the file named “nohup.out”

    To view the confirmation line, type this:
    cat nohup.out

    You would now be able to type exit to close the terminal, or click the x in the corner as usual.


  41. mike Says:

    i have tried just about everything website that provides the information on how to install this program but none of them seem to work on my macbook. can someone help?

  42. Christian Says:

    How do I set perl to run automaticly at startup?

    by the way, nice instructions Brian… and also to you wexx

  43. leo Says: sis accidentally deleted the “terminal” shortcut in the utilities folder, any idea how i can restore it? she already ‘emptied’ the “trash bin”

    appreciate your help..thanks!

  44. Lilian Says:

    Hi all,
    I just got my smackbook working and thought i’d help others! ok. my main problems when i tried to set it up..

    no such file or directory error:
    Put a space in between cd and /user/username/desktop/smackbook

    Perl error:
    you have to put the actual AMS application in your smackbook folder, so open up AMSTracker 0.34 and move the AMSTracker application to the smackbook folder.

    Hope this helps!

  45. Neòs Says:

    I’ve a problem! When i arrive at : 7. :# Press Return and you will see “AMS hardware present and initialized” i don’t see anything! My command line return to ~/Desktop/smackbook username$ whitout do anything!!! I’ve a macbook pro!
    Please help me!
    Thank u


  46. Matt Says:

    I have a MacBook and im having trouble installing this… WHen im done i get the “AMS hardware present and initialized”, but still nothing happends when i slap it. I’ve gone through the guide several times and checked if i missed something, and I havent.. Does this have anything to do with im not being administrator on my MacBook? Help me out here please

  47. Matt M. Says:

    I tried doing the cd/Users/matt/Desktop/smackbook and it says that no file or directory can be found. What could be going wrong? I downloaded everything that was required.

  48. The Chilibuddy Says:

    I’ve got the new(er) iBook G4 that comes with motion sensors, i’ve installed everything including the new desktop manager that works and went through the steps which were really simple – but it didn’t work. So i did it again and now instead of AMS hardware present and initialized I get ” “Simulating” AMS hardware in software”.

    Where did I go wrong?

  49. Brian Says:

    Matt, be sure to have a space after cd

  50. Bud Says:

    I have a new MacBook Pro, but when I entered the command in the terminal, I didn’t get the expected reply. I have the newest generation of MacBook Pro 15″ (2.16GHz Core 2 Duo CPU model), so I should be able to use this app. I followed your instructions to the letter but still no joy :(

  51. Matt Says:

    Anyone found a soloution to make smackbook work withouth having Terminal open?

  52. Matt Says:

    Never mind, vexx gave me the answer when i read:)

  53. Ben Says:

    First of all what a wonderful thing this is!

    Right, i wondered where and in what direction do people find the best way to tap their Macs?

    Mine works when i’m carrying it around but not so well when its on my lap or a desk. Any suggestions would be useful for me as well as others i’m sure :)

  54. Liz Says:

    Excellent instructions! Thanks to both Brian and Wexx!

    I’ve found that I can do the same without having to delve into the terminal using a neat little program called Virtue Desktops (

    How can I go about undoing what I’ve done in the terminal if I added the ” &” at the end of “perl” ?

  55. farid Says:

    hey my question is when i downlod everything and i start to acctivate it i go to terminal and i put cd/Users/my username/Desktop/smackbook
    but insted of letting me go to the next step it’s say no such file or directory so can u help me please so i can fix it

  56. john Says:

    Farid, there is a space after cd,, and also everything worked but when i typed in perl, the messege did not come up and it does not work

  57. Eno Says:

    Hi, I’ve followed all of these instructions but it still refuses to work. any suggestions? i’ve run thru all of the instructions making sure it was done word for word

    plz help!!

  58. Chris Says:

    Hi. First I wanted to thank you for posting instructions. I did everything exactly how its said. I do all the steps and then when I get to typing “perl” nothing happens. I tried typing it with and without the space and & sign. I tried the steps many different times and one time it said “done” but nothing about the AMS being installed. I am running a MacBook black version if that helps. Please post if anyone has a solution. Thank you.

