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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app Apps
Snow Leopard only hintAirport Location is a free application that I have written for Snow Leopard. Its main purpose is to determine a laptop's physical location via nearby wifi access points, then apply a previously-saved settings 'snapshot' to affect different settings in different places.

If set to operate automatically, Airport Location will scan for location changes on wake. If the program determines that you are at an unrecognized location, (i.e. an unrecognized set of wifi access points nearby), it will ask you to name that location. Once named, a location is associated with a settings 'snapshot' which can either be unique to a particular location, or grouped with other locations (e.g. 'Class', 'Work', 'Meeting Rooms', 'Coffee Shop', etc.).

For a laptop user, Airport Location lets you specify things such as volume level, iChat status, which apps to open or close, desktop background, default printer, and network-related settings (Bluetooth on/off, Firewall on/off, VPN connection on/off, mounting a shared network volume). For example, in a classroom, you might mute the volume, set iChat to 'in class,' open your class-related apps, change the printer, and disable most networking features.

Location-based settings profiles work best on laptops. However, the program is still exceptionally useful for desktop (or otherwise non-mobile) 10.6 machines.

By creating various task groupings on your desktop machine, like 'Doing Work', 'Normal', 'Designer', 'Developer', 'Watching Movies' it is possible to create snapshots customized for each grouping. As example, when 'Doing Work' you may want to set volume to 25%, open work-related apps, set iChat to offline, mount a Bootcamp partition, etc.

When 'Watching Movies' instead, you'd turn the volume up to 100%, set the screen brightness to a good level (75%), change the iChat status, hide the Dock, and set the Desktop background to all black.

There are instructions at the above URL to display current group (or current location) on the desktop via Geek Tool.

[robg adds: Airport Location is a free program that adds a lot of flexibility to a mobile (or desktop) machine. I haven't tested it myself yet, but thought that many of you may find it useful. (Andrew is also one of our more-prolific hinters, with 20 contributed hints here on the site.)]
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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app | 14 comments | Create New Account
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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: derekstavis on May 04, '10 01:08:58PM

where's the app download link??



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: robg on May 04, '10 02:27:04PM

The very first words in the hint (Airport Location) are a hyperlink to the program's page, where you can download it.

-rob.



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 05, '10 05:19:20PM
or a direct download link: Download Airport Location
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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com


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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: the_webmaestro on May 04, '10 09:22:02PM
Erm... The docs indicate 10.6... and I'm on the wife's 10.5.8 laptop... I get enough grief when I add new things (or for that matter run Software Update)... I'm hesitant to run the Untested Leopard Release 10.5.8... Anyone give it a go yet? ;-)
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Father of Jeremy & Elliott


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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 05, '10 09:22:20AM

Just deleted the "untested" label, that was a bit old. The Leopard version is merely buggier than the much more tested Snow Leopard version.

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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: the_webmaestro on May 05, '10 07:58:31PM

Thanks for the quick reply...

Could you describe the 'buggier' nature? I'm sure it's fine... but I have to ask... Would you install this on your wife's laptop (and everything that may or may not entail... ;-)?

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Happy Dad



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 05, '10 10:04:56PM

If she's not used to beta software frustrations then no, I wouldn't. It won't change her computer settings unexpectedly, but it might crash on occasion and be kinda frustrating.

Upgrade to snow leopard, I hear the developer supports that OS much more! :-)

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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: booshtukka on May 05, '10 02:15:14AM

Is this not what Marco Polo does? Without wishing to be a pain, how is this better or worse?

http://www.symonds.id.au/marcopolo/



[ Reply to This | # ]
Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 05, '10 09:20:27AM

Similar to MarcoPolo, yes. Also similar to NetworkLocation, LocationX, HomeZone... the list goes on. The idea of location based settings profiles isn't unique to Airport Location.

The difference is that Airport Location takes "snapshots" of settings. This makes saving profiles (or "contexts" in MarcoPolo speak) MUCH easier.

For instance, in MarcoPolo, if you want to set a new context for "Classroom", you might add several actions: Volume, Desktop Background, SMTP, iChat, etc. Then you would set your triggers. Whole process might take as long as 5-10 minutes each time you want to change a "context." Plus MarcoPolo is well known for its steep learning curve.

In AL, however, a snapshot for "Classroom" can be taken in less than a second. It's meant to simply "save" how you have your computer set up where you are.

Also, MarcoPolo does not have excellent Snow Leopard support, AL was written specifically for it.

In essence, they accomplish similar things, but my objective was to make AL exceptionally simple to use.

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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: llee on May 05, '10 10:28:54AM
I contributed to early development of the interface of a similar application (LocationChanger), but I have exactly 4 routine locations in network settings, and I've yet to be able to configure one of the several applications that I've tried (including MarcoPolo and Locamatic) so that I could a) keep airport turned on when it is needed, off when it is not (that setting is designated for each of the locations), and b) detect and switch to the correct location. The 4 locations are home ethernet, home wireless, work ethernet, and work wireless. Would Airport Location be able to accomplish that for me? Thanks.

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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 05, '10 05:18:21PM

Yes, but there's a caveat.

AL can set your OSX Network Location (just set which one you want and then take a Snapshot) based on your laptop's physical location.

However...

If your network locations turn your Airport card off, AL will not be able to detect where you are next time the laptop is awakened because it uses wifi to determine your location.

I WILL add in a future release the option to determine your location with ethernet, which would then permit the Airport card to be turned off.

Give it a try, and let me know how it goes - through email I can find a solution that'll hopefully address your needs.

airportlocation at gmail dot com.

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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 06, '10 12:22:10AM

I added ethernet functionality tonight. Check it out and see if it fits your needs!

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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: llee on May 06, '10 07:32:06AM

Thanks!

I couldn't get the location switch to occur automatically with current settings simply by adding the airport interface to the ethernet locations, plugging in the ethernet cable, manually switching locations, then choosing Fix misidentified location in Airport Location's Settings menu, so I plan to remove all settings established under the previous version and start over.

Assuming that I add the airport interface to both ethernet locations and add the ethernet interface to both wi-fi locations, should I expect Airport Location to detect the change in ethernet status then switch to the wi-fi location that corresponds to the wi-fi network that was present while ethernet was being used? Can I expect Airport Location to turn airport on, insure that the correct location is selected, then turn airport off again if successful ethernet is detected, and later, when ethernet is disconnected, perform the same routine with the exception of maintaining the airport connection instead of turning it off? Thanks again.



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Add more flexibility to location management with a free app
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on May 06, '10 09:33:05AM

Ah - I see.

Currently the "automatic" location detection occurs on wake or startup. I definitely will add a feature that monitors network connections in a future release, but if you expect that AL will auto detect it... not just yet. :-). Still beta, trying to work out the kinks and and make it nice a polished.

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Easier location-based computing: with Airport Location, app for 10.6. It's an early Beta, so please report bugs!

http://airportlocation.blogspot.com



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