Hummin’ along

Denmark houses. No room for a pool.

A very nice day for a change, blue sky, sunshine, calm. Wow, horizontal rain and blasting winds on Sunday and Monday. Unpleasant. Better get my washing done while I can because there’s more rain on the way.

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I’ve just completed my census, six days early. On-line. I got a letter from the ABS on Monday with my number and instructions. It was easy, I had no problems. Security is tight – first, a temporary password, then you generate your own password, then a four digit PIN. My password is generated by my password keeper program and is 12 random characters, which I don’t even see, since it’s automatically stored in the pwd software.

I’ve been using this password keeping software, Dashlane, for about four years now and I like it. They got me in with the offer of a year’s free use about four years ago, which was clever because once you start using it, it’s hard to give it up. You’re hooked in.

I’ve been using another program, PortableSafe from a small UK writer, for more than ten years, but he stopped development and wasn’t interested in suggestions. I asked him if he’d be interested in selling the source code so that someone else could carry it on, but he declined, so it remains an orphan. I paid for my copy, of course, about A$17, I think, and it continues to work to this day.

The reason I continue to use it, even though I run a new one, is that it now contains dozens, scores, maybe even hundreds of the serial numbers of my paid software, going back years. That means it holds all the old numbers too, in case I need them. Plus a whole lot of membership numbers, PINs, account numbers, logins and so on. It lends itself to that more than the new one, Dashlane, as you can create whatever fields you want.

It’s also very small, about 100K bytes, with an attached, encrypted data file of about 20KB which is stored on my local drive. I do a backup (one button) about once a month, and also email myself a copy of the program plus the data file every so often, which means it’s stored on Gmail’s servers too.

Dashlane (strange name, I don’t know why it’s called that) is a US program, NY I think, and its data is strictly stored on its US servers. That means you have to have an internet connection for it to work, which is another reason I keep PortableSafe going.

When I first bought in, it was a stand-alone program but they’ve changed it recently. You can still use it stand-alone (meaning start it up on the desktop with a short cut and then enter your master password). But they’ve completely integrated it into the browser now, Mozilla Firefox in my case. When you start Firefox, Dashlane starts too and connects to the servers after you enter the master password. A small icon at top right of the browser shows green when logged in and red if it’s not logged in.

Thereafter, whenever the browser asks you to log in to a site or has any boxes asking you to enter information, when you click in any box Dashlane pops up and offers to supply the information. This is a boon for entering repetitive information, long numbers and passwords. I find it quite reliable and controllable.

The drawback is that I no longer see the passwords. In the old days, I used to be able to remember quite a few of them, but at 12 characters and digits, that’s not realistic any more. As I say, I find it reliable so I’m happy.

Also, when you’re on a new site and need to provide a new password, Dashlane offers to generate a random string of however many characters you choose.

Too much information!

Oh, forgot to mention: there’s a Dashlane plugin for Android, so you have it on your phone and tablet too. Very handy and it’s a second source, just in case you can’t connect from your PC or laptop.

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Head of Australia’s vaccine strategy not ruling out cash incentives to achieve 80% target

“Lt Gen John Frewen says demand still exceeds supply but incentives may be needed to counter vaccine hesitancy later in the year.”

They’re talking about offering financial rewards to people to get vaccinated, maybe later this year.

Hold on! I’ve had my two jabs – how about rewarding me for getting in early?

If there’s a possibility of a financial bonus later in the year, won’t some people hold off getting jabbed until the reward is firmed up?

How about reversing the logic? How about fining people, or applying some other disincentive, for people who haven’t had their jabs by a certain date. The government will know who they are (although there’s an element of privacy there).

Bad thinking, and I’m not happy that the ALP are pushing the idea.

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I’ve just had another go at my Verada, parked outside in the laneway while the wet weather washed away my desire to work on it. 🙂 I charged the battery overnight and it started first go, running smoothly and idling like a sewing machine. Good car!

While I had the bonnet up, for the first time I noticed a sticker on the underside of the bonnet. It’s for the change of the timing belt at around 110,000Km (the car’s done 139,000 approx.). Hooray! It came without any log book and I was a bit worried about it. It’s an expensive job and I didn’t want to spend the money. Now I can advertise it with a clear conscience.

Initial purchase price $1250; new exhaust $700; new brake pads and rotors all around $750; new RH tail light lens $70; new power antenna $40; polish headlight lenses $50; new roof lining $230. Will I be able to recoup?

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I started using my new Aldi hot water machine this morning. Excellent. The old machine went ker-chunk, ker-chunk, ker-chunk and always dripped a fairly long stream after it shut off. This new one just goes mmmmmmmmmmm and shuts off with a couple of drops at the end. Choice of 75, 85 and 98 deg and 220ml, 250ml and 300ml quantity. I like it!