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Or, alternatively:

What is the closest I can get to this?

xkcd: Zealous Autoconfig

If my laptop ever gets stolen, I want it to do everything in its power to phone home. Prey only kicks in after an internet connection has been established, and I don't trust a thief to figure out how to connect to wireless networks in a foreign operating system.

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LMAO nice comic :P – danizmax Jan 20 '11 at 10:00
Did U ever figure this out? I am working on the same thing here… for different reason. – FreeSoftwareServers Dec 16 '15 at 8:44
No, the question still stands, but I haven't put any time into implementing Allan's suggestion. – ændrük Dec 16 '15 at 23:50

First thing probably would be to make sure that wifi was enabled and up at boot then drop a bash script into the start-up programs that will search for and attempt to connect to avaliable networks. I haven't been able to find one that does that "specifically" but I found this Bash script for wireless which will output a list of available essid's if you then loop through those with this

    ifconfig wlan0
    iwconfig wlan0 essid NETWORK_ID key WIRELESS_KEY
    dhclient wlan0

might take a bit of "bashing" to get it to work smoothly and you might want it to repeat the operation every few minutes. Plus it would be good to have the ability to switch on and off the script depending on whether you are traveling or not.

Hope this gives you some idea's.

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that link you posted is dead. I am also trying to do the same thing, just opened a question (auto connect to open wifi)[… but I need the initial part of that script! Also the Wifi I am connecting to has no key. – FreeSoftwareServers Dec 16 '15 at 8:43

If your laptop has an internal PCI or even a spare PCMIA slot, I would go with a nice little 3G modem, preferably one that can do estimated-GPS.

The extra hardware means you can not only practically guarantee a connection for lockdown and evidence collection, but you can get a location.

Then on boot (via a little upstart script) have it dial out to a server of yours looking for a stolen file. If the remote file says it's stolen the script would then get its GPS, take pictures with the webcam and upload all that to my server. And then it would lock down my personal files. And then perhaps start a double-tunnelled SSH session to my desktop so I could interactively manage it.

The cool thing is, I dont think this would be that expensive or hard to manage. After the hardware, you'd just need to keep a pay-as-you-go SIM card alive with a little credit or a very cheap data-only contract.

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