Monday, October 22, 2007

TrueCrypt (+ rowing machine)

I had a backup problem: six Gigabytes of technical, client and financial data which needed secure storage. I have a very big flash drive, which I can store off-site, but the data needs to be encrypted.

I thought Vista might come with an encryption program. Microsoft Office 2007 has effective (AES) file-level encryption these days, but Vista has nothing which works on folders, Gigabyte or otherwise.

A quick web search led me to TrueCrypt. This is a great freeware product which allows you to set up encrypted 'volumes' - stored as files - on your hard drive (it does other stuff too). The 'volume' looks like another disk or flash drive when you use it and is very securely encrypted. Once past the password, data can be accessed and copied as from any other data store. The advantage is that the data is encrypted on the hard disk itself - great if the laptop were to go missing - and the volumes can be copied straight across to USB drives. This I have now done.

I made a donation and after finishing this, I'll go read the manual.


The engineer called lunchtime to fix the Oxford II rowing machine. The trip-computer/console had been behaving erratically and basically not functioning for a while. Replacing the unit had not fixed the problem. The engineer determined that a cable had been crimped when the horizontal aluminium rail (on which the seat slides) had been moved to its vertical 'park' position. I reckon it's a design flaw. Anyway, it works now so no excuses.