Track a stolen laptop with a customized

posted by Jason Kottke Feb 27, 2004

Track a stolen laptop with a customized default browser home page. One could even set up a service that would do the same for anyone who wanted to do something like this.

Reader comments

majickFeb 28, 2004 at 10:23AM

Utterly silly. The first thing you do with a stolen laptop is blow the drive away so it doesn't call home or retain other identifying information. Especially stupid thieves could be tracked with this, but stupid thieves would be caught anyways.

LodeFeb 28, 2004 at 2:39PM

Well, apparently some thieves are really that stupid, so it might be worth your time to create something like this.

DanFeb 28, 2004 at 2:48PM

Is it just me or is the site that is linked to for this storey strikingly familiar to Kottke? The layout, typeface and top header are variations on the same theme!

cheapbastardFeb 29, 2004 at 10:27PM

Not only would you have to get stupid theives, but they would have to setup a dial-up connection or have broadband access without reformatting the drive?? And I'm thinking if they have broadband access, they are probably smart enough to blow away the drive.

Paul KiddMar 01, 2004 at 2:22AM

Numerous commercial services exist which provide a tracking facility for stolen laptops, mostly they're targeted at corporate users.

StopTrack and Laptrak are a couple of examples. Both these claim their software resists reformatting of the hard drive and reports either the IP address or phone number (via caller id) when the stolen 'puter is jacked back into the network, most likely not by the thief but by the purchaser downstream.

How effective they are, I dunno, but it seems like the sort of thing that could be accomplished at least equally effective without paying a finder's fee to some company.

TommyApr 01, 2004 at 9:11AM

Well Jay, it's a shame that you don't have a device which alerts you when some sneaky bugger nicks your design for there own site. www.contactsheet..org is really extracting the Michael in this case, no?

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.