eWallet, Data Lock-in, and Liberation. Or, how I exported my eWallet data for Enpass.

Vendor lock-in is a barrier to entry, not an incentive to stick around.

15 years ago or so, I started using a program called eWallet to store sensitive data like passwords, financial account info, and pretty much anything I need to keep around but wouldn’t want someone else to see, locked with a master password. Over that time my database grew to over 900 items. For YEARS I have been frustrated with this application because their mobile support only barely works for me — there is no automatic sync and their Windows Mobile support is essentially abandoned, and manual mobile sync was one-way. The worst part of this is that Illium Software deliberately locks you in to their system by not giving you a structured export method. You can dump your data but only into a flat text file with no field delimiters (and despite my expertise using RegEx to parse stuff, there would be no way to do a thorough conversion without manually fixing hundreds of custom fields). So you can imagine I have been reluctant to switch! But I really wanted to start using Enpass — because they support all platforms and even Windows Hello on my Windows Phone with a great UWP app, with auto sync using OneDrive…

Today I finally found a way to move my data without loss and extreme amounts of labor. Somebody wrote a “data liberator” for eWallets that runs eWallet in its own process, pulls all your structured data from memory and dumps it into an XML file for KeePass. So, I installed KeePass, imported my wallet data into KeePass, exported that to a KeePass XML file, and finally imported into Enpass.

Looks like I have everything, even all my custom fields, in proper folders, with only a little bit of category management to do. Yay!

This is all to say I hate data lock-in. I give users of SwordSearcher a way to dump their entire user content into complete HTML files that don’t lose ANY of their data or formatting, because it’s THEIR DATA. Be nice to your users! Remember that user lock-in is just as much a dis-incentive for people to try your stuff as it is an incentive (or set of shackles) for your current users to stick around. Here’s a good article making a case against data lock-in.

And NEVER use important applications that don’t give you a way to export your data in a usable form.

SwordSearcher 8 released.

Happy to announce the release of SwordSearcher 8.

My two favorite features from this release:

  • The KJV-TSK for integrated cross-references right in the text of the King James Bible. This is one of those seems-obvious-now-that-it’s-in-there kind of things.  It is also one of those can’t-do-without-it-now-that-I-have-it kind of things.
  • Complete, comprehensive support for Windows 10 scaling functionality. What’s that all mean? Perfect text rendering on ultra-high DPI screens, like the one on the Surface Book. (Believe it or not, this was the single most labor intensive part of the work on this new version, even though it is hardly glamorous and even difficult to demonstrate.)

All the details here.

If guns are the problem…

Since our president has wasted no time in politicizing the deaths earlier this week in California, calling for more limits on our liberties and demanding that people become more defenseless in the face of these aggressors, I thought I would see if this righteous indignation over “gun violence” was indeed just a consistent caring for life.

So, here’s a statistic from the CDC: There were 33,636 deaths due to firearms in 2013.

This statistic includes deaths not the result of violent crime, and is not adjusted for the number of lives saved each year with firearms (which is higher than the 33k figure). Also note that the FBI says that 61% of all gun-related deaths in the U.S. are suicides.

Is this really the big killer today? How about another CDC statistic:

“Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.”

So, the same organization lists alcohol as a cause for over twice as many annual deaths and even more in YPLL. Does anyone think the president will call for bans on alcohol?

It’s not about guns. It’s about control.

I’m Color Blind. It’s no cure, but Enchroma glasses do work!

I hated learning colors when I was a kid. Green traffic lights look white. I’ve painted the sky purple more than once in art class.

I’m a moderate deutan — meaning I have a form of red-green color perception deficiency. You can see what it looks like here.

Enchroma sells glasses that are supposed to help a color blind person see more colors. To say I was skeptical when I first heard about it would be an understatement. Well, now I have a pair, and see for yourself my reaction.