ICT related news and ideas

Passwords

Steve Rigg’s recent e-mail about Linguascope subscriptions and related passwords has prompted me to write this post, which I had been thinking about doing anyway. Some time ago I became frustrated by my inability to keep up with all the user names and passwords I had to remember for the various subscription and sign-up websites I use for school-related activity, and I decided to do something about it.

So I investigated ways of storing log-in information on-line. There are lots of solutions available, but the one I liked best was www.passpack.com and I decided to try it out. I’ve been using it for a while now and I can thoroughly recommend it. It’s free as long as you store fewer than 100 sites and, although it is still in beta mode, it works really well.

To keep it secure, it requires two passwords of a high level of security, so they end up being the ones you have to remember in order to access all your password-protected sites. There is a trick to doing that in a memorable way, which I will share with you if you ask. And it’s not what they suggest on the site itself.

In addition to having all your log-in details in one place other than a piece of paper you have to keep on your person at all times, it has a neat little trick in providing an automatic log-in to your sites that you can set up on any computer that you use at home or in school.

I can’t really share much more here except to say that I have found it an absolute life-saver and am very happy to explain how it can work for you in more detail. So please ask if you are interested. And, unless you have an elephantine memory, you should be!

Favourites (again!)

This is another thing that was getting to me – the fact that I found myself with sets of internet favourites at home and in school that were almost the same but not quite …..

Once again I investigated web-based solutions, of which there are too many to even begin to count. I toyed with one or two before abandoning them, then finally during the Christmas holidays committed myself to Windows Live Favourites. That took some doing, because I am inherently ill-disposed to organisations like Windows, Google and Tesco that aim to take over the world. However, the Favourites bit is part of the comprehensive and well-integrated Windows Live set-up that offers a range of web-based services. Again, it’s still a beta version, but works well apart from a few little frustrations of the kind that you always get with technology.

You can import favourites from a browser in one hit, then keep all your bookmarks up to date and in one place. As with other bookmarking sites, you can organise them by tags and so on. Its beauty is it is relatively simple and uncomplicated, and you can link it directly to a Windows Live Space (or blog).

As I have done, by setting up a mirror site to this WordPress version here. The favourites I have chosen to share, in this case the MFL ones, are on the right hand side. The beta-typical glitches are evident in (1) the French and German folders of favourites are hidden among the alphabetical listing, and (2) new or edited favourites appear at the start of the list rather than in alphabetical order. I have submitted these failings to the help desk!

I hope you may be interested by some of the sites among these favourites of mine, and I also hope you may be spurred on to share some of yours with me. Never was the commonplace Share and share alike more appropriate than when faced with the bewildering universe of the world-wide web!

RTC

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