Edit: After half day, my wife’s Mac started having the same problem. I have then applied the solution that I found in the Apple
Wallet : Secure your Digital Life
Back in the days when I used a Pocket PC and a windows computer I used a great application called CodeData to store all my software serial numbers and growing lists of passwords.
When I moved to Mac four years ago I ended up exporting the codedata database as a text file and have been updating this unencrypted mine of password and serials ever since. A handy yet completely unorganised and unsecured storage system accessible only on a single computer.
This week I moved to the simple yet brilliant Wallet application.
Despite being feature laden Wallet’s user interface could not be simpler, it took me literally minutes to download, setup and copy and paste my license codes into the application.
Once you have downloaded Wallet, copy it across to your applications folder. Double click the icon to get started. First you have to entire a password for your Wallet database. Obviously it is essential to use a strong password but more importantly use one you are definitely going to remember !
Step 2 : MobileMe
If you have a MobileMe account and plan to sync your database with the cloud then you need to enter your MobileMe username and password. If you plan not to sync just hit ‘Continue’.
Step 3 : Autofill
Next you have to tell Wallet if you plan to use the Autofill option. Because Wallet works so well for storing and securing your web passwords, Wallet includes AutoFill, a feature to automatically fill out web forms in Safari using your information. When you’re at a web page and simply can’t remember your username and/or password, just click the Wallet icon in the menubar. Enter your main Wallet password, and your form is filled out automatically.
Wallet really couldn’t be any easier to use. The application features a three column interface. The first interface allows you to add groups to easier management of larger databases. The Second column lists your current database entries and the third column displays the actual record.
The great thing about Wallet is your are not locked to a predefined list of data fields. Different software vendors use a range of different license formats, from serial numbers, to serials with email, serial codes with a license code. Wallet allows you to easily add custom fields to each entry. For software applications Wallet also tries to add the application icon (as you can see in this example with Things).
If you have a MobileMe account, Wallet is able to sync data across multiple Macs (and iPhones) By keeping an encrypted copy of your database in your MobileMe iDisk Wallet can connect from anywhere to access that data and update itself appropriately. You don’t have to worry about up-to-date entries or some data overwriting other – Wallet takes care of it automatically.
This is perfect if you work between multiple macs or if you are a network manager looking after software installations for a number of machines. Wallet allows you to to access all your license codes securely in the palm of your hand.
The fact your database is synchronised with MobileMe means you have a a secure remote backup. Should something happen to your computer, it makes for a quick and easy recovery.
The idea of adding my credit card information into a desktop application that syncs with the cloud isn’t a decision that comes easy. Wallet employs 256-bit AES encryption to lock and secure your database and despite such a high level of encryption the developers have gone even further by have Wallet automatically lock itself after a certain period of time, or when your computer goes to sleep. For the even more security paranoid amongst you can even take a look at Wallet’s access Log to see if anyone else has been having a peek.
One of my biggest fears about storing all my password eggs in one basket is what happens if the application stops being developed ? Well the good news is Wallet offers an easy export option allowing exporting of your data as a text file or CSV. This means if you do want to move your data and stop using Wallet it is a two click process.
I would like to see this Export feature being password protected just in case on a very rare occasion you leave your computer and forget to lock Wallet, someone could quickly export your data on to a USB pen and make off with your serial codes. I think I am describing a Mission Impossible type scene as I type this rather than a reasonable reality all the same !
A separate iPhone application (?2.39 iTunes Link) is available for syncing your database either directly with your mac or alternatively with your MobileMe account.
Setting the iPhone application is quick and easy, enter your MobileMe username and password and then your Wallet password. I think the only negative comment I can make about the iPhone application is the icon isn’t as nice as the desktop app but obviously this is small point and has no bearing on the function of the software !
[Click on the iPhone images on the right for a larger view].
I have been looking for an password / serial number application for Mac for a few years now and Wallet goes a very long way in meeting all my password and security needs. The additional benefit of Mac to Mac syncing via MobileMe as well as the ability to sync with the iPod Touch and iPhone make Wallet a perfect serial number storage solution for any user. The application is definitely well deserving of our 5/5 rating.
Subscriber Competition : Win a Copy of Wallet
At TotalApps we are dedicated to providing the best service to our readers. As such we hope to run regular RSS subscriber give aways and competitions. To be in to win you firstly need to make sure you have subscribed to our RSS feed (click here). Every so often we will post a special competition post that will have a special competition code at the bottom of the RSS version of the post i.e. it will not appear on the website.
All you have to do is take a note of your personal code and then post it as a comment on the competition post. Comments will remain open for 24 hours at which point comments will be closed and a winner will be selected at random.
Don’t worry if this sounds a little complicated as it will be explained during our first competition that will kick off later in the week. Acrylic Apps have given us a full copy of Wallet to give away to one of our subscribers. Make sure you are subscribed and look out for the competition post this week.
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