  59. nancy Says:

    hey i just got my macbook(white) today and i finally got this smackbook to work.. first of all u need to open the ams folder and drag ams icon into the smackbook folder.. then open desktop manager.. after u open terminal… type “cd” (without quotes and a space after cd) and drag the smack folder on to the terminal and it will filll in the rest of the smackbook folder location.. press return then after that type in perl (reemmber the space after perl and a space after pl) and it should work.. took me a while to figure all of it out becacuse the instructions werent so clear to me.. i hope that helps!

  60. ian Says:

    Just wondering, i got a new mac yesterday and i don’t want to ruin it so if i don’t like it, can i uninstall it?

  61. Kimothy Says:

    Nancy & any others-

    I have gotten to the part where I type in perl and nothing happens. It repeats the previous response. I have tried typing it many different ways so I am assuming it has something to do with the AMS icon not being in the smackbook folder. I have dragged the white AMS icon into the smackbook folder several times and nothing works?

    Please help ! This is getting pretty frustrating. I have a MacBook Pro so it should work.

    Thank you !

  62. Mudassar Says:

    got a question, im getting my macbook (black) in two days!! very excieted and was wondering how do i unistall this program and make it switch between differnet desktops is it with virtue desktops?

  63. phil Says:

    it works perfectly for me (macbook) but the thing is that if i shut down terminal the applications close, and to open smackbook again i have to type everything in again.. is this normal?

  64. Ellery Says:

    I have gotten everything done except the last part when you have to type “perl” and when I type it it just displays the same thing and doesn’t say AMS has started. What do I do?

  65. Matthew Says:

    I type cd then drag the folder to the terminal window and press enter, it still says no such file or directory Someone should write directions even simpler than this…hehe

  66. Matthew Says:

    Ok i finally got it working but is there a way to make it stay even when you restart? i really want it to be on like all the time..

  67. Mattia Says:

    I have gotten everything done except the last part when you have to type “perl” and when I type it it just displays the same thing and doesn’t say AMS has started. What do I do?

  68. Cody Says:

    How do I change the sensitivity?

  69. SHMAK Says:

    Cody (68) – to change the sensitivity go to the smackbook folder and open the file. the should be a line which says

    if(abs($x) > 30 && $stable > 30) {

    at the first 30 change it to about 12 or can toggle that number for sensitivity.

    also a question: when i tap my macbook pro the screen only switches to the right. if i tap the left side of my computer it goes right and if i tap the right ide it goes right. i want it to be able to go both ways.

    plz help its really bugging me.

  70. poke Says:

    well wat about when u restart? i mena when restart ull ha to do the same thing over and over again… (kinda annoyin) and how on earth can i keep the terminal to keep the command up without “killing the pocess”?

  71. luke t Says:

    thank you for this walk threw it worked first time i love it :P
    this was the first REAL thing i have ever done on a mac and i only got a macbook because i didn’t want vista … :P
    thanks again

  72. Hugo Fuentes Says:

    It can work on the last iBooks. They have the motion sensor…

  73. arthur Says:

    hiya, i’ve been following all the different instructions, but still cant get it to work.. i’ve got a white macbook… it says its all fine, but when i hit the screen it just doesn’t work…
    any suggestions?


  74. don Says:

    little bit new to getting a mac laptop but as soon as i heard about this i fell in love. everything goes well for the code with me except the last line. after i enter perl nothing happens, it just goes back to the screen and says

    DG-2:~ don$ cd /Users/ don/Desktop/smackbook
    DG-2:/Users don$ cd /Users/don/Desktop/smackbook
    DG-2:~/Desktop/smackbook don$ perl
    DG-2:~/Desktop/smackbook don$

  75. don Says:

    got it figured out!

  76. Douglas Says:

    i typed it with username, butt now i can’t open terminal again…. HELP!!

