That required me to do a mental calculation every time I looked at my watch. Back in the day my Mac wouldn’t help much, either, so I kept it running on EST, too. What I needed then is what I use now to keep my time zones, multiple offices, and home locations in context and in sync.
Your Mac Knows Where You Are
Think of the problems that occur with constant travel, even if it’s from home to work, and a few places in between.
Multiple time zones. Different printers and wireless networks. Wherever you go, there you are.
But everywhere you and your Mac go requires different settings that need to be adjusted depending on where you are.
MarcoPolo was the app of choice to help Mac users handle configurable settings, but that app is no longer supported.
In its place is ControlPlane, a behind-the-scenes Mac app that supports multiple contexts, including locations and activities.
Depending on where you are and what’s connected to your Mac, ControlPlane manages Bluetooth devices, Bonjour devices, IP Address, the Light Sensor and Connected Monitor.
Click the General tab to begin setting up ControlPlane. Click Contexts to add a specific context. The Evident Sources tab gives you a list of Mac sources. Rules can be created based on context. Ditto for Actions.
It knows which Power Source is being used, which Applications are running in which location, and can run specific actions when your Mac wakes from sleep.
And, of course, it knows which WiFi networks to connect to. ControlPlane also includes a bunch of built-in actions based upon you and your Mac’s context.
For example, it can change the default printer and browser. It can change the desktop background wallpaper or the display brightness.
It can lock or unlock your Mac’s Keychain depending on where you are. It will change how often Mail.app checks email (good at saving your Mac’s battery when on the road and no WiFi is present).
It knows when to enable and when to disable the screensaver password (again, doing one thing at home, something else while on the road).
Geekier Mac users will love the long list of options, and the ability to run AppleScript or Unix shell scripts, again, depending on the context and location of your Mac.
ControlPlane is a decidedly geeky tool that most of us could use, geek or not. Setting up multiple contexts takes a bit of effort initially, but it’s worth it as ControlPlane then knows what to do depending on context (location or activity).