I have probably ranted about BIM enough, so rather than start up again, I'll just give you this handy table of contents - five articles expressing my views.
The problem with BIM is ... well, I'm starting up again. Just read on.
The BIM Revolution
BIM Is Sick
BIM Webinar Thoughts
Are You Ready For BIM?
How Long Till BIM Heaven
Over the past 18 months I have published a number of articles on software tools that a designer might find useful. Most are tangential to actual design. Some are focused on the software, others on the procedures or the concepts.
Collected below are links to six of those articles, which give a sampling of the past software-related articles.
Unique Feature Of Gmail TASKS
Gmail TASKS has one feature no one else has.
Useful Mobile Apps
I find these groups of apps very handy. There are over 40 in 11 categories.
A Field Measuring App
I find this app helps me do a better and more effective job of my time spent measuring-up.
This app for Google Chrome can do bubble diagrams among other tasks you see from time to time.
Accounting Software Criteria
What to look for when considering a new accounting package.
Accounting Software Comparison
A comparison of 14 accounting apps.
Phase 1 is complete!
If you don't know what I am talking about, here is where it all started.
There are 91 items in my 1Password app now. I expected more. The process wrapped up faster than I expected because as you dig deeper and deeper into your password 'archive' you find more and more websites that you have no intention of ever using again or that you don't even recognize.
So Phase 1 was putting everything into 1Password, and Phase 2 will be cleaning up the duplicates and the weak passwords; and then continue on with replacing the remaining items with strong, unique passwords.
With Phase 1 complete I can begin using 1Password for every login and forget about my old system.
Evernote played a large part in my old system. I tagged entries so I could search for them. This was important because I got the idea that the passwords were safer if they were not text. So I was storing marked up screenshots and pictures of handwritten login credentials. Often I referred myself to a third 'key' for the actual password.
If 1Password is a '9' on a scale of 1-10, my system was a '4.5'. But as I've said, the real problem was the time it would take to find the password when I was using a different computer or device than usual or even a different browser.
So I'm basking in the warm glow of having made the switchover to 1Password. Ahead is a few weeks of updating some old passwords every day until everything is up to speed. All in all this changeover hasn't been all that painful.
While I am on my password kick, it's hard to get off the topic. Hopefully I will get back to Architekwiki soon. In the meantime... While I have been going through my cache of passwords, I came across an article from late 2011 that I had saved. I had been aspiring to follow the advice that James Fallows outlines in his Atlantic blog. That advice differs from the path I am on now, but I can see that it is pretty well-thought-out. So I am going to paraphrase it here for you.
The challenge with passwords is to over come the Catch 22: “Passwords that are easy to remember can be easy to hack, and passwords that are hard to hack can be impossible to remember.”
One technique that you can use to solve the Catch 22 is phrases. Basically you use a string of words. An example would be: Cold weather isn't tropical! This 28 character long password would be nearly impossible to hack/guess. And you could change the “o”s to “0” and the “a”s to “#”s for good measure. Something like this example beats the Catch 22, but it breaks down when you have 100 of them. You can't remember 100 phrases (I can't anyway), and you can't remember which one is used where.
One solution to this impasse is to duplicate some passwords based on the value of what you are protecting. This is “going against the rules”, but if the risks are minimal...? For example, let's say you list and rank the sites you use like this:
There are other worthwhile ideas in the article I referenced above, and you might find they give you the amount of security you want. My desire is to have the security without the “remembering”. In other words I would rather learn a system that does the managing and remembering for me.
The Final Update can be found here.
Well, it's been a few days now since I undertook the password project and there have been a few surprises. In case you need to catch up, here’s the first post. So what are the surprises?
First, 1Password for the Mac is $50 rather than $70 so I am under budget!
Second, 1Password for the Mac really makes getting your passwords into 1Password very easy. If you have 1Password running, then whenever you go to a website with a login, you are prompted to add it to 1Password. In light of this, and another tool I'll describe in a minute, I have changed my workflow a bit. Now it is:
1Password keeps a history of your passwords as you update them. That's comforting, but I'm not sure how useful it is. What is useful is being able to store a file with the password information. This is really useful if you have documented some security questions/answers by screenshot.
One thing I am surprised by is that app passwords aren't addressed. I am treating those as logins, too, even though it is clear that logins are intended for websites. I suppose there isn't much sensitive information in an app and/or it's stored on the device and inaccessible. Hmmm.
Anyways, I've stored 55 items already. I should be able to get the switchover to 1Password accomplished in a couple more days. My hurry is driven by the fact that for these next few days I will have to check two places to find the password that I have forgotten. This happens nearly once or twice a day - right when you don't want it to happen. So things will get (a little) worse before they get lots better.
You can follow the saga at this update.
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