  77. toby Says:

    will this work on a macbook intel core
    i tried but it didnt work

  78. Evan Says:

    everything seems to work okay until i have to enter the “perl” into the Terminal. It doesn’t seem to be able to open this command… please email me with a response if you can

  79. hi people Says:

    I tried everything it says that smackbook is a directory

  80. macmac Says:

    does it still work for 2007 macbook/macbook pro?

  81. nate Says:

    i cant get it to work on my macbook pro. it says theres no such directory

  82. gabriel Says:

    hey i couldn’t get it to stay working a soon as i cllase Terminal it stops working

  83. Forest Grefe Says:

    Hi, I am not the most tech savvy guy in the world and I’m sure this is a dumb question but I have a HP Pavillion dv6000 and was wondering if the same steps could be used to install the smack option on my laptop. I have all of the programs but I just can’t figure out how to open up the terminal window.

    Any help would be excellent.
    ~Thank you

  84. Shviesotamsa Says:

    Oh, yes… Thank you very mutch, it’s worked!

  85. Hicham Says:

    Press Return. You should now see “~/Desktop/smackbook username$” and a gray box.

    I dont understand where I should press return?

  86. Matthew Says:

    I have been looking everywhere for simple instructions that just work. So Thank-You! It work great !

  87. Jake Says:

    I will retry again but it not working when i try to smack it. everything else is good

  88. andy Says:

    you dont have to smack it just tilt it like left or right and it changes dont smack it, tilt it

    tiltbook :)

  89. Andy Says:


    but anyone know how to run the perl script at start up?

  90. adam Says:

    I followed the instructions on this page exactly.
    after i type in peal
    i get (“Simulating” AMS hardware in software)
    instead of (AMS hardware present and initialized)

    does anyone know what i might be doin wrong?

    Thanks very much!

  91. Jack Says:

    how do i get desktop manager to stop working i am using virtue desktops now which is great ( and now it says that desktop manager is still in use and won’t let me delete it….any help?

  92. schane Says:

    follow comment 59 it works on new mack books also drad the whole smackbook folder and put all the spaces in even after .pl

  93. zaf Says:

    hey there, im following all the steps and its not working, i have leopard this is what i rite down…

    Last login: Wed Jan 23 12:24:50 on ttys000
    Zafs-Apple-MacBook-Pro-11319670:~ zahirhussain$ cd/Users/zahirhussain/Desktop/smackbook
    -bash: cd/Users/zahirhussain/Desktop/smackbook: No such file or directory
    Zafs-Apple-MacBook-Pro-11319670:~ zahirhussain$

    any help?
    the smackbook and ams tracker is on desktop too…

    please help

  94. Rubens Says:

    The link for amstracker dont work!!!!!!

  95. Rubens Says:

    ok now work

  96. Rubens Says:

    Work!!!! but if i close terminal the processes in execution are closed

  97. Artn Snowmaker Says:

    zaf: go to this site and do as the video tell you to do:

    Works with my macbook 13 2.0GhZ with leopard….

  98. BrianA Says:

    when i try put he code in the terminal this line comes up
    “-bash: cd/Users/brianallen/Desktop/smackbook: No such file or directory”
    Any idea what i’m doing wrong

  99. John Says:

    Works on normal MacBooks too! :)

  100. james Says:

    if you are running leopard you don’t need desktop manager its basically just spaces for tiger.

  101. Kate Says:

    Brian, and anyone else having this problem, I had it too. Make sure that there is a SPACE in between “cd” and whatever else you have to type after that.
    Btw, you can also type “cd”, hit space, and then drag the folder with AMSTracker right into the terminal. Only after making sure there was a space after “cd” did it work for me. There is a video on You Tube of someone doing it, and it really helped me out.

    It… is … so …COOL…. stick with it! and show all of those b*tch- as* PC users why you buy a Mac!

  102. Denis Says:

    Is there a way to just turn this off when you’re on the train or in a car?

