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About NickG

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    New Mac Geek
  1. Like every enthusiast I always look forward to any Apple Keynote & like others I followed one of the live Blogs & later watched the Apple Video of the event. Because of the incessant analysis & leaks of the upcoming releases there were really few surprises. As I watched the Keynote later that evening I was shocked at how many mistakes Tim Cook made. Lots of small errors & of course bigger ones as he called Pages a Spreadsheet! For someone in Mr Cook`s position with his undoubted experience, not to mention huge salary, this really is not good enough. Few, very few, can have Steve Jobs presence & charisma on stage, but these errors reeked of poor preparation or maybe he was just nervous? Either way, poor, by Apple`s standards. I am not against Mr Cook in any way, but he is not in the same league as Steve Jobs as far as presence goes. Anyway on to the specifics. There was sadly little of surprise; not Apple`s fault or maybe they should clamp down severely on companies that leek product details. The leeks this time were very accurate. The iPhone 5c was interesting & I am certain will be a very successful product. Ok, turning to the iPhone 5s. Well, whilst some are jumping up & down excitedly, I am uncertain as to why. What were the real changes? A faster processor, 64Bit, a unique move. Good, sounds impressive but I wonder what the real improvement will be for the majority of users? Improved battery life, ok, but we will see. Different colours, yes looks great, but as always my iPhone is tucked away in a case just to protect it, as anyone who has dropped one onto a ceramic/concrete/brick etc. floor will know, you only do it once! We also know that with no case the outside of the iPhone scratches noticeably. So, the colours are great, they look classy, but few see their phones naked! There was a lot of attention about the camera. I am a professional photographer so perhaps I view Cell Phone cameras differently. Anyway, most of the upgrades were "catch-ups", just catching up other companies. However the Dual Flash is interesting & I am pleased Apple did not attempt to con consumers by cramming more Pixels onto a very small sensor. Very slightly larger Pixels as well. Low light noise should be improved. As always the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I have no doubt the image quality will be better, but by how much? I await with interest. I hear a lot of writers suggesting that this new camera will, take fantastic Images. If you take rubbish images now this camera will not help! YOU take the images NOT the camera. It matters little what the quality of the camera is, to a point, and even if I gave my Nikon D4 or D3S or D800 to any disbelieving punter, I can guarantee they will still take crap images! Want to get better images, then work on your skills, it really is the secret you know! Now the most exciting bit & one I was not expecting. The Fingerprint sensor on the Home button. Old idea for sure, but as we know no one has been able to perfect this technology. If anyone could surely it will be Apple? From the early reports it appears this function works brilliantly! This does interest me! Who knows what will be next, but I see Track pads etc. integrating this technology. I await with keen interest to see what Apple has planned! Well that was it! Not really that exciting was it? I do not think so. Surely not even the most loyal Apple Fan Boy could be THAT excited? Speed bump, colour change, battery life bump, marginally better camera with a few catch-ups. All very marginal I`d say. Then of course there was the Fingerprint sensor. That was the only part that was of significance for me. Will I buy this new Phone just for the Finger Print sensor? Probably not, a bit too early & in reality offers little really other than coolness, at least for now! So would anything in this new release actually persuade me to upgrade? To be honest probably not. The last 2 iPhone release were small improvements let`s be honest. I may well buy an unlocked iPhone 5 cheap on E-Bay; I presently have an iPhone 4s that I bought very cheap when the iPhone 5 was released. It will depend largely on how the 4s handles iOS7!! Finally, those prices! £709 for a 64gb iPhone 5s!! Well, one thing for sure, anyone who thought Apple would go after the cheap market was wrong! I look forward to the iPad Keynote & almost certainly will upgrade; I think! Nick
  2. NickG

