Powerbook G4 Stolen!!!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Ferrence, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Ferrence macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    #1
    Well, I left my house for an hour today to go to the gym and came home to find that my home had been broken into to. I realized that my Powerbook G4 15" 80 GB, digital camera and all my DVDs and CDs were taken. My Home Owners has a b.s. $2,200 deductable that won't even cover the Powerbook.

    The police were here and filed a Case# to it, and took photos, etc. And, when I called Apple to report it missing, they said that they don't like to get involved... WTF?!

    So, my question is: Is there anyway to track a stolen laptop there the Airport card whe it's near a Wi-Fi connection? I thought I heard something about this and wanted to know if it's true.

    Please, any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

    Craig
     
  2. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #2
    That really really sucks!

    I've not heard of any way to track a laptop, as you've mentioned. Jack Bauer might be able to do it, but I don't think we common people have much of a chance.

    Hope it all works out for you!
     
  3. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    wow...that sucks.

    you would think that apple would be able to retrace a ping from that laptop to their servers. i guess all the privacy stuff prevents them from being allowed to do that?

    this may sound awful and very distrusting, but you should try to ping any local networks. my cousin is a cop and he says you wouldn't believe how many B & Es are the result of neighbours. Not saying it is your neighbours, but you never know.

    best of luck,
    Keebler
     
  4. Ferrence thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 3, 2005
    #4
    Funny

    I'm thinking it might be a neighbor. How does one "ping?"

    My father was a State Cop and thinks that it was someone that saw me leave the house. I think the condensed time frame (an hour) led him to believe that someone watched me leave. Not to mention the fact that any other day, I'd be working. Just decided to call off today.

    So, how does one ping?
     
  5. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    May 26, 2005
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    Working for MI-6
    #5
    Sorry to hear about your loss Ferrence. :(

    Hopefully everything works out okay for you. :eek: :)
     
  6. rickvanr macrumors 68040

    rickvanr

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    Location:
    Brockville
    #6
    Tough luck. Hope you get it back eventually.

    But.. why would you call Apple to report it missing? Do you honestly think they'd care, send you a new one? No.
     
  7. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    May 26, 2005
    Location:
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    #7
    Guess that it could be worth a try.

    Its a shame, but it seems that sometimes you never can really know who to trust. :eek:
     
  8. Ferrence thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    #8
    But.. why would you call Apple to report it missing? Do you honestly think they'd care, send you a new one? No.[/QUOTE]

    I thought I heard somewhere that Apple wanted to know when one of their products was missing. Actually, I went to the Apple store to buy a mouse for the computer that was too big for them to stole (I used this mouse with my laptop sometimes--and they stole it too!) I asked the guy at the Apple store if I should report it missing through Apple (I had already had the police file a report), but he said "no."

    so, again, how can I attempt to ping my laptop?
     
  9. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    The Centennial State
    #9
    Applications, Utilities, Network Utility, Ping tab.

    But you'll need the IP of your PowerBook...
     
  10. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #10
    Dude that sucks on so many levels. Did you have any important files on the computer or pictures. I remember I read on some blog where someone made an applescript you set to check a web server for a special file and if the file wasint on the web server it would erase your home folder.
    Anyways I wish you luck in your unfortunate situation, and I hope the person gets caught.
     
  11. Ferrence thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 3, 2005
    #11
    How do I get this without the physical Powerbook? I guess there is a log on our home Wi-fi. How do I access that?
     
  12. p0intblank macrumors 68030

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    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #12
    Man, I feel so bad for you! :( I really hope everything works out. Keep us updated!
     
  13. Ferrence thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2005
    #13
    Thanks

    Thanks for all the thoughts BTW. It was bad enough having the Powerbook stolen, but in your own home, it's un-nerving.
     
  14. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

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    Jan 8, 2004
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    Maryland
    #14
    Even if you had a log of your powerbooks IP address (which you can find in your router if you have one), most likely its assigned using DHCP so it wont be the same.
    The only static form of identification on your powerbook is its serial number, and MAC addresses (although MAC addresses can be spoofed).
     
  15. louiek macrumors 6502

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    Knutters Knoll, Melbourne
    #15
  16. Ferrence thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 3, 2005
    #16
    So, I may be able to find it using the Serial #? Excuse all the questions. Just trying to hold on to any hope of tracking this thig down. Might be a lost cause, but you never know.
     
