Hack the MacBook to have multi-touch, win an iPod Touch

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My first impressions have been positive with the Penryn MacBook Pro, but I wonder about the trackpad and why it isn’t bigger. Why does the craptastic MacBook Air have the ginormous trackpad when the workhorse of the line is left with the same trackpad its had for years? And why can’t they make the rest of the line multi-touch. We first believed it was software but then we found that the main board used a special touchscreen chip, the same one found in the Touch and the iPhone. We’d like to recreate the behavior on older MacBooks. The thing is, with John’s delirium tremens and Doug’s hatred of Apple, the only two guys who could possibly try to do this are out of the running.

We think CG readers are smart enough to figure this out. We definitely aren’t. Help the world make the trackpad on all MacBooks more Air-like, and we’ll give you an iPod Touch. Read on to see how.

We challenge you to make a pre-Penryn MacBook trackpad gesture-based. For your troubles (if you make this happen) we’ll give you, the lucky winner, an iPod Touch. Sound good? Yeah, I thought so.

The rules are simple: the first reader to submit a software fix/patch/application/hardware hack that will make a pre-Penryn MacBook — we’d prefer you didn’t do it to an MBP because it will be too easy to fake — use multi-touch will get an iPod Touch. This means we should be able to zoom in and out of images in any OS X application and swipe through images, files, and what have you using one finger a la the iPhone. This has to be your own work and not a pre-existing software solution unless you wrote said solution AFTER hearing about this contest and should include instructions. If it is a software solution, you retain all rights and we simply need to see proof that it works and you can go and sell it as shareware or whatever down the line. If it is a hardware solution, pictures are necessary but you own rights to the process.

You must offer confirmation of your work and we’re not responsible for you blowing up your MacBook. We know the Air and MBP uses Broadcom’s BCM5974 chip so we’re thinking you MIGHT be able to swap chips. Email us at contest @ crunchgear.com if you’re up to the challenge. First one wins, so hack fast, nerds! This might be completely impossible as well, so tell us why in the comments and we might be able to dig up a few consolation prizes.

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