Merging KeePassX 1 Databases

passwordsOne of the things I love most about the Internet is the great diversity of websites and services available at our fingertips. But with these websites and services comes the need for authentication. Passwords. And ID’s. And with each website, we need to remember the site’s URL, the ID we used, and the password we assigned it. That’s a LOT of information. So, it’s helpful to have software to keep track of it all.

I use an open source program called KeePassX. It’s available for Mac, Linux and Windows. But it’s a desktop application, rather than a website; and that becomes a problem as I move between my work computer, and my home machine. I have two copies of KeePassX, and, inevitably, they become out of sync.

Yesterday I spent quite some time merging the two databases, and I’m documenting it here for the next time I may need it, and for others who may run into the same issue.

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Passing Wind: 10 Ways to Improve Wind Mobile

wind-mobile-biglogoOn the face of it, Wind is the best deal we have here in Toronto. For $45 I get unlimited everything: talk, text and data. But there’s a long list of deficiencies which need to be addressed. Hopefully this post will be one more incentive for Wind to actually do something about their execrable service. At the very least it should give prospective customers pause.

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Cracking Into Your VirtualBox Windows 7 VM When You’ve Forgotten the Password

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m now working with someone who has a couple of NFL handicapping programs. These are written in APL and only run on Windows machines. I have to install these programs, so I can see how they work. But I don’t currently have a running Windows machine. But I do have a Windows 7 virtual machine which runs on VirtualBox.

Great! But, oh, wait, I haven’t used this VM in ages, and I don’t remember the password. So a little googling for “windows 7 virtualbox password” brings me to Don’t get all excited, now. It’s a dud.
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Testing Web Sites With IE on OSX Using Parallels

This is the big drawback of developing websites on a Mac: you can’t test with Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is unfortunate, as IE is still one of the most used browsers around. It’s not THE most used browser, of course; that honour rests with Chrome as of May 2012. So, no-can-do on OSX, but you can run IE in a virtual machine, on a Mac. Continue reading

Android Startup Kit

My friend Ian just purchased a Nexus S phone from Wind Mobile. So I thought I’d put together a list of useful apps to get him started on the joy of Android.

There are thousands of apps for the Android platform; so, as if it needed to be said, this is just a personal compilation of apps I find useful and/or fun. I hope you’ll find in it, one or two apps you didn’t know about before, which you decide you can’t live without.

Oh yeah, also should note that these are all free. Continue reading

Finally Beat the Rogers Quick Start Menu

In January, Rogers introduced a new feature to its cable TV subscribers: a Quick Start Menu. What’s on this menu? How can it help me? It doesn’t matter. The brain trust at Rogers decided to put the menu behind the “Guide” button, which normally brings up the Integrated Program Guide (IPG). If you actually want to see the IPG, you simply press the Guide button a second time. Convenient, no?

Immediately, a Facebook group was put up to entreat (read “browbeat”) Rogers into removing this intrusion into their customers’ workflow.

Rogers’ response? They gave us a way to switch the menu and guide around. So when you press the Guide button, you actually get the guide. But if you press it again, you get the menu. Marginally less annoying. Good job, whoever’s doing UX at Rogers.

You know, there are buttons on that remote which never get pressed. The B and C buttons for instance. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to put the menu behind those? Continue reading My New Favourite Flavour

butterscotch.comI’ve been kept very busy over the past couple of months setting up Tucows’ new video network, brimming with terrific videos, short and long, providing tips, tricks and insights into technology for pros and tyros.  Our new team includes tech media veterans Andy Walker, as General Manager and Executive Producer; Amber MacArthur, Director of Content; Sean Carruthers and Matt Harris, Senior Producers; and Andrew Moore-Crispin, Web Editor.  In addition to our existing Tucows team, that’s a lot of talent coming together.

Our current line-up consists of regular shows, such as Andy and Sean’s Lab Rats, and Cheryl Poirier’s spin-off, Miss Download; as well as standard and special tutorials.  Tutorials are screen captured how-to’s with a voice over.  Special tutorials are a series of ten or so episodes on a particular topic.  For example, the two special tutes we have on offer right now are Facebook for Grownups and Gmail for Beginners.

We do have other shows already on the site, and many more are coming, so check back often at, or better yet, subscribe to the RSS feed.

The challenges, for me, in putting the site together, were:

  • slicing up the composite and creating the base page (HTML and CSS) (got a lot of Photoshop help from Joan, our graphic artist at Tucows)
  • establishing single signon between butterscotch and
  • creating the backend CMS (content management system), where Andrew maintains the content which appears on the site

Of course, we’re not done yet.  We’re still developing new and terrific functionality, and figuring ways to integrate the butterscotch and Tucows content.  It’s all about bringing more value to our visitors and authors.

Sure developing the site was a marathon of long days and late nights, and it kept me from family and blogging, but this is the sort of challenge which stretches your abilities and forces you to find new insights into your work.  I loved it.  I wouldn’t want to do it again real soon; but I loved it.

So I Bought An iPod Touch

In spite of Apple’s many transgressions, I finally caved, and bought a Touch.  What transgressions?

Ok, they’ve actually retired that NDA, but there are other offences.  The highly vaunted Apple user experience has been a bust for me.  I tried and tried, but couldn’t get into the App Store, which is the ONLY WAY to download programs onto the platform. Continue reading