The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

At Work, at Home or on the go!

This is a very useful application that runs in the background without interfering in the Dock or the Command-Tab dialog. It is called MarcoPolo. What it does is it looks for certain networks or devices that will tell the application where you are. It will then adjust the settings accordingly. So you could set a rule that would say if your Mac is hooked up to this usb mouse, it is because you are at home. If it is hooked up to this cinema display however, you are at work. You could also have "On the go" settings so that your computer disables airport and bluetooth to save battery when it is not hooked up to the power. This could be a problem if you use wireless networking and you are on the battery at home per example. The app will let you solve this issue with more rules, you could set a rule that says that if your laptop is not hooked up to the power, it is on the go but with a "limited confidence". This would mean that it would require additional rules before changing your settings. You could then add another rule that to be on the go, you mustn't be hooked up to this network.

Some of the settings it can adjust are the default printer, the Mail SMTP server, turning on and off bluetooth or airport, and even running a certain script, document or application! I particularly like the default printer setting because when I press "Command-P", wherever I am, I am ready to hit "Enter" without worrying about which printer to use.

The settings:

Setting the rule to help the app figure out where you are:

Setting the actions that the app will take when the location changes:

You can download MarcoPolo here from MacUpdate!


Blogger Andy said...


June 14, 2007 at 3:55 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

I cant get this to work, I downloaded the file and the disk image is on my computer but when I open it up and click on the yellow compass it doesn't open. I have tried everything. Is this because I deleted my language files?

June 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 14, 2007 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger dpryan said...

While I doubt I'll ever use it, that's a really great tip. Hopefully someday there will be GPS integration into laptops that can be used to more accurately specify locale. Thanks for all of the tips!

June 14, 2007 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger MacGeek said...

Brian: I got that feeling too when I installed it at first. It doesn't load anything in the Dock, in the Command-Tab dialog or even in the menu bar at the left. It loads a small icon at the right with the sound and airport settings.


June 14, 2007 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for the help, it is in the upper right hand side. However when I try to eject the disk image I have to quit the app and then I cant launch it unless I have that ugly thing on my desktop. Any advice?

June 14, 2007 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger MacGeek said...

Brian: Yeah it does that if you load it from the disk image. You have to copy the file to your applications folder (or wherever you want it) and load it from there. You will then be able to eject the disk image.


June 14, 2007 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger RobertC said...

Great. That's what the location manager of OS 9 did.
I really want that back into the Location panel: switch automatic or manual (or by confidence level).
Why these switches (printer, modem, script to be run, ...) disappeared from the location panel in OS X I don't know.

June 15, 2007 at 6:12 AM  

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