To provide an even better chance of
having your laptop returned, you can purchase a laptop tracing software package.
Most products of this nature work by periodically and stealthily sending out
signals to an Internet server run by the manufacturer. When your laptop is
stolen, report the theft to the maker of the software. If the new owner connects
to the Internet, the company will know, and they will provide tracking
information to the police.
Some tracking software provides
further options, such as the ability to delete selected data once the laptop has
been reported as stolen. Most of these software packages are difficult to detect
and remove, and some claim to be able to survive re-partitioning and
reformatting of the hard drive. Of course, if the hard drive is removed, so is
the tracing software.
Most of these services work on a
yearly subscription basis, due to the fact that the service is more essential
than the software.
Popular tracking software packages
ZTrace ( http://www.ztrace.com/zTraceGold.asp)
Common sense and the Pizza
Don't leave your laptop alone. Not in
your car, not in your trunk, not in your hotel room, not anywhere while
traveling. Record the serial number, along with any other identifying marks or
characteristics that you can provide to police. Use a plain carrying case or
backpack whenever possible, as this will dramatically reduce the risk of theft.
If you travel with an ultra subnotebook, try putting it in a 8.5" x 11" envelope
- to distant eyes it will just look like a bundle of paper.
If you're in the habit of leaving your
brand new and exceptionally shiny Titanium frame notebook around the house when
you aren't there, keep in mind that a potential thief sneaking a peek through
the windows may be more inspired to break in if they see a notebook sitting
out in plain view on the coffee table. While you may have paid over $2300 for
that notebook, the thief will be quite happy selling it for a measly
$500.... talk about adding insult to injury!
For those of you who insist on leaving
your notebooks on coffee tables or out in the open anyway, there is one trick
which can give your notebook a bit of stealthy protection. I
can't claim originality on the Pizza Box laptop case, but since I can't remember
where I first saw this you'll have to improvise, and all it will cost you is a
medium pizza from the local delivery guy. It's best to order the least
grease-ladden pizza you can, because once you finish your lunch you'll be using
that box for another purpose.
All you need to do once the food's
gone is clean out the crumbs, bits of pepperoni, and whatever else remains. If
there are odd grease spots here and there you can get away with gluing down a
piece of cardboard to line the inside of the Pizza Box. If things are messy
perhaps it's better to order the Veggie deluxe and try again. When the Pizza Box
is all cleaned out, just make sure your notebook will fit inside. If it doesn't,
order a larger pizza and repeat the above steps.
The basic idea behind the Pizza Box
laptop case, if you haven't already guessed it, is to store your fancy notebook
in the Pizza Box when you're not around. This way, you can leave your notebook
out on the coffee table, or pretty much anywhere in your house and no one will
be the wiser that your uber expensive notebook lies inside. Sure you may
look like a bit of a slob for having that same Pizza Box on your coffee table
for 6 months, but then again, if people are noticing that they certainly aren't
noticing your notebook inside are they?