I need some mobile tech for my home office


I had a crazy idea today as I installed GAIM; I’m not claiming it’s original (but it might be) and I need some help. This is a shout out for those folks from MAKE, hack-a-day and the like as they’re the most likely to hack create a solution. Of course, if I can just buy something like this from an on-line retailer, I’m all for that too…

Here’s the the thing: as I was installing GAIM for IM on the Samsung Q1, I got to thinking about some of today’s Skype posts. I use Skype at home as well as on the road and I’ll likely start using GAIM for various other IM clients. Skype and GAIM use presence; something we’ve discussed before with twttr for your cell phone. Call me crazy or call me lazy, but I just hate setting the presence indicator on one client and after I installed GAIM, I realized I had to now set it on two.

That’s right, if I get up from my home office chair, I have to set two clients to Away or the like. Why can’t we apply a mobile tech solution to this? How about a little Bluetooth "thingie" on my belt that senses when I’m within a few feet of my desk and available? I’d even take a pressure plate on my chair if we could get some code to read the "on" or "off" mode and set my presence to Away. If I sit back down, HEY, I’m back! If I get back within three feet of my PC, the Bluetooth sensor sets my presence to Available. Anyone?!?




Locitnow! seems to be uncompatible with Q1. you cannot write default password becasue you cannot see floating keyboard. and it tunr-off your hardware keys even while it is on unlocked mode. no hardware keys works when this program is running, no matter lock/unlock mode.

Cary Phillips

The Wireless PC Lock that dhapsk posted above has a link to alternate software on sourceforge that is obviously open source. You should be able to hack something together from that. And the hardware was only $25.00 as well.

Perry Harris

There is a software product I tried not to long ago, that does this with your bluetooth enabled phone. As you walk away from your computer, it locks the screen. The product was LockItNow! found at http://www.blueshareware.com/lockitnow.asp (Note: their new site had a problemw with firefox…IE worked fine.)

The product basically locks the screen, I didn’t see way to adjust IM presence.


You may want to try a Wireless PC Lock: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/security/698d/
(not the cheapest place to buy, but allows you to get the idea)

It’ll lock the Windows (and Windows only, AFAIK) console once you walk away with the button part.
I do not use GAIM, but I guess every IM out there will show “Away” while console is locked.

Jonathan Balkind

I’m pretty sure I saw a device somewhere that locked your pc when you got too far away, you could probably change the software attached to it to set you as away, too.


Wait… you want a device that tells your Q1 (and the communications apps on it) that you not nearby? Now that’s funny… I somehow thought the point of you having the Q1 in the first place was to be able to carry it everywhere with you.

Me, I am not schlepping my laptop everywhere (but almost). But if I am away from the computer, I rely on the built-in “presence” features of the messenger apps to show my buddies how long I’ve been idle. I use the “Away” or “In Meeting” statuses manually to indicate that I don’t want to be bothered.

Michael P. Tomaszewski

Hmmm… actually I have been longing for a tool that would allow me to manually set my presence status on all my IMs (MSN, ICQ, Skype) – I don’t absolutely need the ‘automatic’ BT option, though I would consider that a welcome addition.

Steve Paine

That already exists. Under the Linux bluetooth packages there is an option to set lockscreen when a BT device is out of range. Lockscreen kicks in ‘away’ setting for Kopete (similar to Gaim) so i’d expect it to do the same for Skype. I’m sure you’ll find something similar for windows.

Only problem is, Bluetooth can have quite a range.

The other cool idea is to have a system that detects when a certain device is IN range. Set it up to detect wife and boss (perhaps one and the same?) and to bring up excel/word/chosen-productivity-program/auto skype call. Enjoy surfing with confidence!



How about putting an RFID chip in each of your earlobes so your PC can detect when you’re around?

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