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1password

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 6, 2010 in Apple, IPod Touch, Tech

For years now, I’ve been experimenting with different types of password management/virtual wallet software, but never found one that I’m 100% happy with…well, not until now !

When I bought my iPod Touch a couple of years ago, I found the most painful part of browsing, was entering my username and password into websites (as you can imagine the email address of ub3rg33k.co.uk isn’t very iPhone / iPod touch friendly). I tried many free and cheap iPhone apps which sort of did the job, but at best I could copy and paste the details to the site, 1password however just works !

1password comes from Agile Software Solutions, and to be honest is an absolute god send, not only is it a very good virtual wallet, it’s also a bookmark/username and password manager for the iPhone.

I tend not to carry my wallet around with me (unless I’m going shopping), and like the idea of still having all my details safely locked away in an iPhone app protected by AES encryption, for if I need them when out and about.

There are 2 levels of protection, either a simple 4 digit pin, or 4 digit pin and master password (for your more sensitive information)

Currently I have all my card details, my driving licence, passport, and logins to the majority of the sites I use, with username and password saved. I currently have my iPhone set to “10 attempts that the pin code, then delete”, this option is also present on the application too, so if somebody did get into my phone, they would then have the crack the next 4 digit pin, then my master password with 4 attempts.

The iPhone app is good, and I was quite lucky to have picked it up when it was free (now £3.99 for the standard version and £7.99 for the pro version), however I would be more that happy to pay the £3.99 now, if nothing else, I alway have my personal info with me, and never have to punch in my username and password into a site again.

Where 1password really excels is the desktop application (Currently only Mac, there is a beta version out for Windows). I recently wiped my data from my iPhone, I couldn’t really be bothered entering all my details back in to my previous virtual wallet software (Lockbox), which led me to look at other solutions. I googled 1password, and found there was a desktop app, that could sync with the iPhone ! Result !. Not only would this allow me to quickly populate all my information again, it also has browser integration too.

Once installed, it took me an hour or so to enter all my personal details and sync up, Success !

Now the browser integration, whenever I go to a website I get an option to save the login details, or if I’ve already got this saved, I have the option of logging in. If you don’t already have the details saved, you are given the option of adding the details to a folder, and to add tags, for easier searching at a later date.

Another massive benefit to me of using the browser integration is the fact that with it storing all your card details, it makes online shopping a breeze, just a simple click on the icon, select your credit card, and this will enter all the relevant details for you !

As I’ve got both an iMac and a MacBookPro, I wanted to find a way of syncing between the 2 machines, as I use them both an equal amount of time. I didn’t really want to keep backing up, copy to other, etc, as every time I go onto a new website, I would be adding to my database. This was were I discovered Dropbox, a pieces of software that allows you to sync between multiple machines, and with the cloud, however more about that in my Dropbox post.

1password may not be the cheapest option out there, but if works fantastically, and only wish I’d discovered it sooner. The single user licence is $39.95 and the Family version (5 users) is $69.95, however the iSlayer code will save you 20% !, I think the 5 user licence version cost me only £34, there is a fully functioning 30 day trail available from the website, and can’t recommend this product highly enough.

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Dropbox

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 6, 2010 in Apple, Tech

I discovered Dropbox only last week, as I was looking for a solution to sync my 1Password software between 2 Macs, as mentioned in my 1Password post.

Now I’ve been using cloud storage in 1 way or another for a while now, and do believe it’s the future, as the internet gets faster, there is going to be less of a need for keeping data locally, and everything will be stored and accessed from the Cloud.

Dropbox is a simple piece of software, and essentially give you access to 2Gb of free storage (you can pay a monthly fee for the 50Gb and 100Gb version, however for my needs the 2Gb free version is currently sufficient). The storage is accessible via the Dropbox website, or via a application on your Mac, PC, or Linux machine.

How does it work ? Quite simple….once the software is installed, you get a new folder added to your machine, anything you drop into this folder will be synced with the Dropbox website, so if the worse case happened and you lost your hard drive, no worries !…it’s backed up on the web.

Now the beneficial thing for me was the syncing is done real time, so if you have more than 1 machine needing to access a particular config file to keep in sync, then this is the solution. I’m currently using this to keep my 1Password config file safe, not only is it backed, it’s also realtime synced between both machines, so if I add any new details on my MacBook, these are instantly reflected on my iMac

Dropbox also has a sharing function, meaning that you can share 1 file, or an entire folder with other Dropbox users, so anything you drop into folder, will be instantly downloaded to their machine. This is great if you have work you are collaborating on. It also allows you to send a link to a specific file, if you would like to share this with a non Dropbox user.

Dropbox also comes in the form of an Iphone app (and I believe also a iPad app now). This essentially means that any files I drop into the Dropbox folder, are accessible on the move. I’ve found this beneficial so far with photo sharing, basically, take a photo via the Iphone app, upload to dropbox, and it’s instantly downloaded to all your machines, and anybody your sharing the folder with, or you can upload any existing file from your iPhone to the cloud.

From what I can see, there are no file type or size limitation, so basically you can upload whatever you like.

All in all, a fantastic service, it’s fast, and most of all, it’s all FREE !

If you do want to increase your storage without having to pay, they have the option of the referral scheme, which essentially, if you get somebody to sign up to the free account, you and they both get 250Mb of addition storage, however they say that the limit is 8Gb additional space, so if after reading this, your planning on signing up, drop me an email and I’ll send you a referral link, this way we both get an addition 250Mb free storage.

edit : My referral link is here

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Broken my iPod Touch again

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 21, 2009 in Apple

Well another week goes by, and I break something else. This week it’s my iPod Touch again.apple-ipod-touch

Over the past couple of days, it’s just been hanging and I’ve had to manually restart it a number of time, however tonight it finally broke…big time !

While syncing my podcasts this evening, it flash on and off a few time, and then all I got was the Apple logo…and this is how it stayed for about half an hour…oops.

So, as I’ve locked up my iPod before, I knew that if it locks up, all I need to do it hold the power and the home button down for about 10 seconds, and this will kill it….I did…and it did !

I fired it back up again, and again, for another 3o mins or so it stayed on the apple logo ! Doh !

Finally I decided, “Recovery mode it is…”, fired it up, kept my finger on the home button, plugged in the cable and waited….and waited, and waited. Previously when I’ve put it in recovery mode, it pops up with the “plug into iTunes please” logo within a matter of seconds, but no, a minute later, still the apple logo !…I was just about to give up on it, and book myself in at the apple store, then the happy “please plug me into iTunes popped up ! Phew !

Plugged into iTunes, and it recognized I’d plugged in my iPod in recovery mode and wanted to wipe it…which was fine as I’d only synced about an hour before.

It got half way through the process, only for me to be met with a Error 1604 !, After doing a little reading it seemed something to do with the downloaded version of the OS..

Anyway, me being me, ignored everything I’d just read on how to fix it, and gave it another try…this time it worked !!!

I had to leave my iPod for nearly an hour to sync everything back up, copy across my apps and music, but we are now all back up and running.

One thing I have noticed with version 3 of the OS, it now remembers where all your icons were when it restores a backup ! Finally !…there’s was nothing worse than restoring a backup, only to spend the next couple of days moving your icons back to the places you like them.

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