Help me rock out some automation on my spankin' new MacBook!
March 21, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Help me rock out some automation on my spankin' new MacBook!

Ok, so I just got my first MacBook, and this is the first time I've had a Mac portable. One of the first things I ran into was needing to setup different network locations for home and work. Then I though, "gee, it'd be great if it would just switch automatically for you." I found MarcoPolo and that's pretty cool. Now I'd like to do some other automatic things, and from what I'm reading it seems like it should work, but I can't make it happen. Here's what I'd like to do:

1. I would like to sync the documents between my "documents" folder and my thumb drive every time I plug the drive in. I take my documents with me on my thumb drive to meetings, and sometime we edit them when I'm there. Other times I edit them on my Mac, and then plug the thumb drive in to copy them over to take to meetings. It'd be great if the MacBook could just figure out which is the newest version and copy what's needed as needed. Also, there is a "personal" folder in my documents folder, and I'd like to exclude this from my sync.

2. I have a BlackBerry 8830 w/ Bluetooth, and I'd like the phone and the MacBook to work together. I don't really want to use it to make phone calls or send SMS from the MacBook (the latter would be cool though), but I'd like it to detect that the BlackBerry is in proximity and then do certain things. First, when it leaves the area, I'd like it to turn on the screensaver and the screensaver password. When I return to the area I'd like it to enter the password and disable the screensaver.

3. I've read stories of people's MacBooks getting stolen and they were able to recover them due to the MB sending them the IP address the next time it looged on to the net and also taking pictures with the iSight and sending them to an FTP site. What's up with this, and how do I make it happen?

This is the latest model MacBook running 10.5.2. Thanks for your help!
posted by drgonzo2k2 to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
for question 2 check out
posted by moochoo at 8:46 AM on March 21, 2008

1. You want to associate Folder Actions with your USB Key Folder. (You'll probably have to format it to be... uh... AFS? I forget what the native disk format is for OSX...)
posted by unixrat at 8:56 AM on March 21, 2008

For Question #3, you should check out this Lifehacker post. (especially the comments, where other options/suggestions are made)

If you do a quick Google search for something like: "isight theft" or "isight security" , you should find what you are looking for.
posted by jmnugent at 8:58 AM on March 21, 2008

For number two you can probably use BlueProximity. I read about it on an Ubuntu Linux guide on how to use BlueProximity to lock your pc when you're out of range and unlock when you're in range. I didn't check if it works for the Mac but it is a start at least.
posted by mrbloo at 9:03 AM on March 21, 2008

1. You might find a combination of ChronoSync and Do Something When useful.

2. Take a look at The MissingSync for Blackberry. For the proximity stuff (and it's just super cool), look at Salling Clicker, though I don't see where it specifically supports your device. There's also Proximity, which will help you roll your own solution.

3. GadgetTrack and Orbicule are two companies that do those sorts of things. There was also a story that a thief used PhotoBooth on a stolen Mac that had FlickrBooth installed, which could help the authorities track down the criminal.

note: I don't use most of these products myself. I am a long time user of The Missing Sync for Palm and Salling Clicker.
posted by eafarris at 9:10 AM on March 21, 2008

WRT #1, ChronoSync is all you need.
posted by melorama at 11:25 AM on March 21, 2008

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