Recovery Software for Your Mac

May 20, 2008 at 3:03 am (shareware, Standard) (, , , , )

Resourceful – 1. having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties; 2. teenage Apple employee in NY who helped police recover her stolen laptop and other goods.

There was a story in the New York Times recently about the teenage girl in New York who had approximately $5000 worth of computers, tv’s, and other electronics stolen from her apartment. When a friend called to ask if she was online because he saw that it appeared she was online from her iChat profile, she logged onto a friend’s computer and remotely activated the Back to my Mac feature on her laptop. It is part of Apple’s $99.95 per year .Mac subscription package (http://www.apple.com/dotmac/). She was able to take a picture of the thieves using the computer and found that they were friends of friends. She took the photos and the thieves’ ID to the police, who arrested the two men.

There is another application that utilizes the Mac’s built-in iSight camera for its recovery of stolen laptops. It’s called Undercover from Orbicule Software. http://www.orbicule.com/undercover
Once you alert Orbicule that your laptop has been stolen, it activates the software, which pings Orbicule when the Mac logs on to the internet. The iSight camera takes pictures of the thief and the screen at predetermined times. In addition, the IP address is recorded so the thief’s location can be traced.

If that fails, a hardware failure is simulated causing the screen to gradually dim until it is black. The premise is that the thief will take the laptop into a repair shop. Orbicule has a list of Apple Service Providers’ IP addresses and if the computer is logged online from one, a message will be displayed telling them that the Mac has been stolen. It will also begin screaming at the loudest volume that the laptop has been stolen, and the computer will be locked to prevent any further use.

A single-user license is $49 and a household license is $59. They also have student licenses, site licenses, and volume licenses available.

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