As we round the wishing-well and pass through the garden’s final gate, two young men, both of them large and muscular, fall to one knee and bow low. You are stunned!
“My lord.” they exclaim in unison.
“We have been waiting for you. We have great news and will provide it as we help you on this final part of your quest.” says the blond bearded one.
“Yes, we will escort you to the castle. Claims the dark haired lad with glistening eyes.
“I will be leaving you presently.” I say, looking closely at your face, as if studying it for the last time. It reveals a hint of despair. “Oh, don’t worry, a simple call for MacHelp summons me. I will never be too far. Just now, I’ve received news of a maiden that has dropped her iThingy in the royal loo. I am summoned to rescue her. She’s quite embarrassed, I must tell you! Now, where’s my kitty litter…”
“Wizard!” you exclaim. “I have learned an awful lot! It will not be the same without you!”
“I too will miss you! Caspian and Daniel will see you to your journey’s end.” With this, I vanish.
“He’s amazing!” says the blond fellow in a deep voice. “Call me Casper, m’ lord.”
“And I’m Daniel.” adds the other. Let’s walk and we’ll tell you about this next part of your quest.”
Both these men tower well above you. Both possess an air of confidence and power.
“When wizard said two squires would be meeting us, I expected a couple of kids. You guys are massive!”
“We began our intense training at the age of 13 as squires. That was after six years as a page. We are both now 22.” begins Daniel.
“Every young page dreams of becoming a squire, now we dream of becoming knights. The smaller fellows do just fine around the castle, but when you are graced with bulk and stature, well, let’s say you’ve already met my brother.”
“The black knight?” you exclaim, surprised.
“Yup. His name is Leslie, but don’t tell him I told you! He’s a bit older and considers himself invincible. Heard you vanquished him though!”
I nod happily and we all laugh.
This path we set upon is well worn and wide, more like a road. In the distance looms the castle on a hill top. This journey will be beautiful and short.
As you walk along purposefully, with your new gallant friends, they begin to explain this part of your quest.
“We have a couple of things that will help you on this quest, m’ lord. The first bit of information we want to give you, is an introduction to a piece of software on your computer called ‘Keychain Access.’ Casper begins.
Gazing up at this giant of a lad, Casper explains, “‘Keychain Access’ is located in the Utilities folder which is inside the Applications folder. When you launch this application, it will give you access to information regarding almost every realm you have ever visited! If you select a realm, such as Amazon, and click the small ‘i’ at the bottom left of the window, another window opens with some options you may examine. In the lower left part of that window is a tiny box that reads ‘Show Password.’ If you click it, a knight will appear, asking you to enter your computer’s password. The rationale is that, if you know the password for the computer, you probably have the proper credentials to access the password for the Amazon realm. The password is revealed and you may use it to reenter that realm.”
“So, ‘Keychain Access’ holds my passwords for me?”
“Yes and no.” Casper continues. Look at the name, ‘Keychain Access.’ It may be splitting hairs, but the actual ‘keychain’ is a file, or several files, stored at various places on your computer. This little application allows you to see the contents of these various files and even make small changes.”
Daniel adds, “This is indeed pretty powerful magic but we have something better for you, just around the bend!”
Some time back, your path entered a wood, shrouding the castle from view and providing some cool refreshment from the sun. Rounding a bend in the path, you see two sentinels, in full armor, guarding a huge oaken door with iron hinges, adornments and locks. The door is part of a solid rock structure that extends possibly 200 feet into the sky. The sentinels nod to Casper and Daniel, who lumber open the massive door.
“Welcome to the castle!” Casper bellows, clasping a huge hand on your shoulder. There is an echo from the entrance.
“What, here already?” you cry.
“Yes, a secret entrance some distance from the draw bridge.” he explains. “Come with us. We have some things to show you and a great treasure to give you.”
You follow and enter a torch lit spiral staircase. It leads to a great hall, well above ground level. You consider that you must be in a wing of the castle that was not visible from the path. At the top of the stairs, you exit this stair case and step into a vast hall. Directly across from the stair well is a small door, nothing unusual about it, but it is locked with a large pad lock.
Just a Locked Room
“We want to show you something important. It’s an object lesson, if you will.” Casper says, as he moves toward the door.
He then produces a large bronze key from his vest, places it in the lock and turns it. Clanking metal yields and the door opens with a creaking sound. All three enter. The room is completely empty — except for a small wooden table in the absolute center of the room. On top of the table sits an iMac, just like the one on your desk. It is unplugged. Then you notice, there are no plugs or electricity in this room at all!
“This is the only true security you can have with your computer, mate.” Casper says, looking at you with a bit of gleam in his eye.
“I realize you have not talked much about general computer security, but that’s what our passwords are for, right?” Daniel adds. “We want security… privacy.”
“The only truly secure computer, is one that is in a locked room and not connected to power!” Casper says, with a bit of determination… pointing straight at the iMac.
“I see your point.” you agree, remembering that Wizard told you that one day there would be another quest about computer security.
“Let’s move on.” Daniel barks, with a nod toward the door.
Locking the door, you continue down this vast hall, lined with tapestries and hanging chandeliers every few yards. It’s breath taking! It feels both modern and ancient.
There is a door at the far end. It’s a library. Shelves of books extend possibly 20 or 30 feet up every wall with sliding ladders on each wall to facilitate easy access to the treasures. There is a rich smell of paper and leather here… it smells like wisdom!
Casper walks over to a shelf, selects a small binder and returns to you, placing it in your hands. It reads, “One Password.”
“This is some extremely powerful magic.” Daniel warns. Casper nods emphatically.
“What is it?” you ask.
“This is a ‘Password Vault.’” Casper begins. “It has the ability to not only remember your passwords for you but even create super difficult passwords upon your initial visit to a realm. It does this all automatically. It is a piece of software you install on your computer.”
Daniel interrupts. “Once you create just one memorable password, that only you know, it creates passwords for everything else, difficult passwords. As long as you remember your ‘One Password,’ you will never need to remember another. It fills in those previously created, very difficult and secure passwords for you.”
This is amazing! you exclaim. This solves everything… right?”
“Pretty much.” comes the reply in unison.
“It gets better.” claims Casper, excited about the next part. “Not only can you install this on your computer, but it may also be installed on your other devices too. The software shares a common highly secure database with each of your devices and you will never be without your passwords again.”
A great feeling of closure overwhelms you as you cradle the small tome. It is clear that this quest is over… so you think. It’s as if you have just discovered “Password Nirvana.” The notion that a piece of software could be the answer to your dilemma never crossed your mind. This is gold!
“Wow! This is wonderful. I couldn’t dream of a better ending!” you exclaim.
“Oh, we’re not quite finished.” says Daniel, and he motions for you to follow.
A Stunning Reception
Returning to the vast hall, you walk to what you thought would be the end, but instead, discover it is only a right turn to another vast hall. Walking proudly with these two new comrades, to the end of this next hall — you begin to hear music! There is some sort of event underway. The amazing aroma of rich food permeates the air. There are voices… laughter. As you continue your forward pace, together, you enter an enormous atrium filled with flowers, plants, trees, waterfalls and a brook!
Casper turns to face you, Daniel at his side. They look serious. Both of these young men now look you squarely in the eye. It is clear that they will make excellent and stalwart black knights. You are just a bit nervous. You sense keenly, that something important is about to happen.
Once again they speak in unison. “My lord, welcome to your coronation!”
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