If you’ve got an Intel Mac with
(or another alternative operating system installed), then you’re familiar with the boot loader—it’s the special screen that appears at startup to let you pick which partition you’d like to boot from. To make it appear, you hold down the Option key during startup. But if you own any Intel Mac other than the Mac Pro, there’s another way…
Instead of using the Option key to activate the boot loader, try the Menu button on your Apple Remote. Just press and hold it during startup, as you would the Option key on the keyboard. After a short delay, you should be rewarded with the boot loader screen. From here, you can use the Apple Remote to select the boot partition by pressing the skip backward/forward buttons. After the desired partition is highlighted, press the Play button to boot from that partition.
While this may only seem useful as a parlor trick, it could potentially be useful if you were to experience an unexpected restart during a presentation—when you hear the power-on sound, depress the Menu button and wait to ensure that you can choose the proper OS to boot back into.
OK, so that’s a bit of a stretch… mainly this is just an interesting parlor trick. Feel free, of course, to point out any other real-world uses that may exist for this boot-via-Apple Remote tip.