Falling in Love With More Than One Screensaver: Th

Falling in Love With More Than One Screensaver: The Fun Part

by: Roman Kramar

Having from five to ten and more favorite screensavers is cool. But how do you enjoy them all in a straightforward and convenient way? Draw the power you need from the little yet useful tools discussed in this article!
As you remember, earlier in my article What to Do if You Fall in Love With More Than One Screensaver we discussed the standard way of switching between multiple screensavers. Having that possibility is a pleasure indeed. Just imagine that your operating system doesn’t let you easily vary screensavers to suit your mood. Youกd be forced to uninstall the installed screensaver, and then install a new one. Avoiding this effort would lead you to a fabulous triumph of utter boredom! Thankfully, itกs not the case. Furthermore, as you will see, there are tools that make switching between your favorite screensavers a breeze.
As strange as it may sound, computers were created to make our lives easier. Really, they are very good at automating repeating and boring tasks. And now is the very moment to remind them of that.
Imagine your innermost dream. You just sit doing nothing and your computer, your dutiful servant, takes care of your problem without your slightest intervention. All what is left to you is to enjoy the fruits of its labor. Nice, huh? Tada! Enter Random Screensaver!
If you have never heard about Random Screensaver, fear not! กRandomก here has nothing to do with a random and unpredictable mess on your screen. Itกs the first little tool that will help you drive away the boredom of manually switching between your favorite screensavers.
The idea behind the tool is simple yet very useful. Random Screensaver is not a screensaver in the first place. It wears this disguise to take control each time the operating system says itกs a perfect moment to start the screensaver. Once in control, the tool looks at the list of available screensavers and asks a random performer from the list to start its show.
Thatกs it! If you install Random Screensaver, you will never have to switch your savers manually. Each time a different screensaver will start. All your favorites will get a regular outing!
Oh! Iกve forgotten to tell you the most important thing. Random Screensaver is completely free, and you can download it from this page:
http://www.clearnight.com.au/random.htm
There you will find two different versions: กQuick downloadก and กFull installation.ก The first one is a bare screensaver file and is very small. The second is a selfextracting installation package that will do all the installation work for you, but itกs much bigger. If you don’t want to waste your time downloading the bigger package, itกs time to recall my previous article What You Should Know About Installing Screensavers. There you can get the knowledge needed to install the bare screensaver file.
Now that we have solved our primary problem, I can hear some of my readers start grumbling. If you are one of them, I know whatกs bothering you. Remember in the beginning of this article I said how bad it would be if you could not match your mood with running screensavers? But Random Screensaver knows nothing about your feelings. It simply runs a random screensaver. Well, there still is a cure for those of you who can’t stand this disease.
The second tool I would like to tell you about is AllSaver! Although not free, itกs a perfect cure for the second problem. It works much like Random Screensaver, but in addition to running a random show, it lets you tell exactly which screensavers you would like to see. So, if you feel today is a good day for just five of your favorite savers, and other twenty of them should rest, you can have it this way! Simply add those five to the list, and itกs done!
But wait, thereกs even more to please you! AllSaver! has one unique feature. It makes it possible to run two or four of your favorites at the same time! You select how many screensavers to run, and AllSaver! splits the screen as needed, providing the space for all running screensavers.
If you can’t wait to see it in action, you can download this amazing tool using this link:
http://www.emotional.com/AllSaver.htm
Use these tools, and say กnoก to the boredom of seeing one and only screensaver! Variety is a good thing. Have fun!

About The Author

Roman Kramar is a software developer who enjoys writing screensavers as his time permits. Visit his site at http://www.elasticsystems.com/ to find out more about screensavers and his work.

webmaster@elasticsystems.com

This article was posted on July 30, 2004

by Roman Kramar

Securing Your Accounts With WellCrafted Passwords

Securing Your Accounts With WellCrafted Passwords

by: Daniel Punch

In the past I’ve never really paid much attention to security issues when it comes to user names and passwords. Frankly I figured it was all a lot of overblown hype. This led to an unfortunate incident that involved my website being attacked, apparently by a skillful youth with a propensity for mischief.

The main security flaw with my website was probably the simple fact that the username and password were exactly the same. Granted I did realize that this wasn’t highly intelligent but I didn’t have the power to change it myself, and I didn’t think it really mattered enough to bother about it. Having an identical username and password is a massive ขnonoข in computer security. Your username and password should not even be related along the same line of thought. A username of ขDragonข and a password of ขFireข is not a secure combination.

For maximum security, passwords should not be cohesive words or phrases and should not be too obviously related to something like your birthday or the birthday of someone close to you. Personal information is one of the first things used when people attempt to break passwords. Having a password of ขPasswordข is indeed humorous and ironic but it is not in the least bit secure.

A ขbrute forceข password hacking technique involves using certain rules and guidelines to take a guess at possible passwords and generally works through a dictionary of sorts, trying combinations of possible words and common characters. Your best bet at creating a secure password is to pick a random collection of letters, numbers, and symbols, including varying case changes (in a password the letter ขaข is not the same as the letter ขAข, so alternating at random between upper and lower case will increase the difficulty encountered in cracking your password). Selecting a sequence of characters on the keyboard (such as ขasdfข or, worse, ข1234ข) definitely does not create a secure, random password.

Having symbols in your password is an easy way to greatly increase security. These are the special characters accessed by holding the ขShiftข key and pressing one of the numbers at the top of the keyboard. If you want to truly expand your arsenal of special characters, try holding down the ขaltข key and pressing a combination of numbers on the num pad (the rectangular collection of numbers on the right hand side of most keyboards) then release ขaltข. For example, holding ขaltข and pressing numbers, 1 then 6 then 8 and releasing ขaltข will give the character ข¿ข. Most combinations of 3 numbers will enter a different symbol into your password. This may make it a little harder to enter your password but it makes it a lot harder for anyone else to crack it.

To make passwords easier to remember you can use something original, like the name of your favorite character in a book (personal information that other people won’t know). Then add some numbers to it, perhaps use the ขLeet speakข (check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leet for exact definition) method of changing letters to numbers and generally mix things up so that to you it seems coherent and memorable but to an automated pattern recognizer it seems random. For example, ขjAm35_5m1Th¿ข (ขJames Smithข) is actually surprisingly secure. In this case the password’s meaning is obvious to a human reader but it will take a lot of work for them to divine the password without prior knowledge.

For additional security you should not use the one user name and password for every account that you have. If you do and someone manages to get hold of your details for one site they pretty much have the run of your digital life. It is not particularly vital to have perfect passwords for less important accounts (e.g. web based email from Hotmail, forums you visit etc.). These sites can quite happily be accessed using the same password. However, bank accounts, work email etc. should be made as secure as possible.

Hopefully a few of these tips will assist you in making your online activities more secure. Keep these guidelines in mind, change your password on a semi regular basis, and with any luck you’ll be able to avoid the hacking menace that befell me.

About The Author

Daniel Punch

M6.Net Web Helpers

http://www.m6.net

This article was posted on August 29

by Daniel Punch