SMS1's Recent Posts
I’ve been using iData3 for several years now as a very capable replacement for askSam under Windows. This is a superb program, with a good feature set, rapid searching, and the ability to combine both field- and freeform data in the same record. I use the software to manage research notes, and, as well, a large library of scientific manuscripts. One of the very best features of the program is the ability to easily link to external files (PDFs, Excel files, .txt files, sound files, etc.) This means that one can use the program as a very efficient front-end (e.g. for abstracts) and then use a link to point to the full version of a file or data. This allows one to keep the front-end program lean without the bloat involved in storing PDFs or Excel files, etc. inside the database. One can also do links from one record to another within a given database (but not across databases). Highly recommended. Support is quick and responsive. Disclaimer I have absolutely no personal involvement with either the developers or the software — I’m just a very happy user.
Database exported in Palm format is insecure — an open door to all passwords Like many users, I’m sure, I’ve moved most of my mobile computing to non-Palm platforms. However, until about 18 months ago, I was still using a couple of Palms and had DataGuardian installed on those units. DataGuardian on the Mac can export a database in .pdb format, for copying or syncing to a Palm. Yesterday, quite by accident, I discovered that a database exported in Palm format is COMPLETELY INSECURE. If you open the .pdb file with a hex editor, you can read EVERY password, including the master database password! Even though you may not now use a Palm, this oversight provides an easy back door into your main database. If you left your database open and let someone use your computer, the database could be exported in Palm format to, say, a USB card and later, that person would have complete access to your Mac-based database. Needless to say I was shocked to discover this, having used the .pdb format for several years! The lack of security has now caused me to spend more than a day hunting down all the many copies of Palm-formatted databases on several computers, a half dozen portable hard drives and nearly two years of TimeMachine backups! Once copied or synced to the Palm and opened there, I think the .pdb is then secure but while it resides on your Mac, the .pdb file is completely unencrypted. Having been badly shocked by this security oversight, I’m now in the process of moving all my DataGuardian databases to another, hopefully, secure platform.
I contacted the company, and they responded: "Correct, we won't be fixing this. We'll likely even remove Palm export in the near future. Palm devices are far too slow to support the level of encryption Data Guardian offers and the userbase of Palm is too small for us to warrant investing more time to coding more on it." To which, I responded: "Well, I have no argument with you dropping Palm support — it's clearly a nearly dead platform. HOWEVER, I am astonished that, having used your supposedly secure software for about 4 years, at NO TIME did you EVER warn me about this huge security hole! I'm incredulous and disappointed. It reflects VERY badly on a company that markets software advertised as a "secure database application" (the quote is from your web site). If, as you say, the Palm couldn’t support the level of encryption you deem necessary, why then were you marketing it for all these years? I'm in the process to switching to another product."