Issue: 3.2 (November/December 2004)
Author: Scott Griebel
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 3,721
Starting Page Number: 10
Article Number: 3206
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Chronopath's MacVault is meant to serve as a storage system for many important pieces of information, such as credit card data and software serial numbers. The application itself can be password-protected and all MacVault data is secured using 448 bit Blowfish encryption.
MacVault presents the user with one main window that is set up very similarly to Apple's iTunes interface. MacVault initially contains only an All Entries folder which is analogous to the Library folder in iTunes. The user can then create additional folders such as Credit Cards or Software Serials which are akin to the playlist folders in iTunes. It might have been more convenient if the most likely folders were pre-created by MacVault. There is a search feature which can be performed within a user-defined folder or on the All Entries folder, again similar to iTunes.
When the user adds data items, they can be organized into the user-created folders and will automatically be added to the All Entries folder as well. MacVault has three pre-defined types of information: Credit Cards, Software Registrations, and Website Logins. When adding a new data item, it can be classified as one of these pre-defined types and the user is then presented with data fields appropriate for that type. For example, a Credit Card entry offers the following pre-defined fields: Holder Name, Type, Expiration Date, Card Number, and Notes. To its credit, MacVault also allows the user to create new data types and to define the number and names of fields they desire for that type.
One feature I particularly liked was the ability to sync the data with an iPod. You can choose which folders to sync, and each data item in these folders shows up on the iPod's contact list. The only problem I had was that the iPod has to be enabled for disk use in order for the syncing operation to work, but this wasn't mentioned in the help text, which I found to be unimpressive overall.
Another nice touch is the option to automatically quit the program if it is unused for 10 minutes to prevent those with wandering eyes from viewing your data. MacVault also lets you import and export your information as text files or in a secure file format. Another feature checks for software updates so you can be sure you are always running the latest available version.
The trial version of the software allows you to enter only five different entries and there is a nag screen on startup. While this is not enough entries to make the software useful, it is sufficient for evaluation purposes. Should you like the software, it can be purchased from the Chronopath website (
http://www.chronopath.com) for $15.
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