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Chapter 12. Networking > Forgettable Passwords: The Keychain

12.6. Forgettable Passwords: The Keychain

The information explosion of the computer age may translate into bargains, power, and efficiency, but it carries with it a colossal annoyance: the proliferation of passwords we have to memorize. Shared folders on the network, Web sites, your iDisk, FTP sites—each requires another password to remember. We're not even allowed to use the same password over and over again, because each Web page, file server, FTP site, or protected file requires a different form of password—"five to seven digits, which must include both letters and numbers"; "six characters or more, beginning with a letter"; and so on.

Apple has done the world a mighty favor by inventing the Keychain. The concept is brilliant: Whenever you log into Mac OS X and type in your password, you've typed the master code that tells the computer, "It's really me. I'm at my computer now." The Mac responds by automatically filling in every password blank you encounter in your networking exploits. You can safely forget all of the passwords required for accessing the various other Macs on your network.


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