  17. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
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    Maryland
    #17
    Asking questions is quite understandable given the situation you are in.
    Anyways I dont think the S/N is trackable through the internet, It would only be useful if you had the computer infront of you to show your ownership of it.
    I remember a while ago when Intel had P-III processor serial numbers and everyone went crazy about it saying it would intrude on their privacy so I doubt apple has that kind of feature in their notebooks.
    I remember someone mentioning a story where a guy got his apple notebook stolen and the theif took it in to applecare and applecare called the real owner of the 'book telling him the repairs were done but the theif picked it up before the original owner did. Maybe the person who stole your powerbook will be that stupid.
     
  18. Ferrence thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 3, 2005
    #18
    One can only hope...
     
  19. janey macrumors 603

    janey

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    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #19
    there isn't much you can do, unfortunately. what I do remember is that the serial and all applicable mac addresses (ethernet and airport, usually) are on a sticker on the box the computer came with, but that'll do you no good.

    keebler - even with a connection to the internet, that's not humanely possible. it's like saying to dell: here's a serial number for one of your computers. we want you to find it NOW, assuming it's connected to the internet....
    it just can't be done. an IP is a different matter, but you can't go sorting through all the computers on a network looking for serial numbers or mac addresses, it's just not possible nor feasible.

    its also a different matter if you used the crontab that checks for a specific file on your webserver and the computer IS connected to the internet, but then again, that's still limited by the fact that you're relying on something that might or might not be there.

    best of luck, but there isn't much you can do. unless of course you see the moron trying to sell it on ebay or a similar site, then you can contact the police and get them to follow up on that.
     
  20. semaja2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Adelaide
    #20
    with my ibook ive added a open firmware security to full and included my name in the open firmware prompt so people who chuck my lappy away someone will hopefully find it and return it, most theifs wont use it if theres password protection they cant break.

    but on another note i was trying to build a program once which would activate a bluetooth beacon and a wifi beacon to help track it, it would also send you any ips it connected with so u could track the theifs via the isps, unfortuatly i never finished it and i lost the code
     
  21. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #21
    There are some sort of theft id's you can put on a pb; but I think that you have to do it before the laptop is stolen. But what you can do is periodically check with Apple to see if the laptop has ever been in for service. I read that a guy's ipod was stolen and the thief brought it in to an Apple store to get it fixed and was caught! Hate to sound all religious, but I'd also say a prayer he gets caught.
     
  22. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #22
    My roommate and I discussed the technicals of tracing your laptop through the internet.

    Every computer has a UNIQUE network identifier called a MAC (Media Access Control) address. So, if you could just "look-up" where your MAC address is in the internet, you could conceivably find the computer. Unfortunately, due to the nature of internet packet routing, in order to perform such a lookup, your computer and your Powerbook would have to be on the same subnet (i.e. connected to the same router).

    Once I heard of a guy who had his wireless router stolen. Wireless routers have MAC addresses. So he set up a rig in his car where he had a laptop set up and it was continuously scanning the airwaves for his wireless router (specifically, his wireless router's MAC Address). One day after a year of getting no hits, his computer detected his wireless router's MAC address and he actually recovered the router. Your only hope would be to get another laptop and put it in your car. Set up some kind of unix script that tells the computer to associate with every unsecured wireless access point one at a time, and scan for your stolen powerbook's MAC address. If your Powerbook is connected to an unsecured wireless network, you might just find it. But that's kind of impractical and "extreme".

    BTW, $2200 deductable is pretty ridiculous. When my Thinkpad was stolen about 6 years ago, the deductable with a reasonable $250, and I used the insurance money to buy an iBook. Maybe you should look into changing insurance providers or seeing how much extra it would cost for a lower deductable.
     
  23. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #23
    ...bluetooth, with the max range (even a bit iffy) of 30 feet? heh. it's one thing to have such a setup when you've misplaced your bag in a crowded movie theater, but quite another when someone steals it from your house and it's not a neighbor.


    anubis - mac addresses are spoofable.
     
  24. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #24
    Good idea but MAC addresses can be spoofed pretty easily so this form is pretty useless.
     
  25. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #25
    Ferrence,

    IMO, if you were only gone for 1 hr as you say, then it's 99.99% certain that someone WAS watching your house, probably someone who knows you, and knew for certain that you had lots of electronic goodies to steal !

    I'd start putting the word out in da 'hood that your stuff was stolen, perhaps someone heard or saw something that will help......

    In the meantime, start going around to all the local pawnshops, flea markets, & small computer shops in your area, give them the details, pics ect, and ask them to give you a call if any of your stuff shows up.

    And Definitely check eBay & craig's list for new auctions/sales w/items fitting the descriptions of your stuff. You may want to contact ebay by phone & give them a copy of the police report so they can be on the lookout for you too.......the more eyes & ears, the better :p

    good luck :D
     

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