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Not sure whether to post this in the Hot Deals, Free Stuff, or Computers forum. But I figured this forum gets the most views.

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Laptop Theft Prevention

Ever been sitting in a library with your laptop, wanted to go grab a book, but you were worried about your laptop getting stolen? Did you go through the trouble of shutting down and packing it all up to take with you before you got up? That scenario has happened to me several times. My solution? A sort of car alarm for your laptop.

Laptop Theft Prevention is a small application that uses your IBM / Lenovo ThinkPad accelerometer chip (the one used to park the hard drive heads when you drop your computer) to detect motion while your computer is locked. When movement is sensed, an alarm immediately goes off, hopefully detering the thief from stealing your machine. The program can also be configured to send a text message to your cell phone, so you can get an immediate (well, as immediate as your cell phone provider's e-mail gateway) alert. Webcam support (to take photos using the camera in the LCD panels) is in the works.

Features
Locking mechanism uses Windows login
Visual and Audible Alerts
SMS alerting function to send text messages to your cell phone
System Requirements
You must have a ThinkPad with the APS feature. The following laptops should have this:

ThinkPad R50, R50p, R51, R52, R60, R61
ThinkPad T41, T41p, T42, T42p, T43, T43p, T60, T60p, T61
ThinkPad X40, X41, X41 Tablet, X60, X60s, X60 Tablet, X61, X61s, X61 Tablet
ThinkPad Z60m, Z60t, Z61m, Z61t, Z61e
Source: ThinkWiki.org

From the program writer - This software has been tested on a ThinkPad T60. Please e-mail me with reports on its success/failure for your particular machine. Support for other machine types is in the works. (If anyone has a Vaio or a Mac that they aren't using, I would like the opportunity to test with it, if possible.) - From the program writer

You also need the Microsoft .NET 2.0 Framework. If you do not already have it installed, it will automatically be downloaded when you install Laptop Theft Prevention.

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Will it still work if someone tries to turn off the laptop by holding down the power button?

Espeanage said: Will it still work if someone tries to turn off the laptop by holding down the power button?

1. turn off
2. press mute button
3. remove battery

3 things you can do within a few seconds to bypass this.

pedrum said: Espeanage said: Will it still work if someone tries to turn off the laptop by holding down the power button?

1. turn off
2. press mute button
3. remove battery

3 things you can do within a few seconds to bypass this.


It's not meant to be perfect, just a deterrent. At free, I don't see why you're complaining. Install it--wtf do you have to lose?

Man, I get sick of negative people that are just being negative. There are some changes he should make to improve his product but it's still pretty nice as-is for free/$5 a seat.

#3 wouldn't work anyway; noise would be made by moving the laptop to remove the battery.

malefactor said: pedrum said: Espeanage said: Will it still work if someone tries to turn off the laptop by holding down the power button?

1. turn off
2. press mute button
3. remove battery

3 things you can do within a few seconds to bypass this.


It's not meant to be perfect, just a deterrent. At free, I don't see why you're complaining. Install it--wtf do you have to lose?

Man, I get sick of negative people that are just being negative. There are some changes he should make to improve his product but it's still pretty nice as-is for free/$5 a seat.

#3 wouldn't work anyway; noise would be made by moving the laptop to remove the battery.



I'm not being negative for the sake of being negative. Just saying it's a pretty useless product unless used in combination with other deterrents (like kensington lock). Otherwise, a security device that can be bypassed by simply pressing 1 button is just as useful as a screensaver that says "Don't steal me"

Greetings Fat Wallet users. I'm the guy that wrote that program, and I thought I would take a moment to respond.

Yes, there are many ways around this alarm going off. Pulling the battery is near impossible as it can be set to be very sensitive. Muting won't work either, as the program is smart enough to unmute and crank the volume up as loud as possible. (This assumes of course that you use IBM's sound driver application which sets the hardware volume control to match the mixer volume in windows.)

Yes, a thief could power down the computer. Yes, a thief could plug in headphones (although again even this is difficult to do without triggering the alarm... I've tried.) Yes, a thief could walk right out the door with your laptop, alarm ringing and everything. All these reasons are why I named the software, "Laptop Theft Prevention". Emphasis on the prevention.

It's funny you mention the Kensington locks. This YouTube video of them being broken was where I got this idea in the first place:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SkKJ4yOKo8

I hear they have fixed the newer versions of the locks these days, but I don't imagine it says that on the packaging anywhere.

The bottom line folks is that if you don't want your laptop stolen, there isn't one solution that will work for you. The best way would be likely locked up in a safe somewhere. This of course isn't practical, and for some, it isn't practical to tear down to get a cup of coffee. It is for those people (and the people who like widgets and gadgets) that I have written this program.

I do welcome your comments however. It is great to see such a response. Feel free to e-mail me personally at brad@musatcha.com if you have any other feedback.

Thanks!

pedrum said:
I'm not being negative for the sake of being negative. Just saying it's a pretty useless product unless used in combination with other deterrents (like kensington lock). Otherwise, a security device that can be bypassed by simply pressing 1 button is just as useful as a screensaver that says "Don't steal me"


Yes you are! No one claimed that it is bulletproof and you can leave it in a public place and go on vacation. Just a deterrant when you quickly have to be away for a moment without being worried about someone stealing right from under your eyes.
I've had friends complain that when they were in Europe they had their laptops stolen from their hotel rooms. This could be a deterrant just for the casual thief who would just panic and run when he lifts it.. Use it or leave it alone..

Thanks OP & Brad. I tried it on my X61. Pretty cool.

Edit: Thanks to Brad.



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