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Thread: computer theft tracking - PC PhoneHome

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    computer theft tracking - PC PhoneHome

    Sorry if this has already been posted, did a search and didn't appear to be.

    This seems pretty nifty..I remember a while back ago people talking about attaching disposable cell phones to computers if their computer gets stolen...this seems like an easier and cheaper way to do it...(though not as good..) Still, this seems like a good deal, considering it's $20 (one time payment, no other fees...sweet).

    From thinkgeek.com:PC PhoneHome is a stealth software application that secretly transmits an "electronic beacon" to an email address of your choice, allowing you to track & locate your computer, anywhere in the world. It sends a message to your designated email address once a day, or every time the computer connects to the Internet and is assigned an IP address. If your computer is lost or stolen, you report the loss to the police and continue to monitor your designated email address. When your stolen computer accesses the Internet by any method, your lost or stolen computer will send you it's IP address information, which can be used to determine the location. PC PhoneHome cannot be removed by unauthorized parties even if they attempt to wipe the computer's hard drive using format or fdisk commands. A special uninstall program is used to remove the software.

    As a registered user of PC PhoneHome, you may seek technical service assistance in locating your computer's exact coordinates and alerting the local police to recover it. As a side benefit, other items of your property (like expensive jewelry or your USB microscope) that might have been taken at the same time, may also be recovered.

    There are no yearly add-on costs or additional charges beyond the one-time purchase price of the software. This version is for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.

    Here's the link:http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/security/5a9c/

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    well thats if your cell phone have wireless internet. Your pc would have to automatically dial in to get an ip address. That means you have to set it up to do that every automatically everyday. Plus thats assuming that the thieves hasn't taken your pc out and the phone.
    Cool idea thought

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    Yes, but that's the point of the software...in this day and age it's rare that computers don't get hooked up to the internet (except maybe our babies in our cars...heh...but ya gotta love wardriving) so whenever this got plugged in via modem or ethernet in the thief's home/business/whatever, it'd send out a message.. the only problem would be that it might not actually be used by the thief, it might be sold somewhere to some unsuspecting person...but even then you could ask them where they got it from and have more of a lead than if you did nothing at all..

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    ^true
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    Maximum Bitrate gizmomkr's Avatar
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    I happen to have wifi and gprs data service in my pc-car, but Im HIGHLY skeptical of something that says fdisk wont wipe it out.

    If I take your hard drive out of your lapt-top and run a low level format - Its done. END OF STORY. Data gone.

    Ok just went to web site - It looks like it does something on the boot sector, (format /mbr) but still - If I boot from floppy, and/or reset your bios if I had to.

    Not that I advocate stealing PC's (because I would kill the guy with my bare hands if they ever tried to take mine....) but If I were to steal a laptop - The first thing I would do, is boot the thing and see if there was any good data on it. then I would wipe it. I guess this would just make me more carefull about wiping it.
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    That was my thought... if some random guy on the street stole a computer... the first thing he will do is boot it up... see that it automatically boots with winamp as shell and say "well screw this... Ill start all over". Unless this thing attaches to your mobo bios or something... I dont know that this will be that spectacular of a piece of software... at least imho.
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    Very true. But for 20 bucks, I'm willing to add it in case your average car thief steals it and doesn't know how to fdisk it. Or in case he boots it up before wiping it and it can access the internet.

    I mean, fdisk /mbr *is* an undocumented feature of fdisk. If you know how to fix computers, yeah you know about it...but a lot of people don't.

    Anything to help get my baby back if it gets stolen, imho.

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    Maximum Bitrate gizmomkr's Avatar
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    1 additional thought - Runing cables, splicing wires, moding face plates and plexi took me a total of about 3 months;

    Has anyone here ever tried to reinstall a head unit after the theif clear cut the factory connector right off the wire harnes!?

    Using an average wage of 10/hr to save up enought money to buy a BRAND NEW mb, cd-rom, and hd would take about 5 days.

    If someone runs into the guy stealing my car-pc - ask him to make me a quick cd backup of the music. TAKE MY FREAKING PC, just dont hurt the wires.
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    I'm sorry, and you are....? frodobaggins's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gizmomkr
    1 additional thought - Runing cables, splicing wires, moding face plates and plexi took me a total of about 3 months;

    Has anyone here ever tried to reinstall a head unit after the theif clear cut the factory connector right off the wire harnes!?

    Using an average wage of 10/hr to save up enought money to buy a BRAND NEW mb, cd-rom, and hd would take about 5 days.

    If someone runs into the guy stealing my car-pc - ask him to make me a quick cd backup of the music. TAKE MY FREAKING PC, just dont hurt the wires.


    just put in a note
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    yea my pals hu got stolen, the iso connecter ripped strate off, never found the live wire... hehe, but it wasnt rediculously hard to rewire. mabe a car alarm could trigger the pc to boot and dial up then even send a long/lat by gps.

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