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iAlertU’s alarm can be configured to trigger on six different events. The alarm duration and motion sensitivity can also be adjusted.
SlappingTurtle Software’s iAlertU is a software-based alarm system for your Mac. When tripped, it blares very loud sound effects that mimic a car alarm. The screen also flashes at regular intervals, simulating a car’s flashing headlights. And you can arm and disarm the software using your Mac’s remote control.
Though iAlertU may seem like a gratuitous application of technology, it’s more than just window dressing: The alarm can be triggered by removal of devices, movement of the trackpad or mouse, or by pressing a certain key. On the MacBook and MacBook Pro, iAlertU also can sound the alarm when the AC adapter is removed, when the screen is closed, or when something trips the motion sensor. iAlertU can also cause the iSight to snap a photo at the time of alarm activation, and then email it to you using Apple Mail, as long as you’ve set it up with a valid account and password—and as long as your laptop is connected to a Wi-Fi or other Net connection. Some potential thieves may flee when they set off the alarm, so in that sense, the software acts as a theft deterrent—and probably works a lot better than most car alarms these days. But other than causing funny looks from passersby as the thief runs by with your laptop alarm blaring, the software can’t provide true physical protection for your ’book.If you’re worried that your Mac will be stolen, you should invest in a physical security device, like the Kensington or Targus cable, or the Ncase Portable Safe—all reviewed here. Still, for zero cash outlay (unless you opt to donate to the developer), iAlertU can offer a first line of deterrence against would-be MacBook crooks.