Sunday, April 04, 2004
SplashID Review by Dave Pawson
SplashID 3.05, at $29.95, or 9.95 upgrade cost. From SplashData.
SplashID includes a desktop mirror of the Palm application which is my major reason for supporting this application, as it enables me
to enter data using a good keyboard, with synchronisation keeping the two versions in line, which is equally essential.
The PC and Palm apps are almost identical, the screen size being the major differentiator.
Security is catered for using 256 bit Blowfish encryption. The user guide makes little of this, but google revealed some information.
I wonder if the problem at www.schneier.com has been addressed by this
implementation? See http://www.schneier.com/blowfish.html if you need more.
Use on the Palm
Bottom line is a list of entries, filtered by type and category, each having up to 6 fields in which you can enter data, knowing it will remain secure under most circumstances. Data entry takes a few minutes to learn; search and retrieval, editing and deleting are straightforward.
URL's are generally too long to see on the Palm. Perhaps a 'name' would be more informative, even when it is referring to a website.
Lots of customisation is possible, though I'd suggest you do it on the desktop then sync down to the Palm.
Look for the .. button in the bottom right corner.
It's used to hide/show the actual password or 'secure' piece of info. A nice feature, which is useful if you have other people looking over your shoulder whilst retrieving your data.
SplashID desktop can import data from csv, is that helpful? If you need it the fields are:
Type, custom 1, custom 2, custom 3, custom 4, custom 5, custom 6, Notes, and Category.
It can also import data on the Palm from some of its rivals:
For the paranoid.. who, me?
Each time you exit SplashID Desktop, an encrypted backup is created on the PC which may be saved off disk to cater for a disk crash.
You could manually archive Progran files\Palm\*username*\Backup\SplashIDDB2-SpId.PDB
or on a Mac: /User/NNN/Documents/Palm/USERNAME/SplashID Database/pdb
The password appears to remain 'in use' i.e. unlocked, until shutdown. You can lock it down immediately though, manually. Even if this means that the password is kept in memory in plaintext, it is still a reasonable compromise between convenience and lack of security. When entering lots of new material I need it open and when I use it casually, I want to be able to lock it immediately. Similarly, on power off, the password can remain valid for up to 3 minutes. Since I conserve battery life by having a short auto-off period, this is useful though potentially a security hazard. I'd suggest it is set to immediately lock the application once you have all your data entered.
Remember to set auto-lock on the PC to achieve the same result as on the Palm. It gives timed, though not immediate, locking when there isn't any activity for n minutes.
Web addresses and email addresses are active links, but only in the 'view details' panel on the right which is more than reasonable.
The ability to share files with other SplashID users, including export and import of files with a password, using their own proprietary file format, will be of utility to some corporate users.
Entries may be grouped by both type and category, with the view being filtered by either. Good if you have many locked items. Column sorting is useful for the heavy user. There are too many categories as delivered to show on one screen, but since you can personalize them, its your choice.
Fields too are varied according to type. This stops you have boiler-plate names for every entry. A small thing, but a good one in my opinion.
Each field can be cut from a view, so you only need show relevant fields for each type of entry. Another nice touch.
Good user guide
Splash has a user forum on Yahoo
I can't critique the encryption system, since it is not my field. It seems good according to my reading. The combination of desktop and PC 'views' of my encrypted data keep me happy, as I am a poor graffiti typist!
My backup paranoia is calmed by being able to back it up as much as I like... and restore it!
It does what it says on the wrapper! Enjoy. 5/5
A couple of weeks ago I registered GrxView. It is not the most full-featured image viewer, but it is in development by a good company and was excellent value for money. Since I have limited use for image viewing, it seemed to fit my needs right now, and was likely to expand to fit any more ambitious projects I might have. For example, since registering they have implemented Thumbnails.
Anyway, I am here to sing the praises of their customer service. At 12.41 pm on a Sunday I reported an apparent bug. At 12.42 I received an e-mail asking for the image which was causing the crash. At 1.26 I received an email saying:
Impressive, or what?