Arjan's World: March 2006
You are now being redirected to the new housing of Arjan's World. Click here in case nothing happens

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How Do You Keep Track Of Your Passwords?

I find myself surrounded by more and more passwords every day (like you, and every other netizen). I'm sure you're battling with the same issue. Maybe you've given in and use the same password over and over on every website. Hopefully your account doesn't have the same username/password as your local newspaper that requires free registration for reading it's contents... Or, maybe you're not battling at all, cause you're able to keep all 100 passwords in your head; congrats then.

The rest of us who want to play it safe need to rely on other tools. The first that came to my mind some time ago is to just use a password protected Word document. Granted you use a long and difficult one, that is maybe not even a very bad solution. At least it's lots better than using the same credentials over and over.

Or, you can write them all down and put them in your wallet, as Bruce Schneier recommends:

Passwords: You can't memorize good enough passwords any more, so don't bother. For high-security Web sites such as banks, create long random passwords and write them down. Guard them as you would your cash: i.e., store them in your wallet, etc.

Well, actually, why not?

For the geeks, or the ones having trouble to guard our wallets, there are some tools that help you out, electronic password safes:

Password Minder from Keith Brown seems to be a popular one, just like Password Safe from Bruce Schneier himself (guess good old Bruce relies on technical tools himself i.s.o. his wallet).

Until now, I find myself only having read about them, but I haven't put them into practical use, fool as I am. There are several reasons:
  • can I *really* trust these applications? Well I think yes, at least I would vouch for these 2 guys

  • Do they work on all machines, now and in the future. For example, Password Minder is a .NET application, but I don't have the .NET Framework on all my frequently used machines yet

  • The fact that I work on different machines, which makes synchronizing quite a pain

Every time I get a new or updated password, I would have to make sure it's distributed over all machines. Of course I can put them on a stickie, but that leaves the problem of putting an encrypted password file in a dangerous location to my opinion. The USB is much more prone to theft and subsequent offline cryptanalysis than my laptop or other machines at home and at work, is my impression (well, unless you're smart and immediately change all your passwords).

Actually, these reasons are not quit valid, at least not good enough NOT to start using these applications. Still at present I stick to using an encrypted document in a quite popular Word processor. But on top of my TODO list really is investing some time here to find a good tool.

Please leave a comment if you know about other (Windows yes, .NET Framework no) password tools around, or if you want to share your thoughts on the subject.

You are now being redirected to the new housing of Arjan's World. Click here in case nothing happens

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Joel discovers Reddit

This is hot news: Joel just posted an entry to announce he's going to use reddit as a way for his vast readership to point him and others to interesting articles and links.

Reddit is kind of a social bookmark site giving you the option to bring in interesting pieces, and to vote other's up or down, up if you like 'em and down if they're spam or ..well, otherwise not really to your liking.
I'm using reddit since Janary, and I must say that made me stop using for the next couple weeks. Lots of interesting stuff appeared. The only disadvantage was that the average visitor is a Paul Graham style hacker, devoted to Lisp and Python, and well, that's not really my thing. The other point is that the number of visitors on reddit are of another dimension than say,, yielding to less interesting stuff once you've seen it all. And the top category really mainly consists of Paul Graham articles (nothing wrong with that, I actually read most of them. But, maybe now we'll start to see a growing and more diverse public discovering reddit (Microsoft, .NET?, who knows)? I'm *very* curious how this works out! Great idea Joel!

Btw, will this be the rise of a complete new set of subreddits. Joel is the only 'outsider' there now, but I could envision other peopleor categories to pop up there....

Via Joel of course

You are now being redirected to the new housing of Arjan's World. Click here in case nothing happens

Friday, March 10, 2006

LINKBLOG for March 10, 2006

Looking Busy
On how you give the impression you're busy, while instead you can have a free day off. Funny.
via reddit

An O(ND) Difference Algorithm for C#
How to compare text files the smart way.
via Jason Haley

Ten of the Biggest Mistakes Developers Make With Databases.
Mike Gunderloy always gets the message right.

It took me half an hour of Googling to find out the answer to the question: What is a Web Garden?. You know a Web Farm of course, in which several web servers act together to serve users of one web site. But this Garden thing was new to me. Although normally I'm quite proficient at finding answers on Google, this time the information was hidden to me.

You are now being redirected to the new housing of Arjan's World. Click here in case nothing happens

Friday, March 03, 2006

LINKBLOG for March 3, 2006

  • Personal Branding 101 for IT Professionals - Part I and part II. Soms Business Development for us tech guys: to distinguish ourselves from the crowd of other software engineers, technical architects and project managers we need to think about elevator pitches. Key quote:
    "What are one or two things that you want someone who meets you to remember about you"

  • Object-Oriented Programming in Visual Basic .NET
    I still see a lot of people say that VB.NET is *not* OOP. I would argue however, that the distinction between VB and C# is quite negligent nowadays. There are differences between both languages of course, but far too little ones to justify keeping to the saying that VB is for wannabee programmers