Jan 192017
 

LazLock (version: 2.4.2) is a freeware password manager, it is portable and available separately for 32bit and 64 bit computers as well as Linux ones. Just unzip and run the executable.

On first run the master password is chosen and confirmed with the usual disclaimer that it can not be recovered as it uses 128 bit AES encryption. When the program starts empty URL, Username and Password fields tempt the user to start entering and save after typing but the only ways to add an entry is via the menu or icon.

An entry can belong to any one of the 10 categories that are Banking, Education, Email, Media, Other, Shopping, Social Media, Software, Web or Work as seen in the screenshot. Associate an icon with the entry and then enter the details, optionally use the password generator and set parameters for the password. Here the length of the password can be set and it can include any one or all of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, symbols, brackets, or even spaces! The password generator can be used independently of an entry by clicking on its icon in the program’s main window.

Other features include changing the master password (File —>Change password) and strangely Create backup, (File —>Create backup) which exports entries into a plain text file.

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Jul 312014
 

Notes Keeper

Long time reader Asen alerted me to a relative new entry in the Notes Organizer category. Notes Keeper currently in Release Candidate or beta stage looks to have potential and already features a good set of useful features.

On first start the user is prompted to create a new database (Ctrl+Ins or via the Note menu). The program interface is divided into cells listing the saved notes. The next step is no create a new note (Ctrl+N). Here a more familiar word processor type – with all the expected formatting options – window pops up. The note title can be edited, it can be added to a group and tags added. The group and tag can be created on the fly. Many other features are available such as inserting images, password protecting notes, using transparent mode, working in full screen, attaching files and always staying on top. There is also a search bar at the bottom of the main window which as of this review seems to search through note titles only.

Notes Keeper

Notes Keeper is portable and requires the .NET framework. At version 0.5 it is very interesting to see what the future brings and follow it to 1.0 and beyond.

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Nov 162013
 

Sisma

Sisma (version: 4.1) is a lightweight freeware password manager that is encrypted using 256-bit AES and is a good alternative to the more popular KeePass and the famous web based LastPass.

It of course features the familiar password grouping and also supports hiding and showing passwords. It also has options to lock the program to prevent edits and can also generate passwords with user set options for number of characters and exclusion or inclusion of lower, upper, digits and symbols.

Sisma can separately copies account title, password or url to the clipboard and can also launch the default browser. Clipboard content can be cleared on program lock, exit or after a number of seconds. There is also a configurable – default is set to less than 8 characters – warning for weak passwords and a setting for a user determined password expiry. In addition to adding notes for each entry the user can also add custom properties. This may be best used for personal reminders(?)

Sisma is available in both portable and installer versions, runs on most Windows versions and requires .Net Framework 2.0+

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Jan 172012
 

iQ-Notes (Version: 5.07 as of this post) is a freeware sticky notes program that has features that make it a good and fully capable notes taking one. It can create unlimited number of notes – and with a recent new feature up to 12 tabs inside each individual note.

iQ-Notes

iQ-Notes can back up and restore notes to and from an external source. Notes can be associated with a sound, each have their own colors and transparency, synchronized to a FTP server and sent encrypted over a network with a passphrase or password shared between the end users. A built-in clipboard manager can hold items and categorize items into URLs, email, IM and time based ones. Each clipboard item can then be saved as a note or made into a favorte clipboard item to remain there forever. iQ-Notes also features configurable hot keys for creating new notes, finding notes and hiding or unhiding all notes. It also keeps backups – daily – of all the data and has a built-in rollback feature to restore a backup.

A new note is created via the tray icon or hot key and configured using the menu bar and drop down arrow to the top right of it. Colors, subject, title, alarm, tabs and password protection are just some of the available options. Furthermore each note can send and receive text from the clipboard, printed, emailed, saved as a text file, used as a contact list or expense entry and attached to a program window.

iQ-Notes

iQ-Notes also has a manage notes option which categorizes notes by date, changed date, subject and more. This window (see image above) includes a global search.

iQ-Notes works on Windows 2000 and newer.

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Aug 312011
 

SumatraPDF (Version: 1.7 as of this post) is an open source PDF reader for windows. It is, as it claims, fast and simple.

SumatraPDF

It features command line support and plenty of shortcuts for document navigation, viewing and more. A list of all shortcuts are available via the program’s manual page.

SumatraPDF can also read XPS, DjVu, CBZ, CBR and LaTeX documents. It is also capable of remembering the last read page so the next time a certain PDF is opened one can return to that page. One of the more recent features added is favorites – which can be set to not only specific files but also pages within them –  with the ability to show thumbnails of recently viewed documents. SumatraPDF can open protected PDF files and has the familiar layout and zoom settings as well as a full screen mode.

