Having to think up and remember lots of passwords is an unhandy fact of modern life.

Some people go for the simple solution and use the same password everywhere, or try to.  But different systems have different password requirements, and some systems demand you change your password regularly and not re-use an old one, so the one-and-only-password technique generally doesn’t go very far. Read more…

Our very own PasswordRN for the iPhone is now live in the iTunes store and available for purchase/download.  Just click here and you’ll be taken to a browser preview page.  From there, if you are on a machine with iTunes installed, you can get right into the iTunes store.

Please give us your comments and suggestions over at PasswordRN’s own webpage.

I knew, when I conceived the idea of publishing a list of iPhone and Android password manager apps, that volume would be an issue.  Of course, that was part of the point.  I thought that, if I could even just keep a list of the available apps up to date, I might be able to provide a bit of a service AND, possibly, gauge interest in such products.

But, as my daughter Becky would say, “blergh.”  When we first pulled together a spreadsheet list and posted it, there were 45 some apps in the iPhone app store.  The next time I looked, I found 65 and then, a few weeks later, 85.  I can’t keep up; I’m busy making a living and writing apps of my own.  So I’m officially declaring that approach to be a non starter and will be taking those pages down soon.   Read more…

Recently, when my father had a cancerous lump removed and decided to follow-up with chemo and radiation treatments, my mother was understandably frantic – for herself, of course, because they’ve been together almost 60 years and are rarely separated, but mostly for him.  She thought long and hard about what she could do to make the whole ordeal go more easily for him.  Her conclusion?  In a leap of logic that might be peculiar to my family, she decided she would buy him an iPhone.

When she called me up and announced this, I understood her reasoning in a flash.  My dad never met an electronic gadget he didn’t love and want to have.  He is willing to go through endless rounds of setting-up and tinkering to get a new toy to work.  He has always liked music and video and has recently come to enjoy e-book reading.  She couldn’t see how to help him with the physical side of his treatments.  But she could, at least, try to help with the mental game:  providing him with distractions for the whole hurry-up-and-wait cycle of appointments and waiting rooms and the inevitable illness and weakness that would follow.   Read more…

I’m old enough to remember, rather fondly, when we all got our telephone service from The Phone Company.  When all phones sat or hung on a surface and had a wire that ran into the wall.  When it took a repairman with tools to come and change out your set.  The phone was a simple, universal device we all knew how to use and the call quality was GREAT.  It is not progress that we spend so much of our time these days shouting, “You’re breaking up!  Call me back when you get in range.”

On the other hand, I’m not a total codger.  I just moved my older daughter into her first apartment and had a chance to reflect, while staring at the phone jack in her wall (bent over, recovering from carrying one of many boxes up the stairs), that she is quite likely to never use it or any like it in any wall in any living space she moves into in her life.  Instead, her phone service just goes with her – no missing work to wait for the installer, no making sure all her friends know her new number.  In fact, her friends don’t even know her OLD number; their phones just know it for them.  I think that is progress.

But the one thing you cannot claim for the cell phone market these days is that the choices are simple.  The problem isn’t just the bewildering, exploding variety.  It’s that, since folks are making up the technology as they go along, they are also having to make up vocabulary to describe it.  And I think even they would admit their focus is on ‘catchy’ not ‘highly explanatory’.

Which leads us to smartphones:  If your phone is a smartphone and my phone isn’t, doesn’t that automatically imply my phone is dumb?   Read more…