Great Tool for Creating Passwords

Having trouble creating a password that is both secure and easy to remember? My favorite trick is to use numbers and symbols that look like letters to help you remember. This way you can create a password that looks much like a real word, but because of the numbers and symbols, it is very hard to crack. For example, you could change the word password to [email protected] The challenge of course, is coming up with good words and then substituting numbers and/or symbols for the right letters. That’s where Password Maker comes in. This Mac OS X Dashboard widget takes the word you type and automatically substitutes numbers and symbols for some of the letters. Voila – instant, easy security.

2006 – Day 4

Okay, so maybe counting the days is getting old. At least it keeps me motivated.

So, what about the latest GadgetComa episodes? Well, let’s start with Girder. This software gives you the power to automate your home theater and much more. I currently have it controlling my Denon receiver and Windows XP Media Center 2005 PC. Think of it as a really expensive clock radio. It wakes me up by turning on the receiver and starting a quiet playlist of jazz, ramping up the volume every 15 minutes. It also turns on at night so there’s music playing when I get home. Lastly, it plays quiet music to go to sleep to and shuts off at 11:30. All of this without any programming!

Girder has the ability to control so many devices, I’m hoping to eventually automate many things in the house (lights, appliances, sprinkler system, etc.). I can even set up voice command!

Now if only it could add more hours to the day to play with it.

Goodbye Comcast

Last week, RCN (formerly Starpower) installed my cable TV service to replace the awful service I was getting from Comcast. The Comcast signal was constantly dropping out on HD and digital channels. I was also losing audio and on demand services. Comcast never figured it out after almost a year of trying. Now, RCN, using the same set-top box and the same house wiring (obviously) is working fine.

Today, Verizon installed FIOS internet. The installers were very professional and did a fantastic job. I have a structured wiring box which they took advantage of – carefully placing the wires, router, power supply and all. It looks quite nice (from a geek’s perspective, of course).

Now it’s time to cancel Comcast and wait for FIOS TV!!

Another weekend is here

This is going to be a recharge weekend. I think I’ll spend some time scanning old high school pictures for the Kevin photo gallery and work on some projects I have been putting off.

I did finally give up on Comcast. Yesterday, we switched our cable TV service over to RCN (formerly StarPower). Miraculously, even though RCN uses the exact same Motorola set-top box and the exact same house wiring, the signal quality is perfectly fine and there are no audio or video dropout problems. I guess after a year of putting up with Comcast’s incompetence and utter lack of concern about their customers, I’ve discovered that I was right all along.

Next Monday, Verizon is installing FIOS internet (YIPPEE!!!). Then I can tell Comcast exactly what to do with their service.