Another program from the maker of
WindowBlinds, Multiplicity tackles the age-old question of how one person can
control several computers using only a single keyboard and mouse. The answer
is, of course, using Multiplicity.
Setting up the program is easy enough. When
you install the software client, you can designate the current PC as the
‘primary’ one or a ‘secondary’ computer that will be controlled from another
system. When correctly configured, Multiplicity works over local networks to
give you control of any Multiplicity-enabled system, greatly aiding in
everything from tech support to multi-system controls. Happily, network
detection occurs automatically, minimizing the amount of configuration you have
The trial version allows you to control two
machines simultaneously, which should be enough for most home networks, but if
you’re scoffing at that number, the full version will connect a whopping nine
systems (plus the server), so there’s plenty of room to breathe.
Input can be sent to a single PC or every
one simultaneously, and you can even drag and drop between them for a virtually
seamless experience. It’s possible to switch between clients using the forward
and back mouse buttons on five-button mice, which is incredibly intuitive. One
of the most impressive features allows you to send the audio from one PC to
another, meaning you can do everything from share music to broadcast
building-wide decrees, depending on your level of power-madness.
If its functionality isn’t
particularly original, it’s presented in such a simple way that frankly, you’d
rather pay than use free competition
Some of these features are restricted to
the premium version, but if you find it useful, the price is entirely reasonable
given the number of features on offer. The only down side is that it starts to
struggle when asked to interoperate between different versions of Windows, and
you can outright forget any platform that isn’t Microsoft-built, which could
limit its functionality in a business context.
Still, when it works, it’s impressive, and
if its functionality isn’t particularly original, it’s presented in such a
simple way that frankly, you’d rather pay than use free competition.
That’s all for this month. As ever, if you
have any programs that you’d like to see us look at - whether it’s something
you want to find, something you like and want to share, or even a program
you’ve written and want us to review - don’t hang around. Get in touch, and
we’ll make sure it ends up in the download directories everywhere - courtesy of
The Download Directory!
Incredibly intuitive. Makes administering
multiple PCs as easy as using your own.
Compatibility issues hobble it slightly
Plug-In of the Month
No matter how good your browser is, there’s
always something that could be that little bit better. Here, we suggest a
plug-in that might help make your life that little bit easier.
Password Manager 2.0.0 (all browsers)
One of the biggest problems with modern
online life is that you need a password for everything. Browsers can make the
process of logging into 20 different services each day far more bearable just
by storing your passwords, but that doesn’t help if you’re away from your PC or
using another device.
And that’s part of what LastPass can help
with. At its heart, LastPass is a free online password manager with form
autocomplete functions that can make your web browsing far less of a hassle.
Where it really comes into its own, though, is by storing your passwords
online, so that you can get at them wherever you are without having to go
through a complex retrieval process.
If you’re worried about the security of
surrendering your passwords online, don’t be too worried; they’re encrypted
locally before they’re sent, so even LastPass can’t get at them. All you have
to do is remember your LastPass password so that you can retrieve them.
As well as storing passwords, LastPass can
help you create new ones for each service, safe in the knowledge that because
you’ll never have to type them in, they can be unique and long enough to defy
any kind of dictionary or manual attack. The plug-in can also auto-fill out
other form data, such as addresses and email boxes, and allow you to share
logins with friends and family members if you so desire.
The plug-in remains consistent from device
to device, syncing data between multiple machines and allowing you to create
bookmarklets for browsers that don’t support the plug-in directly (for example,
on an iPhone). You can also import data from other password managers, including
the one built into your browser. It’s especially useful when moving from one PC
to another, allowing you to retain all of the login details you’ve entered
without any need to find them all again.
In short, if you’ve ever cursed your
ability to remember a password, or wished those you use could be stronger, this
is definitely a plug-in worth checking out.