KeePass for multi-page forms and shared domain accounts

I start using KeePass this week after watching a video on keyloggers from DEFCON and after I was made aware of how powerful AES encryption can be after watching a reverse engineering discussion on Wannacry attack last week by Computerphile.

Background asides, as soon as I start using KeePass, I run into two significant drawbacks with browser integration. After a while fiddling around the settings, I manage to make it works perfectly. Here’s the two issues I ran into and how I tackled them.

MULTI-PAGE LOGIN FORMS

The first one is multi-page login forms. Most email providers (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo) nowadays have this extra layer of security. Multi-page login forms ask the user to enter the username / email address in one page, click “Next” button, then enter the password in a different page. This method prevents simple bot scripts and notifies the user if they got the username wrong (no more guessing which one is wrong now).

Multi-page login is the bane of password managers like KeePass and LastPass. The traditional approach in KeePass is to open the window, select the entry and Ctrl+V manually. KeePass detects which field the pointer is selecting and fills in the blank accordingly. It is hardly convenient though.

Luckily, in KeePass, there’s a way to automate all this without any plug-in. The software allows custom Auto-type sequences and it supports quite a number of operations that allows the user to construct a complete pipeline. Simply go to Edit Entry menu, choose Auto-Type tab, tick “Override default sequence” and copy paste the script below:

{CLEARFIELD}{USERNAME}{ENTER}{DELAY 2000}{PASSWORD}{ENTER}

Save the entry and you’re done.

The next time you have to login Gmail, simply select the text field, press Ctrl + Alt +A and watch the magic happens. The script will clear the text field (if not empty), type your username, press enter, wait 2 seconds for the password page to load, type your password and then login. Everything is done automatically.

SHARED DOMAIN ACCOUNTS

Okay, that’s one neat thing. The next problem occurs when you have more than one email account. This is not a problem in LastPass but it is in KeePass. KeePass matches the title of your browser window. It does not read the URL in the address bar. If you look around, there’s plugin to show the URL in the window title but it is not exactly the most elegant solution out there.

KeePass has a neat entry selection window for forms that match multiple entries. While you cannot create two entries of the same title. You can create custom sequences that target the same window for different entries. Go to Auto-Type tab again, click Add button and select your login form window from the Target Window drop down list. If you can’t find the right window in the list, exit that menu, make sure the form is open and try the same steps again.

You can use this in combination with the other trick to make multiple accounts work for the same multi-page login service.

Keepass multi acc

Camp NaNoWriMo, here we go again

Yes, it’s this time of the year. I’m currently in a cabin at Camp NaNoWriMo April, churning out scenes after scenes for yet another attempt at White Destiny. The new release schedule is working out quite well for me and for once I’m looking forward to sharing my writing every week. Thursday can’t come fast enough, can it?

And this is a heads up for prospective readers out there. The scene I’m releasing tomorrow is a Silverflow Council meeting so expect a lot of talking and not a whole lot of excitement. Perhaps, I’ll revisit this scene at a later day to make it more…confrontational. No real senate would be this cooperative. I’ll apologize for that first.

My plan for the current revision is simply getting a rough draft of the plot. There will be some storytelling; descriptions and purple prose; here and there but for the most part the writing would be very bare bone. It wouldn’t be very engaging to read I bet.

The placeholder food and drink for now are white bread and ale (or wine for the upper classes). That mysterious non-Newtonian bubbly blue drink with ice crystals I had in mind would have to wait for the next revision, in which I’ll focus on engaging the readers into the story world.

I need to cover all the holes and patch together a coherent plot first and this is what I set out to do this camp season.

Next week, I’ll take a break from writing for the seasonal anime review. There’s still one more episode of Kobayashi no chi maid dragon. That’s why I’m postponing the review to Monday. Please look forward to it.

Books, more books!

I’m late to the party this time, but well; better be late than never. I admit, I’m a big spender on fiction books and once again, I’m buying another book bundle that I might never have time to read and then writing a blog post to advertise it. Heck $1 for four books, why not?

It’s science fiction and fantasy bundle written by female authors and female protagonists this time. Yes, female protagonists, strong and daring heroines; the kind I like in a story! This is going to be great. Get your book bundles here:

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/women-of-scifi-and-fantasy-book-bundle

So, for the first four books in the bundle, only one of them is in third person narrative (Path of Fate).

It’s okay. Two-third of the Down and Out in Purgatory from the last bundle and I’m already bored out of my mind. I suppose it was the case of fictional world going too far, getting too bizarre and too out of touch with reality that I can hardly conceptualize the descriptions of Purgatory in my mind. I’m learning something for my writing so it’s all good.

