Dead-Finger Tech: My three "must have" bits of tech!

Dead-Finger Tech: My three "must have" bits of tech!

Summary: When I was asked to come up with a list of my "Dead-Finger Tech" of things that my IT day revolves around, it took me about 2.5 seconds to come up with my top three things.

TOPICS: Software, Hardware

When I was asked to come up with a list of my "Dead-Finger Tech" of things that my IT day revolves around, it took me about 2.5 seconds to come up with my top three things.

Gadget: IronKey 8GB

I have literally hundreds of USB flash drives littered about the place, but my every-day carry is an IronKey 8GB. The problem with regular flash drives is that I either had to encrypt the data that was on the drive or just take a chance that I wouldn’t lose it. I don’t have this any more thanks to the IronKey. Everything in strongly encrypted automatically.

The IronKey is a USB flash drive with a difference. Not only do you have an ultra-tough and waterproof drive where the delicate innards are protected by being encased in hard epoxy and then then wrapped in a tough metal shell (believe me, this thing is tough) but you get all the benefits of always-on hardware encryption. No more having to mess about with software driver of applications. Because all the encryption is done by hardware all the data is protected against cold-boot and brute force attacks.

At $199 for 8GB, the IronKey isn't cheap, but it's also no ordinary flash drive. If you fear losing your data, then the IronKey is a mush-have gadget.

Next -->

Peripheral: LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo

I hate printing out envelopes and labels using a regular printer. Absolutely hate it. then a few years ago I bought my first LabelWriter printer and my life changed.

A little while ago I upgraded to old LabelWriter 400 to the newer LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo. Why? Because I can load two different rolls of labels into this puppy and print out large and small labels with the minimum of fuss.

This thing is fast too, capable of pumping out labels at the rate of 71 per minute. Also, it just works. I've never had a LabelWriter jam up or foul up when printing.

Priced at around $210 it's not cheap, but if you print labels regularly, it's well worth the money!

Next -->

Software: PasswordSafe

Choosing a software product to go into my "Dead-Finger Tech" was easy. There's on app that I turn to literally dozens to times a day, have it installed on all my PCs, and also take it with me - PasswordSafe.

There's a lot of good reasons to like PasswordSafe - for example, it's a great password manager, it can be used to generate strong passwords, you can search through your passwords and store additional information along with the user name and password - but the feature that I like best is that I can install it onto my USB flash drives and take it with me.  

This app is a total lifesaver!

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Topics: Software, Hardware

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  • KeyPass is better than PasswordSafe

    If you like PasswordSafe try KeyPass. It is much,
    much better (yes, I have used both.) You can also
    carry in on you USB:
    • I was just about to rate KeePass(X)

      Though I haven't tried PasswordSafe.
      • Password Manager

        Have any of you tried RoboForm? I kind of like it. It's very versatile, and there's a portable version for U3 drives.
    • Keepass is hopelessly convoluted

      I tried using Keepass and found it to be hopelessly convoluted... and I couldn't ever get it to work. Roboform is dead easy to use, but the free version only saves 10 passwords.
      • Hopelessly convoluted?

        I found Keepass very easy to use, and it's never NOT worked for me.
      • Robo form Tops

        Fully agree I use robo-form and its fine does all that the other does Inserting the logins by prefinding them in the Browser tool bar as a serious dyslexic copying passwords and licence numbers etc is my worst nightmare and by using syncplicity keeps all my computers updated. dare say its not secure I also use a prothat translates Net keystokes so that a key logger gets duff info
    • Keepass is nice, but...

      I use it too, a lot to like, but its print
      function is a little weak - the output is
      unsorted, doesn't remember your options. You
      CAN get a sorted list by using the right-click
      menus, not real obvious.

      Still, I guess you shouldn't be printing that
      stuff out a lot anyway, eh?

    • LastPass is cross platform, multi browser and free

      Having used RoboForm - both the portable and workstation apps, I was a big fan for managing my 250+ password logons.

      BUT, since I have and use both Mac and PC's was at a loss because RoboForm is only for PC's.

      Came across LastPass and now have left RoboForm behind. LastPass uses cutting edge techniques to encrypt ALL of your data right at the moment you press or click the "enter" button at your workstation so NO DATA is EVER transmitted or exposed online UNencrypted.

      Security researchers have tested it and found this to be absolutely true.

      Thanks Ed Bott of for letting ME know about it !!!

      Runs on PC, Mac, Linux with different browsers - but why would you ever use anything but Firefox with NoScript???
      • RE: LastPass is cross platform, multi browser and free

        I am with you. I really like Lastpass.
  • I'd love an Ironkey

    If only I had information worth protecting :-(
    • On the bright side

      By having no information worth protecting you know no one can steal anything important. So, smile.
    • Overheat?

      With all that protection, epoxy and all, won't this unit overheat?
      • Overheat ?

        No all you do is dip it in water occasionally....
        • Re Overheat

          I Hate Malware
    • Gee - I Just Use TrueCrypt and a Strong Password on a Plain Thumb Drive

      One of those humongoid upper-and-lower-case alphanumeric ones Steve Gibson auto-generates on his GRC site - .

      That way, if I happen to lose my thumb drive, I can always copy any confidential files to a new one - secure that it can't be easily cracked by anybody not belonging to an agency with initials that sound just like "N-S-A"....
  • RE: Dead-Finger Tech: My three

    Why do so many USB flash drives have caps to protect the
    connector which can be so easily lost? I have some very
    cheap ones that have solved the problem. Their caps have
    a hole through which I can put a loop to be fitted to my
    keyring. Alternatively the cap can be on a loop round
    your neck and you just pull off the USB flash drive to
    use it.
    • I like the ones that have a retractable connector...

      ... though that probably wouldn't work for the
      Ironkey model because the guts are attached to the
  • PasswordSafe, is it Free software?

    If it isn't FLOSS how can you trust it? If it doesn't run on Linux (but only Windows), you're already compromised in my opinion. Something like 80% of Windows malware isn't even identified, so there is no way I'd put my passwords for everything on a non-Free app which may have a remote spyware logging my screen and keystrokes.
    • Free Software?

      If you follow the link in the article it takes you to a Sourceforge page where the description identifies the software as "freely available under an open source license." The info there does not identify which OS's the program covers, if any, beyond Windoze.
    • 80%

      [i]80% of Windows malware isn't even identified[/i]

      How do you know that, if it's unidentified...?