Tue, 26 May 2009 NetworkLocation 3.0.5 review
Customise your Mac to suit each location
- Manufacturer: Centrix.ca
- Pros: Helps plan your tasks, daily work, ability to use actions to change system settings, has great potential.
- Cons: Only a few programs have direct support via the built-in Application actions, app needs fine tuning.
- Min specs: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), Universal.
- Price: $29.00 (£18)
- Star rating:
If you work in multiple locations, you know that moving between those locations usually involves changing various system settings - wireless networks, printers, and more. NetworkLocation knows where you you’re working. Or playing. Or sleeping. This clever utility examines data about your network and USB connections to determine your present location, and can then modify your other system settings based on rules you configure. NetworkLocation gets you most of the way to your desired state, and can get even closer if you know a bit of AppleScript.
NetworkLocation has two main components: Locations and AutoLocate. Locations are groups of settings that go together based on your location; for example, office settings, work settings, settings for a friend’s house, and so on. These locations can be generic (anywhere outside of my home) or specific (working at my Fremont office).
Actions are triggered when a location is activated; in this case, I want to open my blog’s home page, change my iChat status to reflect my new whereabouts, and swap my Desktop background to let me know the change happened.
When you set up a location, you choose related actions that occur whenever the location is activated. Actions are grouped into application - and system-specific categories. Application actions, as the name implies, affect particular programs.
You could use these actions to set up a whole start-of-day routine: launch several programs, start playing an iTunes playlist, set iChat status to Available, and so on. When out and about, you could use an application action to change Mail’s outbound SMTP mail server—a useful feature, as some networks you connect to might block connections to some mail servers.