Let ALARM Warn You If Someone Steals Your Laptop

Last Updated Jun 22, 2009 10:21 PM EDT

If you're like me and Rick, you get a fair bit of work done at coffee and sandwich shops that offer free Wi-Fi. But what happens when you have to refill your coffee or dash into the rest room? Do you pack up your laptop, or just leave it out and trust that you're surrounded by honest people? If you tend to do the latter, now you can walk away from your laptop with a little more confidence using ALARM, a program that starts shouting if the laptop is disconnected from its electrical outlet.

ALARM is free and deviously simple -- setup is fast, and you can specify any MP3 file as the warning that sounds when trouble arrives (though an alarm sound comes in the installer if you don't have your own alternative).

Of course, ALARM relies on a thief walking away with your laptop lid still open -- as soon as you close the lid, the sound will stop as the system goes to sleep. But if your potential thief unplugs the laptop first and then starts to walk away with it, you'll hear the alarm sound. If you use your laptop in public and ever find yourself stepping away for a moment, ALARM is a small measure of admittedly incomplete security. [via ghacks]