Using built-in accelerometer to play Tux Racer

From ThinkWiki:

The Active Protection System

With the new series of ThinkPads IBM introduced the Active Protection System (APS) in 2003. The APS is a protection system for the ThinkPad’s internal harddrive. A sensor inside the ThinkPad recognizes when the notebook is accelerated. A software applet then is triggered to park the harddisk. This way the risk of data loss in case of when the notebook is dropped is significantly reduced since the read/write head of the harddrive is parked and hence can’t crash onto the platter when the notebook drops onto the floor.

The hardware sensor is capable of not only recognizing acceleration of the notebook, but also (to a certain degree) of its whole orientation in space, relative to gravity’s axis. Furthermore, having the actual control put into software, its functionality is extendable and it gives chance to implement features like the “ignore minor shocks” feature which is present in the Windows based control applet. (This feature prevents the harddrive from parking in case of minor regular shocks such as occur when in a train or car.)

The measurements are physically performed by an Analog Devices ADXL320 accelerometer chip, managed by the embedded controller.

It would be a shame not to use it for other creative purposes 🙂

  1. Install Lenovo Active Protection System.
  2. Download and extract Tux Racer.
  3. Download SDL Patch by Mark A. Smith (IBM) – Author’s page (not available anymore) and extract SDL.dll and SDL_events.c.patch into Tux Racer’s folder (overwriting the previous SDL.dll).
  4. Play!
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