Stolen laptop recovered thanks to Back to my Mac



In January of 2009, I spent almost $2,500 on a top of the line, 15-inch unibody MacBook Pro, glutted with as much RAM and hard drive space as its belly could handle. Less than four months later, it was stolen.

Oh, it was my own fault. The whole tale involves a midnight rendezvous with a bartender I had my eye on at the time. She had the face of Natalie Portman, the eyebrows of Roger Moore and the constitution of Oliver Reed; in her presence, one drink became two, and two became twelve, and when we stumbled back to my apartment, I somehow forgot my laptop bag back at the bar… but only for five minutes! Alas, five minutes was too late, and by the time I’d rushed back, it was gone.

Since then, I’ve spent a good amount of time upbraiding myself about the loss. What has always bugged me most about the theft was that I always knew that there were countless programs available (such as Undercover) that would help you track down your Mac if it was stolen. I knew about these programs. I wrote about them, even. But I never once installed one. I just couldn’t imagine the scenario where I would have my laptop stolen. Dumb.

The news feeds bring me further fodder for my self-incrimination this morning. Over at TUAW, they are reporting that one of their readers. Jim, managed to safely recover his stolen Macbook using the MobileMe’s service, Back to My Mac, to take pictures of the perps and gather information about them gleaned from watching them surf the web.

It took Jim many months to get his laptop back: it had changed hands at least five times since it was stolen, at least once as payment in a drug deal. But when he got it back, it was in surprisingly good nick… with most of his files still intact on the disk.

That’s great news for Jim, but as another object lesson in my own amazing stupidity, it’s like a punch to the gut. Guess who also didn’t have a MobileMe account when his MacBook Pro was stolen? Yup. What a maroon.