by Gary Woods
One of the cooler services from Apple is something called find "Find My Mac." It's a free service and when you register your Mac with Apple and your stolen or misplaced computer is on a WiFi network the location of it will be displayed at iCloud.com when you log into any computer running Safari.
There's also an iOS version called "Find iPhone" running on the iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch. I love the service because I'm always losing my phone down in the pillows on the couch or someplace else and when I do I can then have the device play a sound until it's turned off.
The best use of "Find My Mac" however is when your computer actually gets stolen you can roughly track its location and turn that information in to the police. There are reports all over the world from people who have recovered their computers but I recently read about some instances where the service wasn't quite accurate enough or didn't function correctly.
For instance, there was a theft in Amsterdam and the owner could trace the Laptop to an apartment building but the police wouldn't act because they wouldn't do a unit by unit search of all 300 apartments. Then, there was a gentleman in North Las Vegas who was wrongly accused of stealing several iPhones because of a glitch in the tracking service from Sprint.
When I heard about these issues I realized my new MacBook Air needed a little extra help so I got Lojack for Laptops http://www3.absolute.com/lojackforlaptops/. For $59.99 for 3 years they'll find my stolen computer or lock it or delete everything on it. Then, if all else fails and they can't do any of the stuff they promise they'll give me a $1,000 towards a new one. I still love "Find My Mac" and "Find iPhone"but being old, paranoid a little extra backup never hurt.
If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org or see my column on the Internet at http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com or call me at (805) 729-0910
Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc