Bits & Pieces Gathered From Macworld/iWorld 2013

| Computing with Bifocals

In my experience, one of the best parts of Macworld/iWorld is the little things that you learn in opportunities that present themselves because it is Macworld/iWorld. Such as the chance to have casual conversations with people whose knowledge far exceeds your own in various aspects of the whole Mac experience. Topics arise over meals, standing in hallways, listening to other people's conversations, or having a friend share something they learned in a session or seminar that you didn’t get to attend.

For instance, over breakfast one morning as a group of TMO staff members were chatting I found out that the main reason there are so few supplemental battery cases for the iPhone 5 is that Apple has not yet approved any of the submitted lightning connectors contained in battery cases for them.

I looked down at the battery case I purchased to get me through the show and suddenly understood why the first one I purchased didn’t work and the second was chancy. I asked the logical question of how the questionable ones got on the market and was told they bypassed Apple’s approval process.

Apparently you can easily tell that this has happened because the base for the lightning connector will be white because it was literally snipped off the end of a Lightning cable, rather than purchased as component. See the example of the connector found in my supplemental battery case.

It is not a pleasant feeling to learn that you have spent US $60 or so on a product that you assumed was genuine just because it was on the market. My first clue should have been the fact that there were no supplemental battery cases for sale in the Apple store.

White base for lightning connector

On a more pleasant note, I spent a lovely meal time with a group that included Rod Roddenberry and his associate John Champion. Star Trek fans will immediately recognize the name Roddenberry. Rod is Gene Roddenberry’s son and he works to maintain the integrity of his father’s work. Just in passing, in response to my question he stated that he liked the latest StarTrek movie and noted that his father had hoped that someone would take up the mantel and carry on the vision.

That aside, if you are a fan of the original StarTrek you might enjoy a podcast series hosted by John Champion called Mission Log. In each podcast session John takes one episode of the original series and discusses not only the story, but all the backstory as well. You can find out everything from how they created the costumes with almost no budget to how they chose actors and how the story lines fit into the era in which the shows were filmed.

Mission Log web site border

The third thing I learned came about because I asked a question while standing around in a group of skilled Mac technical types. They were talking about password security. Since I use Keychain on my Mac to store everything from my passwords to registration codes for all my software, password security is important to me. Besides, I can’t even remember my kids' phone numbers any more since we program everything into our iPhones. I need a place to keep it all secure.

But here is the kicker for me. Keychain is on my Mac, but when I went to Macworld/iWorld I had my iPad and there is no Keychain on my iPad. To solve this “problem” I wrote down key passwords and brought them with me. When I mentioned this lack of coordination between iOS devices I got the look. You know the one. You get it from your kids when you are not “with it”. The group members weren’t trying to be rude, they just didn’t understand how I could not know about 1Password for Mac from AgileBits. After all, it was reviewed by Jeff Gamet in 2012.

1Password icon

1Password is an app that stores sensitive information, like login credentials for websites, bank account information, and credit card numbers in a an encrypted and secure database. You enter your log-in information into the application and it is encrypted. You get to choose how detailed the encryption code will be. Once all your information is entered and encrypted, you only have to remember one password to access all your private information. You can even access the web from inside the app which saves you steps. The latest iteration of the app allows you to access your information from any of your i devices.

The MSRP for 1Password for Mac is US $49.99. 1Password for iPhone and iPad is $17.99.

I have not installed it yet, but certainly plan to [Editor's Note: Many of us on staff have, and we love it]. The newest version was awarded a TMO Editor’s Choice Award at Macworld/iWorld 2013.

Hooray for being at the right place (Macworld/iWorld) at the right time. I hope you benefit from the bits and pieces I picked up.

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3 Comments

Nathan Lott

I’ve been using LastPass for a couple years and really like it.  It is a cheaper initial cost than 1Password because it is a yearly subscription.

Kurt L.

And if you want to have a cross-platform solution that is free/open source software, check out KeePassX (for OS X) and MiniKeePass (iOS).  They share the same database.

Sunil K.

I swear I’ve mentioned 1Password in one of our meetings…we’ve been using it for a couple of years now, and don’t know what I’d do without it… It’s a bit on the pricey side, but like OmniFocus, it’s worth it.

And one of the cool features is that it will autofill info on pages for you, so you don’t need to have retail sites ‘save’ your credit card info.

Let me know if you have any questions about it!

Sunil

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