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Jun 102010
 

Trix is a lightweight and no-install program that acts much like other hotkey managers. It makes certain task easier and faster. Trix assigns, and lets the user choose, combination of hotkeys for some typical and often-used PC tasks. Combinations of Ctrl, Shift, Win and other letters or keys are assigned to and are configurable for the following tasks:

  • Export copied text to (default) email client, Word, Excel or Notepad. The copied text is automatically inserted into the applications.
  • Open Files, folders, websites or the terminal. In this case it is probably easier to do it the old fashioned way especially since trying to open multiple items at the same time is seemingly not possible.
  • Unzip and zip chosen or highlighted files.
  • Show brief computer specs, quote of the day, a timestamp with the current date and more, or stats on any highlighted text such as the number of characters. All these are shown in tooltip style.
  • Access power management tools such as hibernation, rebooting, or locking the computer.
  • Generate passwords. Encrypt and decrypt copied text. In the latter Trix will prompt for a passkey and allow the encryption level to be chosen and then asks what to do with the encrypted text (copy encrypted text to the clipboard for example).
  • Speak the highlighted text.
  • Control system volume.
  • Convert units of measurement. This works on a highlighted number.
  • Calculate highlighted expression. Here if “44+44” is highlighted the tooltip will show “44+44=88”
  • Generate Lorem Ipsum text.
  • Translate highlighted text, either based on saved settings (one of the last items in Trix’s settings window) or by choosing languages on the fly.
  • Extract email, IP, links or file and folder paths from any copied text.
  • Transform text. Reverse case for example but perhaps most importantly strip formatting.
  • Adjust the focused window to fill the screen or maximize the focused window.
  • Open the system color picker.
  • Launch any one of web searches, from google to iconfinder and more.

The somewhat confusing nature of Trix is that some of the text tools seem to require a text highlight while in others the text needs to be copied. This along with the fact that to be really productive one must learn the assigned hotkeys makes Trix, or any other hotkey manager for that matter, useful for some and not for others.

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Oct 092009
 

fSekrit is one of the many useful tools available from donationcoder. fSekrit has a very simple and useful purpose. Its purpose is to create encrypted notes and ones that are self contained. What this means is that when using fSekrit the note taking application and password setting and encrypting tool are one and the same.
Double click on the fSekrit icon and start typing or pasting (or use Import text located under the File menu) the desired text. When exiting and saving the program will prompt for a location to save an *.exe file, not a *.txt file, and then also prompt for a password. No unencrytped text is written to the system’s hard disk and the encryption used is 256bit AES, a near unbreakable encryption standard.
Download the latest beta from this thread or visit the above link for the older but non-beta release.

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Feb 012009
 

TrueCrypt is described by its author as

Free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux

TrueCrypt is a feature rich, powerful and reliable software to secure any number of files, folders or even entire drives. It achieves this by creating a ‘virtual encrypted disk’. It is possible to hide most any thing in one ‘file’ that is only accessible with TrueCrypt and via password and/or keyfiles. It is also possible to encrypt an entire partition or a USB key or flash drive. TrueCrypt supports three main methods of encryption, AES-256, Serpent, and Twofish, and depending on the data being encrypted one may not even need the most powerful but nevertheless it is also possible to generate strong password using TrueCrypt.

Starting up the program and hiding, securing or encrypting requires a few steps. The user starts by pressing the ‘Create Volume’ button which leads to the launch of the ‘TrueCrypt Volume Creation Wizard’. Once there one chooses to either encrypt by creating a virtual disk within a file, a non-system partition such as a USB key or a system partition which basically allows for the encryption of the operating system as a whole. In one of the more typical uses, the ‘disk within a file’, the next step is to choose between a ‘normal’  encrypted disk or a hidden volume which basically hides the encrypted data inside another area so as to make it possible to deny any data is encrypted at all, what is called plausible deniability. Then the user chooses a location for the so-called file, the type of encryption, the size of the container or file, a password (and keyfiles if preferred) and finally between FAT or NTFS for the format of the volume.

When the program is launched the user will see something like the image below where the encrypted file becomes accessible as a drive.

truecrypt

For increased security check ‘never save history’ and keep ‘cache passwords and keyfiles in memory’ unchecked (see image above).

Many command line options that can ease the use of and for example automate mounting of encrypted drives plus many other explanations including a very easy to follow tutorial are all available at www.truecrypt.org/docs. TrueCrypt is currently at version 6.1a and supported by a good community and a detailed site.

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Dec 202008
 

TeamViewer is a Desktop Sharing, Remote Control and Support software described by its author as

TeamViewer establishes connections to any PC all around the world within just a few seconds. You can remote control your partner’s PC as if you were sitting right in front of it.

TeamViewer makes it very easy to connect to a remote computer for remote control, file sharing or just making presentations. It is even possible to control unattended computers if the software is used as a service. It easily bypasses routers without the need for port-forwarding or other unnecessary and perhaps complex tweaks. teamviewer

After installing and running the full version the window seen here opens which is ready to give access to the host computer or to connect to a remote computer once the ID and password of the said computer is received.  A host or client computer may also download and run without installation a ‘quick support’ version making it very handy for quick help or just help to the less experienced computer user.

Security should be very important here because pretty broad access is given to computers using TeamViewer. Here encryption is based on RSA private/public key exchange and AES (256 Bit) session encoding. Plus the password is re-generated for each time the program is used adding another layer of protection.

TeamViewer is free for private/non-commercial use is only 1.8MB for the full version.

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