Tech Talk – Protect your laptop |

Tech Talk – Protect your laptop

Dear Ernie,

Like my cell phone, I’m seldom without my trusty laptop. But unlike the cell phone, my laptop is worth thousands of dollars and is a great enticement to thieves. I’m concerned about the computer and all the sensitive information that I have stored within. Are there any good software alarms out there?


Laptop Loser

Yes, there are a couple of options to give you some peace of mind.

For Windows Users: Check out the free application Laptop Alarm, which will sound an alarm whenever anyone unplugs the power cable, moves or unplugs the mouse or shuts down the laptop. It’s a pretty basic application that could use some upgrades, but it’s not bad for what it does.

For Macintosh Users: Apple folks have two nearly identical applications to select from: iAlertU or Lockdown. Just like a car-alarm, you can alarm and disarm both applications with your Apple Remote. Both apps use the motion detection system in any newer MacBook to set off the alarm if someone moves your laptop. This sensitive alarm is set off with any movement of your mouse, keyboard activity, etc. And even cooler, whenever the alarm is triggered, your MacBooks’s iSight camera snaps a picture and can send it to any email address. or

Just when you thought your iPhone was the consummate entertainment communication device, along comes a new application that honors your musical genius. Ocarina offers iPhone owners a tiny electronic instrument to learn. You play the instrument by blowing into the microphone. Then you create the actual tunes with your fingers. Sure it’s tiny, but it’s surprising how lifelike the instrument feels. Later you can record your tuneful creations and share them with your adoring fans.

READERS SHARE FAVORITE TIPS: What are your favorite free apps? Or maybe you have a question for Ernie? Post it in the comments below.

Kings Beach resident Ernie Dambach is a self-admitted computer geek who enjoys helping others navigate their way through the digital world. His computer and networking company Tahoe Tech Group serves small and medium businesses, as well as the home computer users throughout the Tahoe Truckee region.

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