Finally, I’m stuck on volume 6 of Bungaku Shoujo. Somebody help, it’s too damn boring!

DIY Memo: ESP8266 v7 hookup

Same story as the last time, but with ESP8266 v7 this time.

This is the hook-up instruction for ESP-07 and how to capitalize on its GPIO pins.

8_LEDs_light_up_in_sequence

Things to know:

– 3.3V power source

– Default baud rate: 115200 (programmable at 9600)

– R1, R2, R3, R4 are all 10K

– C1 is 0.1 uF (ceramic capacitor 104)

– The solder pads are slightly smaller than the standard Arduino pin’s dimension. Use a small drill, purchase specialized pins or solder wires directly.

– GPIO2 -> HIGH during startup

– GPIO0 -> HIGH (standard) or GPIO0 -> LOW (flash) during startup

– GPIO15 -> LOW (standard) or GPIO15 -> HIGH (boot from SD card) during startup

– RXD is GPIO3 and can only be used as input. Similarly, TXD is GPIO1 and can only be used as output

– Deep sleep requires connecting GPIO16 -> RST to wake up.

– A diode from RST -> GPIO16 is necessary to use wake up and reset switch at the same time. The cause is GPIO16 producing HIGH current in deep sleep and it prevents reset switch from working. A diode blocking this current solves the issue.

– ADC is the only analog pin available. It is GPIO6 or A0 (alias) in Arduino language.

ESP8266 pin I/O support
GPIO0 INPUT with pull-up, jumper and delayed hook-up via a sacrificial GPIO pin which is only grounded after boot
OUTPUT with external device between VCC and GPIO0 (GPIO0 -> HIGH, device -> LOW)
GPIO1 (TXD) OUTPUT only
GPIO2 INPUT with pull-up and delayed hook-up via the same sacrificial GPIO pin as GPIO0
OUTPUT with external device between VCC and GPIO2 (GPIO2 -> HIGH, device -> LOW)
GPIO3 (RXD) INPUT only
GPIO4 INPUT and OUTPUT
GPIO5
GPIO12
GPIO13
GPIO14
GPIO15 OUTPUT with external device between GND and GPIO15 (GPIO0 -> HIGH, device -> HIGH)
GPIO16 (XPD) INPUT and OUTPUT
RST or DTR to wake up from Deep Sleep mode. Include a diode from RST -> GPIO16 if reset switch is used
GPIO6 (ADC, A0) Analog INPUT

Read more:

http://ediy.com.my/blog/item/133-upload-sketch-to-the-esp8266-esp-07-esp-12-using-arduino-ide

http://www.forward.com.au/pfod/ESP8266/GPIOpins/ESP8266_01_pin_magic.html

http://www.esp8266.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13341

http://www.instructables.com/id/ESP8266-Using-GPIO0-GPIO2-as-inputs/step2/GPIO0-GPIO2-and-GPIO15-pins/

http://randomnerdtutorials.com/esp8266-adc-reading-analog-values-with-nodemcu/

http://internetofhomethings.com/homethings/?p=530

https://hackaday.io/project/8435-2-analog-inputs-for-esp8266-without-multiplexer

Fiction book bundle for $1

BOOK BUNDLE

HumbleBundle finally offers the kind of book bundle I would buy. I mean, RPG books are cool. Self-help books and comicbooks are not. And fiction novellas? Hell yes!

Of the five books, two books are written in third person and three books are written in first person so they are certainly useful as writing references. If anything, I highly recommend Down and Out in Purgatory by Tim Powers in this $1 bundle. The premise instantly captured my attention and it has been a great read so far. Get the bundle fast before it’s gone here:

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/sub-press-fiction-book-bundle

STORYTELLING IN GAMES

For those who are looking for storytelling tips in other fields, Extra Credits is a game design channel I’ve been following lately. They provide excellent insights into storytelling, world building and character designs in games that might be as relevant in writing. Disclaimer: I’m promoting their channel because I love their content, I have nothing to gain from this. Below is the link to their channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ExtraCreditz

WHITE DESTINY UPDATE

On another note, I’m now back to writing in Microsoft Word as yWriter, as great as it first seems, is a huge distraction and an inconvenience since I cannot access the writing from OneDrive on mobile. Yes, I’m still writing White Destiny. I haven’t been writing much in recent months as I’m in the final stage of my engineering thesis.

