Simple Mac prank using Arduino (Update 22/03/10)

I'm going to show you how you can annoy a mac user using only a couple simple parts.

Macs have a built in IR sensor that allows you to control them using an apple remote, this makes them an easy target for this prank. We will be using an arduino with the apple remote library to randomly "press buttons."

The arduino will act like an apple remote and at a random interval it will "press" a random button, this will either be back, forward or menu, this can easily be changed in the sketch though.

Update (22/03/10) I have added a sketch that will first wait 5 minutes, to give you time to hide the arduino and will then randomly "press" any button every 0.5 seconds, this is sure to drive your target crazy!

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
masterleo3 months ago

Hello verry nice (of course)
My question is : Why do you not use any resistors ?
Thanks for your reply :D
(i don't want to burn my IRleds)

yonsje (author)  masterleo3 months ago
If I recall correctly, the LEDs I used worked fine on 5 volts, but you're right, it's probably best to use a resistor.
masterleo yonsje3 months ago

Thanks you so much for replying !
Oh realy ? --.
Does anybody have more info ?
Anyway, I have two so I can burn one by making tests :D HéHé

snazz3 years ago

Could you re upload or send me the .pde files again? The ones that you have are .tmp's and are not readable when I open up the arduino program.
yonsje (author)  snazz3 years ago
Just change the .tmp to .pde ;)
snazz yonsje3 years ago
I did that but with all 3 sketches loaded and open, i still get byte problems. Ive tried changing them to numbers but it won't work. Is there anyway I could get the whole arduino code simplfied including one of the pdes. (either one is fine)? im a bit of a noob and need to finish this up for a project.
yonsje (author)  snazz3 years ago
Did you install the apple remote library?
mcarrell3 years ago
For those who don't want to become victim of pranks like this, I'd suggest an anti-dote....

Open System Preferences Security pane and then check the box that says "Disable remote control infrared receiver".. Or if you still want to use your remote, but ONLY your remote, click the item below that that says "Pair"... Voila! (yeah I know, I'm a fun-spoiler!)
challahc4 years ago
Ah yes, I had this problem with using a macbook and an apple tv in the same room. The remotes are all the same. This would be fun to make as a wearable and just walk around the office.
Mac Mini's have a IR sensor on the right end of the optical drive slot. I have a 2008 Model and the remote works fine.
AFAIK the 2010 model doesn't have IR if it doesn't have an optical drive.
strahl4 years ago
LOL! This is just great! I haven't tried this but I bet a big media design office would be the perfect playground for this. Provided you want to get 15 people to end up as slaughtering maniacs ;)
Great prank! Too bad my brothers MacBook just fried... :P
Ahh, now he has another one.... And my arduino is plugged in. Tomorrow is going to be FUN ;-).
tristantech4 years ago
This is awesome, but if somebody is sitting in front of the computer, wouldn't they block the IR beam
yonsje (author)  tristantech4 years ago
Thanks, you would have to hide it somewhere next to the computer so the beam shines between the person an the computer and onto the sensor.
I was thinking "hmm.. interesting..." until I saw the enclosure part. Then I thought "Aw, sweet!"

This truly is awesome; just one part I might do differently: use a part from the "middle" of the "stem", rather than the end of it, to hold the LEDs. Then, use the top part in place of the piece of paper for the CD. (Maybe even glue the top of the stem to inside the top of the clear cover part.)
yonsje (author)  computer_freak_84 years ago
Thanks for the kind words.
That's certainly a better idea then a piece of paper I didn't even think of doing that!
troseph4 years ago
 I like it! Where did you figure out the light sequences for the mac?
yonsje (author)  troseph4 years ago
I'm glad you like my instructable!
Because I used the apple remote library I didn't have to figure out the sequences, which made this very easy to do.