Are Your Passwords Safe?

An early password manager.

An early password manager.

Password security is one of the hottest security issues and one of the most difficult to manage, regardless if you are a Fortune 100 company or an independent consultant, such as myself. Password managers make it a lot easier to manage your side of password security, and if you are not using one, you should. I have used password managers for over ten years, including RoboForm (commercial license), KeePass (open source), ThinkPad Password Manager, and LastPass (commercial license). In my opinion, LastPass is far and above the best password manager/safe, as it is platform agnostic, runs in the cloud, has plugins for all major browsers, and runs on nearly every device. I can sit down at any Internet connected device in the world and access my password vault. Continue reading

Things I Carry

Philips Voice Tracer Digital Voice Recorder

‘Big Idea’ Catcher

In the spirit of the LinkedIn series, Things I Carry, I have created my list of the things that I carry. I am a frequent traveler and have well over 1 million miles of air, car, train, and bus travel over the past 10 years, and I’ve learned to travel as lean as possible.  These are the things I carry:

  • Family
  • Assistant
  • ThinkPad
  • Voice recorder
  • Ebook Reader

Family

I will wax sentimental here and tell you that I carry my family in my heart, and this is the most important thing that I carry. I could not do what I do as effectively as I could without the unwavering support and love from my wife and children.  Because of this support, I am more balanced, driven, focused, and grounded than I ever was as a free agent. This is sincere, honest, and true.

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Free Audio Book: Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich Audio BookSeveral months ago, I read Think and Grow Rich, the classic motivational book by Napoleon Hill.  I have listened to an audio book version, specifically the 21st Century Edition, but I wanted to have the original 1937 edition as an audio book so that I could listen to the book without the additional modern commentary to distract from the original text. I also wanted to provide this as a free download here on my blog.  I initially began recording the book, but a series of winter colds, travel, and other commitments have prevented me from completing this in a timely manner.

As a result, I decided to create the audio book using high quality text-to-speech (TTS) software.  I used TTS software for several reasons: Continue reading

WTF? (Where’s the Facebook?)

Fractal Image

Everything in the universe is connected to Facebook, except Matrice Consulting.

If you look for Matrice Consulting, LLC on Facebook.com, you will not find us. If you are looking for Facebook on matricellc.com, this post is the only place you will find it.  I am asked or told at least once a week, “Why aren’t you on Facebook? You should be on Facebook”.  I am one of those skeptics, one of those people who are somewhat distrustful of all things Facebook.  I also find, through observing other people, that it is a huge productivity killer.  This is not news, of course:

And those are just the really old articles.  Personally, I have found that distractions, such as Skype, email, text messaging, and phone calls break my concentration and it takes time for me to recover from those distractions.  As I finished the last sentence, a spam text message came through, case in point. 😡  This is one of the reasons I wake up early in the morning and check my email only at fixed times during the day.  Do not misunderstand me: all of these communications have a place in our office.

Linkedin is our Facebook and is minimally distracting. I use Twitter, but only to send out new blog articles, which takes 1 click.  I believe social networking is good, in some ways, but I cannot justify using Facebook because of the amount of time that I see it consuming.  I would much rather play with my children and spend time with my wife.

Maybe one day we will grace a few of the billions of pages of Facebook, but that day is not today, tomorrow, or next month.  Sorry Mark Z.

Book Review: The 4-Hour Workweek – A Different Take (Part 1 of 3)

SisyphusThe 4-Hour Workweek, a book by Timothy Ferriss, has been exhaustively praised and panned across the globe.  The book is part self-help, part DIY, part romanticism.  As of this writing, both the first and second editions have been reviewed on Amazon.com 2,333 times.  The ‘Expanded and Updated’ edition has an Amazon.com rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.  I have chosen to write a review from the perspective of the independent consultant, business owner, and entrepreneur.  As a critical reviewer, I give the book 4 stars because of some inconsistencies and awkwardness in the book.  On a personal and professional level, I give this 5 stars because this book has proven to be very valuable to me and my company.

I will start with these questions:

  1. Is the book worth your time and money?  Yes, if you take just one of the recommended actions.
  2. Does the book add value to your work or personal life? Yes, if you apply one or more of the recommended actions.
  3. Is the book a panacea?  For a select few people, yes; for most people, no. Continue reading