  103. Gareth Says:

    I have followed you instructions and had ever result that you predicted but, there are no switching desktops when i tap my computer. What else should i do?
    This is actually my first new computer. it is a Macbook. i would rather not smack it too hard only to find out it does not work.

  104. Cem Says:

    I do everything. Then it say AMS hardware present and initialized. I try to smack, OK it works. After it I closed Terminal, smackbook not work.
    So If I want to use it, every time am I do same steps to open it??? (open terminal, write cd blank take smackbook folder there press enter and write perl press enter…???)

  105. Matt Murphy Says:

    I did everything to my knowledge correctly on my macbook (white) purchased recently and runs on leopard. It says AMS hardware present and initialized but nothing happens when i smack the computer. Any suggestions?

  106. max stiing Says:

    hey guys, i have tried this several times and i just dont think im putting the AMS tracker in my smackbook zipped folder correctly.. do i need to unzip this folder or just open it using my archive utiliy??? thank you

  107. Leo Says:

    Hey ya’ll!
    I finally made it. I extracted the AMSTracker file from the AMSTracker-0.34.dmg file into the smackbook folder and did run the script in the terminal.

    Great fun!

  108. Jarrett Says:

    is there any way to like, save it 2 ur desktop, so u wont have to type i all those things in terminal?

  109. Someguy101 Says:

    alright, it works for me, i can tap the sides and it fades to a diffrent spaces screen. but 2 questions, how do i change the effects of it. And 2 can i change the sensitivity, because i have to tap hard enoulgh for the screen to shake a bit, and i dont think thats good for the comp…


  110. cindy Says:

    hii, i have a problem i think with the name.. the direction…
    users/username… it says that : cd/users and all that is not a valid comand… what happens? or what should i write!??

  111. RyanC Says:

    um when i press return
    it says no such folder or whatever…

  112. Tracy Says:

    i already use my terminal to get into a uni gateway.
    so wot u have stated above does not appear.
    mm, im not sure wot to do.

  113. Paula Says:

    It’s GREAT!!!! Thanks a lot!!! The only problem is that when I’m in the plane it changes alone becasue of the movement!!

  114. RyanGall7 Says:

    I love this thanks!

    but I like using spaces rather than desktop manager so i’ve added some to the, its sloppy but it works.

    there is no need for the desktop manager path or installation:

    use strict;

    my $stable;
    my $key = 1;

    #number of spaces set up
    my $spaces = 4;

    open F,”./AMSTracker -s -u0.01 |”;
    while() {
    my @a = /(-?\d+)/g;
    print, next if @a != 3;

    # we get a signed short written as two unsigned bytes
    $a[0] += 256 if $a[0] < 0;
    my $x = $a[1]*256 + $a[0];

    if(abs($x) 30 && $stable > 30) {
    $stable = 0;
    my $foo = $x < 0 ? “right” : “left”;
    print $foo;
    if($foo == “right”){
    $key = $key == $spaces ? 1: $key+1;
    $key = $key == 1 ? $spaces: $key-1;

    my @arg = (“osascript -e ‘tell application \”System Events\” to keystroke \”$key\” using control down’



  115. russ Says:

    hey i typed “perl &” , which allows it to work on startup without typing all that in terminal again, and it works. but how do i switch it off? thanks in advance for the help!

  116. Nathan Says:

    I just downloaded it, the instructions were great. I wouldn’t have been able to figure it out if it had not been for the easy to understand way you laid it out. Thanks!

  117. Grant Says:

    I got to the “perl” part, put terminal says there’s no such directory. Any suggestions?

  118. BatterySaver Says:

    Great program and I love it except for two things.

    1). Running this program cuts ones battery life down by ~ 1/2

    2). Causes the laptop to heat up much hotter than normal operating temperatures

    Any way this can be changed/fixed?

