Password Safe, an upgrade with glitches

I am in the process of upgrading Password Safe on all my computers from versions 3.42 and 3.43 to the latest 3.46.

I feel somewhat forced to do this since having the most recent version of the store for your sensitive passwords feels mandatory, though I really don’t like the new version for two main reasons. And while these may seem minor, they annoy me to the point of considering changing to competitor Keepass, at least to see how it works.

The main problems are first of all the new version has removed support for system tray icon color, and it’s now red (brown?) when Password Safe is minimized without any open database. And while I don’t have a color problem with seeing differences between red and green, I really liked having this white.

The second and more interesting issue is that the new version has a setting for autostart, just like the previous versions have. But the new version also seems to preload opening of the database in some way. While the old installed version would autostart the software, opening the actual database would require choosing File… Open…, the new has already selected the last used database and as soon as the icon in the system tray is clicked the password prompt appears.

Now this may seem handy, but what I’m not sure is how this works, is the database opened or not? And if opened, how does this affect file locks on the file in Dropbox. and furthermore, how does it affect login to multiple computers at the same time? I’d really prefer if autostart only actually autostarted the program itself.

Oddly enough, the database cannot be closed from the system tray before having been first unlocked, and a mouse-over shows no filename, indicating the database is actually not really open. But in that case the icon color ought to be red (brown?) instead of the green it is now.

I would have given Keepass another try again much sooner had it not been for the difficulties in finding a reliable and trustworthy iOS counterpart for the Windows version.

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Messages in iCloud

This morning it finally arrived, iOS 11.4 and Messages in iCloud. Finally I was going to be able to sync up all my devices where messages had been scattered over time. Partly because purchasing a new phone and not restoring backups, and partly due to some glitch for a short while causing all replies to SMS:es sent from my phone to end up on my iPad only.

And it worked. Right out of the box.

Now I haven’t counted every single SMS since they’re from 4-5 years at least, but it looks like most messages got over from the old, otherwise unusable, phone to the new one, and the messages from the iPad as well. Oddly though, messages does not seem to have synced to the iPad. But I can live with that.

For this one feature, this was the best iOS upgrade in a very long time.

Upgraded to iOS 11

I’ve upgraded my things to iOS 11, and so far I can only see positive news in this.

It’s really incredibly faster on an iPhone 5S, and the new graphical design on the iPad is actually useful, even if not absolutely necessary.

I do miss updates on a few apps like Facebook and YouTube to allow them to run in the new multitasking, Side by Side or SlideOver modes, but hopefully that will come at some later point.

All in all so far the upgrade is great. It almost make me forget how nice the old iOS design looked like, before all this flatness happened.

New theme, Affinity

I’ve switched to the Affinity theme on my public blog, to see whether it’s usable and I should switch on the others. I’m actually quite fond of my current theme, Minnow, but I’d like to find a similar theme with a little more page width.

In that regard the Material theme is great but it has a problem in that it does not support automatic language detection. Maybe there’s some way to provide language files, I haven’t checked yet, but that’s definitely a large disqualifying minus in my eyes. And Material also has a minus in not supporting the Collapsing Archives plugin. Using the regular full archive widget provides a very long list for a blog with posts dating all back to 1998…

By the way, the default images in Affinity are amazing, I wish I could take pictures like the one of the forest. I do have a few I’m quite proud of but this one was really nice.

Besides that, I noticed that WordPress had auto-updated to the most recent version 4.7.2 on all my sites. And there are new versions of iOS 10.2.1 and more. In fact, updates are becoming so frequent that I don’t have the time to catch up with them all, so it’s lucky the stability has also improved so much that I can rely on auto-updates for most devices.

Upgrade to iOS 9.3.2

Morning routine: wake up, shower, get dressed, upgrade all devices to latest iOS 9.3.2, plus all apps needing updates at the same time.

Sometimes it feels like I upgrade more often than I’m actually using some of the apps. The line between “nice to have” and junk just floating around taking up space is fine and not well defined.

I find myself constantly using WordPress as second choice

Despite an intention and a private decision to use my blog(-s) more I still find myself constantly using WordPress as my second choice.

Meaning I take a picture, or I jot down some notes, and they still first go on Facebook, and only after some hours I get around to posting the same on WordPress (and with the added twist that I then exclude sharing the post through the Facebook integration, since everyone there has already seen the post directly).

And I know why this keeps happening. It is quite simply that WordPress still lacks necessary functionality I need to use it as my primary place for writing, such as

  • Uploading an image through the Facebook app is quick and simple, no settings can be changed so width, position and such is just whatever Facebook decides, while on my blog I like to keep things neat and in style, pictures should be centered, they should fill the width of the column, etc, and I also like to have a consistant naming of the photos, which is due to the fact that I’ve looped the number series over several times and don’t want to risk overwriting photos, or having duplicate names with strange appended numbers by some automagic feature.
    And this simply can’t be done through the WordPress IOS app.
  • Tags in WordPress are not converted to Twitter tags when publishing a post with the Twitter integration enabled. A detail, but still something that would have simplified the steps of publishing if automated when posting.

Writing is also a pain in the WordPress app,

  • First I need to have witty title, while on Facebook I’m able to just post some quick notes without having to consider a fitting headline for them. Maybe I could just go with “Untitled” or todays date, but still…
  • Second and more important is the issue that while I can browse categories and add a post to the proper place, there is no way to browse tags, these can only be written and comma-separated, and having several hundred tags I’m not going to go around guessing how I spelled this particular tag last time I used it.
  • And third, a bit back to images again, when having written a post and added an image, and being almost ready to publish, I want to set a featured image. And I really hate that since I always want to use the same featured image which I’ve just added to the post, I’m still forced re-upload the same image a second time. Not that the actual storage is the main issue here, but rather the bandwidth usage on the mobile phone but also the even bigger problem of later trying to navigate in a media library where every image exists at least two times.

Today WordPress works great through a webbrowser, on a large screen with a full size keyboard, but it doesn’t feel quite as easy to use through a mobile, for example on the bus, which is where I’d like to use it rather than having to power up the old slow PC in the evening.

I hope there will come a better WordPress app for IOS in some future, making it more user-friendly as I’d really like to be able to collect thoughts and photos in any of my WordPress sites and from there sharing to social media when and if I want to.