Locked FileRunning a 2003 file server, with files accessed by many across multiple geographical locations can come with its own challenges. One such challenge is that of file locking, especially on documents which don’t yet support true collaborative working. Such as Office 2007 documents.

Last week one of our end users suffered the same issue, documents being left locked open by a user. However, on this occasion the issue was accentuated by the server reporting the incorrect user name of the user with the read/write access. This has been a known issue for some files on our sites for sometime, however Friday I finally managed to get to the bottom of it.

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AppleScriptIn the interests of security it’s best to lock your machine as soon as you leave it. Perhaps more relevant to an iMac over a MacBook (as im sure you would never leave your MacBook unattended) but still important either way.

There are a few options for locking your machine, i recently blogged about one of the more geeky methods ‘AirLock‘ which uses a bluetooth proximity system to lock you’re machine when you are more then a specified distance away. However, as we all know bluetooth sucks power faster then a Dyson vacuum cleaner sucks sand in a desert. So for a less ‘power hungry’ method you can use the  ‘Automator‘ to build a shortcut which locks the screen at the click of your mouse.
This method using a single line of ‘shell code':
/System/Library/CoreServices/Menu Extras/User.menu/Contents/Resources/CGSession -suspend
Which uses the ‘fast users’ switching method to secure your mac. Not only is this click and simple, but it’s also quite cool as the Mac screen will rotate round in a ‘cube’ like motion.
To turn this line of code into a shortcut you can run, start the Automator application using you’re favourite app launcher or click the icon in the Applications folder.
AutomatorOnce launched you will be presented with a choice of templates for your Automator project. For this particular project select the ‘Application’ template. Once the template has done loading type ‘Run’ into the search panel on the left. You should see the list filtering away to leave a collection of options. Double click on the ‘Run shell script’ option. Once done amend the code in the Shell script window so it looks like the following screen shot:
Shell Script 
Once done, you can either test it using the ‘Run’ button, or save it to a location of your choice. 
Now all you need to do is click the .App file to lock your machine. 
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous you can use the ‘Automator’ application to expand the project and add user prompts or logging etc.


If you have a Mac, and an iPhone then M.H.A. have the perfect application for you! Airlock is a bluetooth device proximity sensor, which once linked to your iPhone will automatically lock your mac when you walk outside of the predefined radius. Not only does this work on the iPhone but it even works with the iPod touch.

Not only does it lock your mac, you can set specific applicationsapple scripts to fire when it locks and unlocks. Making it the perfect companion for all those worried about the security of their data.
What if your iPhone dies I hear you say!! Well no worries people, as there’s always the manual override of simply entering your password and away you go!
Airlock is available from M.H.A.’s website for the small fee of $7.99


ActiveSyncIf you use Exchange ActiveSync on a windows mobile device which enforces that useless ‘lock’ facility on your phone. You may want to consider disabling it and finding an alternative.. No matter how many registry hacks I tried to switch off or delay the lock, it kept coming back. Now, I understand the reasons behind the lock being enforced. However I already use a 3rd party locking app for the phone, so wanted to use that instead.

After a long winded hunt around the internet I have finally managed to locate the perfect solution.

Firstly, you are going to need a registry editor for your device. You can download Total Commander here, once you have downloaded and installed total commander navigate to HKLMSecurityPolicies0001023 and change the 0 to a 1.

Now download Zenyee’s Stay Unlocked cab file here, once installed perform a soft reset on your device. Once it’s rebooted navigate to the lock applet in the settings folder, and switch off that annoying lock once and for all.

Don’t forget to install an alternative to the lock app, otherwise you may find you are in breach of your companies IT Security Policy.
If you know of an alternative way of doing this, get in touch using the comments box.




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