    Laptop: Brand new 2.4 GHz MacBook (unibody – running leopard obviously)

  119. George A. Says:

    Hey there. I’ve been trying to make this work but i think i am doing something wrong…i come up to the point where i type “nohup perl &”…i press the return button and i get this… 1784
    Macintosh:~ PapaG$ appending output to nohup.out

    what do i have to do next..Thanking you in advance..

  120. Andish Says:

    is it work when im quit of term terminal?

  121. laura Says:

    -bash: cd/Users/”my username”/Desktop/smackbook: No such file or directory

    why is this?
    and instead of “my username” its my actual username. i didnt want it to get onto the internet
    please help!
    thanks :)

  122. Jon Says:

    yeah, i’ve encountered an identical problem as laura…despite having followed the instructions dilligently.. :(

  123. Matthew Says:

    you need to put a space between the cd and the /Users/”my username”/Desktop/smackbook
    For Example you would write:
    cd /Users/”my username”/Desktop/smackbook

    I have fixed this problem for many people and many of them forgot to even put the smackbook folder on the desktop. make sure you have done this.

  124. Jon Says:

    Now I do get past that thing, but what appears is: ~/smackbook “username”$

    and upon entering perl, no effect, same thing apears again…..and yes, the smackbook folder IS on desktop…

  125. Yasmin Says:

    Thank you very much Wexx (#40) and Lilian (#44)!!

  126. Bob Says:

    I got it working great on my MacBook Pro, but if I log out, how will I be able to keep Smackbook? Do I have to re-enter everything?

  127. Dude Says:


  128. arthur Says:

    for anyone who is fighting with the installing, you have to open first the amstracker(installer) and then copy the AMStracker (the file that is in the amstracker installer) in to the smackbook folder and then just keep going with the steps everybody talks about for the installing

  129. David Evans Says:

    I have been trying all night to turn the script into an application so I can find it easily with Spotlight. It does tend to hammer on the CPU at times, rather pull it up for fun from time to time.

    I tried calling the perl script via applescript, then tried automator, then Platypus. Nothing works. I just want an app I can put in Applications, feels impossible, you would think it would be simple to call a perl script from the Script Editor, sheesh. Cool app, hope I can figure this out.

  130. Duncan Says:

    Ya I got through all the steps and everything, the only problem is that I have changed the hotkeys in desktop manager to Command + because I just used that anyways, what are the default keys it has to be set to to work, as it seems mine doesnt want to.

  131. jimmy james Says:

    I know people have been fighting to make this an automated application. Here’s my simple applescript solution, obviously locations of files will change depending on where you put the smackbook folder. I’ve left this the way it would look if you kept it on the desktop.

    I’m also assuming you’re using OSX 10.5. Please don’t ask me for help with other OS’s or anything other than a Macbook Pro, since I know absolutely nothing about perl or applescript, I just figured this out after searching around on Google for half an hour. If it doesn’t work for you, I’d suggest you try the same!

    1. Move “Desktop Manager” into your Applications folder.
    2. Open Script Editor (in the Applescript folder in your Applications).
    3. Enter the following into the script window:

    tell application “Desktop Manager” to run
    set smackbook_script to “cd /Users/yourUserName/Desktop/smackbook; perl”

    tell application “Terminal”
    do script smackbook_script
    end tell

    tell application “System Events”
    set visible of process “Terminal” to false
    end tell

    4. Save the script as an Application (under File Format) and tick off the “Run Only” box.

    That should do it! Try double clicking on the new application icon, you should see a flash of the Terminal window as it starts and then it will be a hidden application in your Dock. Good luck!


  132. jimmy james Says:

    Whoops, sorry, forgot step 3.5:

    3.5. Hit Apple-K or click on the “Compile” button at the top of the window.

  133. jimmy james Says:

    Just tested it out to make sure it works, and I noticed that the quotation marks get screwed up when you copy and paste. Make sure after you copy and paste it that you delete and replace the quotation marks.


  134. david Says:

    hey guys!!!!!!! the better explanaition i found congrats!!!! and thx for the tutorial i find it very useful and cool.

