Monday, 12 January 2015

Trying out BoxCryptor on my Computers

Encrypting your files for Cloud storage

Whether this would be useful to you really depends upon whether you trust the cloud storage service you are using. With the way things are with requirements for security and the hacking that goes on, I think we can probably expect to have fairly decent security with things like Dropbox. Then again, if you are paranoid you might look at the possibility of encrypting your files before you upload to the cloud services. I have GPG encryption available to me on my Mac and also on my iOS devices. I have recently seen that there is another possibility for encrypting your files before you put them on to dropbox or wherever and it is called Boxcryptor. It has a free version which allows you to connect to one of your client services and that might be all that you need. If you need to work cross-platform there are applications for just about all of the computer platforms you are likely to use. I have downloaded the application for Mac and also for iOS and my next job will be to test to see how this works. The question is, will I be able to encrypt a file on my Mac and upload it to Dropbox and still be able to see this file where I open it up on iOS. The first thing to do after you have downloaded the application and installed it, is to set up an account.


Safe, secure and don’t lose your password

When you sign up for an account you are warned that you should make sure to remember your password. For this you should use one of the password managers such as 1Password.

As part of my research into this application I have been installing on my Mac and also onto my iPhone and trying to encrypt a couple of files in Dropbox. I first of all signed up to the service on the web and tried to use the same password when signing into the application which I’d downloaded. This didn’t work and I had to go back to the drawing board. It seems that you have to use a different password on each device and it seemed to be quite a lot of messing around. After trying to set up the application on my iPhone I have to admit to getting rather fed up with it. It has got to the point that I will certainly be deleting the application on all of my devices. There is always a trade-off between security and convenience and it may well be the case that this application works very well and does what you need to do. It is just that it has become too much of a pain in the bottom for me to want to use it. I think I would rather use the GPG encryption process if I need to encrypt anything specifically to put into Dropbox or anywhere else. It seemed to be that I ended up with too many passwords all over the place and it became a password merry-go-round.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Getting It on with Day One

There must be many people that start a diary for the beginning of a new year. Using your iPad or iPhone and your Mac you can keep a diary using the application Day One. It makes it very easy to start a diary and also very easy to continue the diary through the rest of the year after everybody else has given up. Writing a journal is a little bit like getting the membership to the sports centre on January 1st to get all the weight off that you put on over Christmas time. You have all of that enthusiasm and desire to become slimmer and fitter and to also write about it at the same time in your journal. With the both of these activities it is quite likely that after a week or two for some people or a month or two for others, you go back to your usual state of affairs and forget about them.


Listen to the Podcast

The good thing about Day One App is that you can set it on your computer, whether it be your desktop Mac or your iOS device to remind you at certain times during the day. I have mine set so that it will remind me twice per day and I think that is plenty. For the most part I will actually write in my Day One journal anyway. Sometimes I do get carried away with the other work I am engaged in and I forget and that’s where the reminders takeover. When I look at the calendar which is part of the application for last year, 2014, I can see that I kept writing in the journal for about 95% of the time.

The Day One application will also give you writing prompts just in case you are not sure what to write about. I never ever look at these because I don’t need them. I like to keep track of my writing work so that gives me one thing to write about. I do put some stuff in there which is more personal. So if you are a person suffering from teenager angst, whatever age you might be, you can set the application to only open after you have put in a password. It will keep your secrets!

Spreading the word from Day One

In the iOS version of the application it is possible to post from the Journal to the Internet. There is a Day One website where these things get published. You can also at the same time, send the post off to Facebook and to Twitter. So if you have some less embarrassing things in your journal that are worthy of being shared to the rest of the world you can do so from your iPhone or from your iPad. I expect that at some point in time the Mac version of the application will get the same facilities.

Other items in the Mac20Q podcast

I also talk about the illustrations application called Affinity Designer. It is a really good application that is a contender for professional use to create graphics and take you out of the clutches of the Adobe products. The application is a version 1 product still, but is looking pretty good indeed and I have to say that I do like using it. Affinity Designer will be the app to open up when you want to do some vector design work.