Today it seems like you can't go to a web site,
order anything online, or use an online service, without a
user name, and password. Maybe the Rain Man could remember all
the user names, and passwords, a typical computer user has, but
most of us put them in text files, in a folder, somewhere on
our hard drive. Not a very secure policy, as anybody who
has access to the text file, has access to the passwords. So
what do you do with ten to a hundred user names and passwords, that
you have to constantly be checking. Well, one software
developer, Yury Sidorov of CP-Labs
http://www.cp-lab.com/, has come up with a very good
Password Manager XP is a well designed, flawlessly executed,
piece of code. It is well thought out, with end users needs in
mind, rather then the usual, lets see how cool we can make the
interface look, or how many silly features we can stick on.
This writer paid attention when they had the form follows
function lecture, in software design class. There is
nothing in this program that is unnecessary, hard to use,
difficult to see, or with out a good purpose.
From the professional install routine, where you are given
real choices about how you want to install, to the programs
interface, this program exemplifies professionalism. Password
Manager XP allows you to create different databases with
collections of user names and passwords. Once you create the
database, you can add folders and create entries, which appear
in the right and column of the interface, with Title, web
address, user name, creation date, password, or however else
you want to set it up, and in what ever order you want to set
it up. You can just drag the columns around to position them.
The interface is completely user configurable, and very easy
to work with, and there is nothing gimmicky, or superfluous
There is a cool timer feature that automatically closes the
data base after a certain amount of inactivity. You can set
the time for this. Password Manager XP has a random password
generator, full network support, automatic backups to
specified folders, and Internet Explorer integration.
One of the best features, and the only password program I am
aware of that does this, is the flash drive support. The
problem with most password manager programs is that they are
tied to the windows directory, or registry, in some manner.
Put them on another computer's drive and they don't work, or
they don't work correctly, or your registration doesn't work.
But this is not the case with Password Manager XP.
I carry a USB Flash drive with me everywhere and now I can
safely bring all my important user name, passwords, credit
card, medical, whatever information I need, with me, and know
with absolute certainty that the data is safe.
There is a feature that will install the program on to a flash
drive. However, all it is really doing, is copying the folder
over to the flash drive, which works just as well. Password
Manager XP is complete in it's own directory. I have always
been of the strong opinion, that all windows programs should
work like this. Why should you have to reinstall every
application when you change operating systems.
Security is unsurpassed, as you have your choice of any, or
simultaneously all, of
these encryption algorithms.
You can use as many of them, at
once, as you wish. When using a flash drive you don't have to
worry about temp files, as there are none. And there is a
function to clear the clipboard, so you don't leave anything
behind. Nobody breaks into Password
Manager XP without the key.
This is probably a first for Hold No Punches, but I
have only a single complaint about this program, one punch to
throw, if you will. The name of the program is a mistake. The
author tells me that XP stands for "Extra Protection" but I
think a lot of novices are going to think that XP means you
have to be running XP in order to use this program, which is
not true. The author assures me that Password Manager XP will
run on any version of Windows, 9X, or ME, or NT4, or 2000. XP
is an obvious marketing attempt to capitalize on the latest
and greatest version of Windows. But don't let it put you off
if you are running another version of windows.
I am really impressed by this program, and I am now using it on a daily
bases, for my own passwords. Once you give it a try, I bet you