But, I plan to resume writing as soon as it’s over. Next week, I’ll have a bit of time for a brief summary of the changes. Please look forwards to it.

The main narrator is now the Inventor instead of the Princess. Ashlora is now set in a torus world and Silverflow Council is now a mix of meritocracy, democracy and monarchy. Sounds unique and fantastic to me except I’ll have to figure out how time would be defined when there were sixteen moon rises and sixteen moon sets every night.

Still, fantastic.

DIY Memo: ESP8266 v1 hookup

Tonight marks the third time I forgot how to hook up this wifi module already, I might as well leave a memo here for my forgetful future self.

This is the hookup instruction for ESP8266 v1 using CP2012 and Tera Term software

fn30hcfi3thpc9w-large

Things to know:

  • 3.3 VDC source
  • RX and TX can accept 5V logic level without problems (so far).
  • 5V output of an Arduino Uno (externally sourced) through AMS1117 provides enough current for ESP8266 boot up.
  • Default: 115200 baud rate
  • Tera Term > Setup > Terminal > New-line transmission mode: CR+RF
  • Flash mode: GPIO 0 + RESET -> GND then RESET -> float and finally GPIO 0 -> float
ESP8266 CP2012 / Source
VCC VCC
GND GND (common to CP2012)
RX TXD
TX RXD
GPIO 0 VCC
CH_PD
RESET

Learning frenzy at LinkedIn

Want to learn how to become a digital artist? How about a network security expert or an accountant? This week, LinkedIn offers to all its users free access to all content on its Learning site. They offer an extensive collection of online training courses produced by experts in their respective fields from Lynda.com (which was recently purchased by the company back in August).

The learning platform is normally a premium feature at the minimum subscription cost of $29.99. For many of us free-to-play users, this is a one-in-a-life-time opportunity to pick up lots of new skills and spice the profile up with certifications. Every time you finish watching all videos in a course, a certificate for that course is generated, which can be added to your LinkedIn’s profile under “Certifications” section.

I personally don’t think they will mean much to potential recruiters since there’s no exam involved and there’s an easy “Mark as done” button approach. However, it won’t hurt adding a few badges when your profile is lacking some (I know mine was). Not to mention, if you put some efforts to hand-pick quality courses, this can be a great way to showcase your interest in selected topics and instantly communicate with recruiters which tools you’re likely to use. For example…

The above list of completed courses tells the world that I am an avid writer (or screenwriter). Note how I didn’t add the last item to my profile. This is because the said course is not a training course at all but an advertisement masquerading a training course. Watch out for these bad apples when curating which courses to showcase on your profile.

That being said, there are things called “Learning paths” which are “bundles” of related courses pertaining to the mastery of a certain profession. They can be found on LinkedIn by typing “become a” keyword in the search bar and select “Learning paths” as Type filter.

Or when in doubt, check out all available learning paths from the original provider: Lynda.com/learning-paths

Learning paths are great. The courses they contain are already curated by Lynda.com so you don’t have to worry about the bad apples spoiling your experiences (at least, not as much as before but keep your eyes open just to be safe) and you don’t have to look all over the place to continue learning about a topic of interest.

Of course, those course lengths are insane and you have only till the end of this week to consume them. But, before you go on no-life mode on these courses, I have good news. You’re allowed to download the premium exercise materials and all the videos for offline viewing with a simple right click and select “Save video as” option. I recommend downloading learning paths and courses that require a lot of hand-on practices such as “Become a Comic Book Artist” or “Become a Digital Illustrator”.

You bet I’ll grab these courses before the end of the promotion.

Unfortunately, due to the business-oriented nature of LinkedIn, there aren’t many courses on Creative Writing. Instead, they offer numerous communication, leadership, project management and human management training that might help writing more natural character interactions and growth. Some Screenwriting and Design Thinking techniques are also applicable directly to Creative Writing as well. Seek out and learn everything that might be useful in your writing. Be creative!

Before I end this post and get back to my in progress “Become a UX Designer” course, I would like to make the following recommendations for all aspiring writers out there, and especially to my former NaNoWriMo cabin mate Neko.

Writing Fundamentals: The Craft of Story

Screenwriting Fundamentals

Hopefully, you will find these writing courses helpful.

Due to the shame The Craft of Story has brought upon me, I will be furiously revising the story of White Destiny this November, yet again! Therefore, I won’t be joining NaNoWriMo this year. To those of you who choose to brave the 50,000 words challenge next month, good luck, may the god of Viking helmets keep you warm and inspired.