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The Download Directory - November 2012 (Part 3) - Multiplicity 2.0, LastPass Password Manager 2.0.0

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11/9/2012 12:09:28 AM

Multiplicity 2.0

Description: Multiplicity

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 to do.

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!

Details

Release Type:

Freemium

Price

$39.95

Official Site:

www.stardock.com

Pros:

Incredibly intuitive. Makes administering multiple PCs as easy as using your own.

Cons:.

Compatibility issues hobble it slightly

Rating:

4/5

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.

LastPass Password Manager 2.0.0 (all browsers)

Description: LastPass Password Manager 2.0.0 (all browsers)

www.lastpass.com

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.

 

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