Smashed and grabbed

Yesterday I drove to my local Apple Store to pick up my Mac Pro, which had had it's processor board repaired. I got there about 6:20pm, picked it up, and returned to the parking lot at 6:40. I opened the rear driver's side door, eased my Mac Pro onto the floor, and then wondered why there was broken glass on the seat. It took a moment to realize the answer -- the rear passenger side window had been smashed open. It took only a moment longer to realize the worse news -- my laptop bag, containing my MacBook Pro and iPad 2, and my camera bag containing my Canon T2i, fast 50mm lens, and 35mm lens had been stolen. Looking around I saw several other adjacent cars had been similarly broken into, and a few minutes later the owners returned and discovered similar theft of their laptops and other valuables.

I called the police. They took a report. They marked it as "will not investigate" due to the lack of cameras in the parking lot. I called my insurance company. Twice. They took a report. Twice. I called all the IT people I work with and had my passwords reset and my keys revoked and replaced.

Because I use Find my iPhone, I could try to track my iPad. (Unsuccessfully; it had been powered down.) I could also issue a remote wipe (though it would be helpful if Apple recorded the location just before it wiped). Because I keep most of my home directory in Dropbox, I didn't lose any data. (Though I dearly wish Dropbox could remote wipe the files of a lost or stolen computer -- or can it and I'm just unaware?) Because I use 1Password I can quickly replace any logins with new ones that are just as gnarly, just in case.

I wish I could just watch GDGT to see who adds my gear, then use Gowalla to track them down, but the truth is most stolen property is never recovered.

My car window will be replaced, good as new. Some portion of my gear will be covered by insurance, though probably not enough to replace it all. The loss of time and the feeling of violation will frustrate for a long time to come.

It did serve to remind me that, despite the inconvenience, security and redundancy are urgently important.

If you haven't installed Apple's free Find my iPhone service, do it now. If you don't have both a local backup (iTunes is fine), make one now. If you don't have a remote backup (iCloud might be fine come iOS 5), make one now. And make it a habit to run it every day or couple of days so you never lose too much data. Unlike gadgets, that's irreplaceable. (I'd also suggest a good password manager.)