    Full Disc Encryption - Hack

    Ok. Some thoughts. If you have an unencrypted Ext. HD. stolen, say Time Machine then all your data is available to the thief by simply connecting it to a Mac. If however the HD was Encrypted & the thief only had the HD then the data is secure, unless the password is broken. That is why it is important to use a very secure password. Now, let's say your computer is stolen on it's own. If the Boot Drive is NOT encrypted but is password protected, then by restarting in Single User Mode & inputting a few basic commands in Terminal, an Admin Account can be set up giving access to all data. Now assuming the boot Drive is Encrypted and the Password is NOT stored in Keychain then when the computer is booted by the thief it will ask for a Password to allow the Boot to continue. BUT, if the Boot Drive Password was saved in Keychain the computer will continue to Boot offering Login Accounts to the user. All ok so far, but if the thief Restarts in Single User Mode will the system allow him to setup a new Admin Account & therefore allow access to all data? It may be that because the Boot drive is encrypted & the password is not in Keychain that no progress will occur until that Password is entered successfully? Although I haven't tried this it does seem likely, maintaining security. What we do know for certain is that if any drive, including Boot drives are NOT encrypted, your data is insecure. BTW, the process of hacking into my Lion unencrypted Macbook took me, first time try, less than 5 mins. It is also possible to leave the attacked computer in a state so that the owner will not be able to identify that a Hack has been successfully completed. If anyone has experience of Hacking an encrypted Boot Disc with password NOT in Keychain please let me know. Regards. Nick
  3. NickG

    Full Disc Encryption - Hack

    Hi & thanks for your reply. I remember considering the scenario you have mentioned a little while ago but confess to had forgotten about it. It is an interesting and logical thought but I think because the "Hack" creates another Admin Account, that will give you access to Keychain & with that access they are in? I am sure folk will be wondering why I don`t just try it. Well my iMac is my work machine & it is critical I do not lose access to it. I feel quite nervous in jumping into Terminal & hacking around there! As I said earlier, I have tried the hack on an old Macbook running Lion; frighteningly simple! But I don`t feel like trying the process on my main work machine! An easy way to defeat the "Hacker" would be to remove the Encrypted Disc Password from Keychain. Then the Hacker would have to know the password to access 1Password (where my passwords are all held), assuming that also is not in Keychain!! Security is becoming a much more important subject these days as people become more aware of all aspects of different attack on their Digital lives & the theft of their data on a daily basis. With Governments wilfully stealing Data with the compliance of corporations like Google etc. & without the permission of the owner will mean that we will see an explosion in solutions to counter this attack. Full Disc encryption is just one aspect of securing your data but I am not sure if it is actually that secure. Recently we saw very wide loopholes in Apple`s 2 Factor Authentication in iCloud. Rather worrying, & I feel certain there are loopholes in this case. Other ways to keep your Data private include VPN, & Encrypted E-Mail both of which can be implemented very easily. But I am off topic! Thanks again for the reply. Food for thought & I am still eating! Regards. Nick
  4. NickG

    Delete Admin Accounts 10.6.8

    Yes absolutely, only logged in on one Admin acount. Thanks for reply. Nick
  5. I have recently Full Disc Encrypted the majority of my Drives Including the Startup Drive. I have all Disc passwords in Keychain. This allows for automatic mounting of the Discs without entering the Disc Encryption Password all the time. This is convenient but presumably security is only as good as your Login Password? When I restart my iMac I am presented with some Login choices:- Admin Account 1, Admin Account 2, User Account 1 & Disc Login. If I select my Admin Account the system will continue to start up. If I select Disc Login I have to enter the secure password for the Encrypted Start up Disc. So, once more the Security of the system is related to my Account Login Password. Is a very secure Account Login Password sufficient or perhaps it is best practise NOT to include the Startup Disc in Keychain so presumably that would mean you could only continue to login after entering the Startup Disc Password? Finally I recently watched a Hack which enabled access to any Mac including Mountain Lion by booting into single User Mode & using some simple Terminal commands. The hack allows you to setup a new Admin Account. Effectively your system is Hacked! I tried it on an old Laptop running Lion & it is very quick & simple! My question is, despite Full Disc Encryption, does this Terminal hack allow the setup of a new Admin Account thus completely by passing the security of The Full Disc Encryption? I hope I have explained myself ok. Thanks for any assistance. Kind regards. Nick
  6. Hi. I have two Admin accounts on my system 10.6.8. I would like to delete one of them. Despite unlocking Users & Groups I am unable to delete either account or convert one account to Standard User as allow user to Administer Computer is greyed out likewise the minus sign. I am logged in to my usual Admin account. Any help greatly appreciated! Thank you.