Tomas Pollak a Chilean programmer developed an excellent application called Prey,that allows the owner to track a laptop if it is stolen.
What is Prey ?
Prey is a small and very simple application(script) that collects information about your computer and sends it to the email address that you’ve previously defined.The idea is to have the software installed on your computer so that if ever stolen(hopefully never), this application can send important information to track it. The program runs on Mac OS and Linux.It is licenced by the GPLv3 which means you can do just about anything with it. It runs in *NIX systems.
Update 2: This article is almost one year old, Now Prey runs on Windows, mac, Linux,Ubuntu and Androdid Devices
Prey lets you keep track of your phone or laptop at all times, and will help you find it if it ever gets lost or stolen. It’s lightweight, open source software, and free for anyone to use.
Download or Home Page:
What information is collected Prey?
Prey sends the information about the public and private IP address of where the Laptop is connected, the MAC address of the card or network driver for which it is connected to the network, and the WiFi network to which it is connected, if so, if the Laptop has a webcam, it takes a photo of the Thief and a screenshot of the desktop, to see what he is doing and other relevant information.
How it works ?
The script runs at a specified interval in your machine,and checks for a specified URL in the web. If the URL exists it means the computer/laptop has been stolen, and thus
goes through the information-gathering routine and sends all that info through to a previously defined email address.You can also not define a URL and in that case the program sends the data every time it runs.
$ wget http://bootlog.org/downloads/prey-0.1.zip
$ unzip prey-0.1.zip
$ cd prey-0.1
$ chmod +x install.sh
Download : Prey
Update: Now prey app is also available for Windows also
Download links : Prey 0.2 for linux and Mac(431 kb)
prey 0.1 for Windows (285 kb)