  135. Patrick Says:

    Matthew saved my life…
    I was about to give up but that Space between cd and username is a very key thing to leave out

  136. Jared Says:

    this works great, and i love it….however….whenever I quite terminal, it won’t do anything when i tap it. is there a way I can keep it from shutting off?

  137. Nesquickk Says:

    does this program also work on ythe new macbookpro 17” ?

  138. joe Says:

    downloaded everything succesfully, but i cant get terminal to say “~/Desktop/smackbook username$” after typind in the directory for the smackbook folder
    help, anyone?

  139. Zach Says:

    Does it work on the MacBook????

  140. 1234. Says:

    Hi!!! well this is the problem…. I followed all the steps until “cd/Users/username/Desktop/smackbook” with my user name and it appears to me that “No such file or directory”….. Im doing something wrong??

  141. Kalegiro Says:

    Hi ^^
    I did everything you say I should do here…
    everything seems fine… except it takes a lot of “smacks” to get the thing to change… and I can’t close Terminal because it says that will terminate all process. ô__o what should I do?
    I’m worried about the smacks thing… it takes hard taps to get it to work

  142. sam Says:

    thats so sick im 9 yrs old and just did it perfectly on my new macbook its sick

  143. Cool MacBook Pro Tricks | Vancouver Secrets Says:

    [...] How To Install Smackbook On A Macbook Pro [...]

  144. Dee Says:

    is there anyway to load “Desktop manager” and the script automatically on startup?

  145. anthony Says:


    If it says there is no such directory, Put a space after cd, then drag the smackbook folder into the terminal window

    if nothing happens after perl make sure you copied the file ams tracker, not the folder(open the folder ams tracker.34 and drag the file amstracker into smackbook)

    then it should all work :)

  146. eduardo Says:

    ok i already putted the AMStracker in the smackbook folder and then i open the terminal and type cd /Users/username/Desktop/smackbook(with my actual username) and i hit return and it shows /Users/eduardoduenas/Desktop/smackbook/notify ; exit;

  147. Fosfeni » Smackbook e Virtuedesktop, Mac OSX al cubo Says:

    [...] non sono soldi buttati dalla “finestra”), incollo qui due link per far funzionare smackbook e [...]

  148. joe Says:

    when i type in “cd ~/Users/(my username)/Desktop/smackbook” it says “no such file or directory. but when i type in the file location (Users/(my username)/Desktop/smackbook), without the change directory command, it just says
    “Users/(my username)/Desktop/smackbook is a directory”

    any help?

  149. patricia Says:

    I have it all working, but I was wondering if it was possible to have this smackbook setting run without having to open terminal and encoding everything all over again ?

  150. Johann Says:

    I downloaded everything like you said, but i can’t seem to find the Terminal Application in my Utilities folder.I have downloaded Smackbook before, and it worked, but now, after deleting everything and downloading everything again, i can’t find Terminal. Please Help!

  151. justeen Says:

    Okay, so the downloads were fine.
    But when i downloaded smackbook it didn’t show on my desktop so i just copied it from my dwnloads to the desktop and it worked. then i put AMSTRACKER in, all good so far.
    But then when i typed in the terminal this is what i got:

    Last login: Sun Aug 30 16:31:13 on ttys000
    c211-30-146-130:~ JR$ cd/Users/JR/Desktop/smackbook
    -bash: cd/Users/JR/Desktop/smackbook: No such file or directory
    c211-30-146-130:~ JR$ perl
    Can’t open perl script “”: No such file or directory
    c211-30-146-130:~ JR$

  152. jihad Says:

    very goooood tutorial , it s ok for me

  153. Andrews Says:

    I’ve followed all of the instructions and executed the perl
    and received this message….

    AMS hardware present and initialized

    according to the instructions it should now work but it doesn’t, can anyone shed some light as to why smackbook is not working? Does it matter that I’m running Snow Leopard? Do I have to have spaces setup? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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