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Merlin the Wizard offers you: "one-click signing-in to your favourite dotcoms".
This is what Merlin looks like:
What happens is this:Merlin learns the characteristics of your dotcom’s Sign-in Page, including the passwords, passcodes and settings. From then onwards you can make one single mouse click, and then sit back until you are correctly signed in.
At that point Merlin will hand your account back to you, disappear like a "will o’ the wisp", and leave you to do whatever you want with your account.
People say "Most Web Browsers will remember your Login details for you", and then go on to ask "So, what's the point of Merlin?". Here are the reasons for using Merlin.
For login details to be placed in Cookies you have to have Cookies enabled, and the WebSite must condescend to write them for you. Merlin works - whatever the situation in these respects. And furthermore (while we are on the subject) banks, generally speaking, don't - and won't - offer you Cookies ... or any kind of Password storage ... for fairly obvious reasons.
It is also true that Browsers will (often) store Passwords for you. That's fine - to a point - provided you have the facility enabled. If that is the case then anyone who has access to your machine can run your default Browser and operate your Sign-ins without your knowledge (or agreement!) - because the Browser will automatically supply the information.
Merlin stores all your User Names, Passwords, and other settings in a local repository. This local repository is fully-encrypted and can be password-protected ... so only you - yourself - have access to, and can operate, your own Sign-Ins.
Others can have their own repository (repositories) on the same machine - under the same conditions as yours, so they can operate their own Sign-Ins (fully-encrypted - password-protected - in their own right).
"Ahhh ...but my Browser offers password-protection, so no-one can run it except me".
Unfortunately this is not, necessarily, true. It is only true if you make sure that you don't leave your Browser open, sitting on your TaskBar, while you are away from your machine for any period of time. Merlin automatically closes down, sealing your password repository, after a time-out period that you can define.
If you rely on Browser Cookies and decide to tidy up your machine (or Disk Cleanup offers to do it for you because you have run out of space) then ... unless you are prepared to spend the hours necessary to wade through your Windows\Cookies folder and selectively delete your Cookies ... you will lose your Sign-ins as their Cookies are deleted.
(Have you ever looked at your Windows\Cookies and seen how much 'clutter' has accumulated in there?)
If you rely on Browser Storage devices, your login details will be dispersed in various 'caches' known to your Operating System. Your Browser pulls the information from the appropriate cache(es) when you operate a particular Sign-in. Because of this it is possible to lose one piece of a Sign-In jigsaw while, frustratingly, still have the other piece ... but be unable to use it ... because you need all the pieces.
Browser Storage Devices don't provide all the answers ... in every sense of that statement! If you are registered for e-Banking you will probably find that, to log in, you have to answer questions randomly based on a 'memorable word' you initially created.
To the best of ProVersion's knowledge there is no Web Browser in existence that will work out, and automatically supply, these kind of answers for you.
However Merlin will. (As it says on the Home Page) It's a kind of magic.
Because of all this many people stick to one or two (at the most) Passwords so as to be able to remember them with ease. This means that should anyone discover one of your Passwords and/or User Names they have probably discovered more than one of your Sign-Ins.
Quite often (at home usually) people stick a 'Post-It' to their Monitor on which their User name/Password combinations are written. Merlin saves all of this information in a fully-encrypted, password-protected, local Sign-ins Database.
Using Merlin you can afford to have a unique Password (and/or User name) for each Sign-in. It doesn't matter what you forget or what you remember, or their combination. You can forget the whole lot if you wish, because Merlin will work it all out for you whenever you need it.
All you have to do, for your own security, is to backup your Merlin Database. There is a facility to do this with ease.
How often have you pressed "Submit" or "Login" (etc.) only to get back the response "Your User Name (or Password) was not recognised"? And then been dumped back at square one (or thereabouts - some of your typing lost) by the Web Designer.
Do you know of any Sign-in that conveniently lets you edit-correct all of your typing? The vast majority do not. But then again, some of what you typed was probably displayed as "*****" anyway, so you weren't able to confirm that your keypresses were correct in the first place.
Merlin provides a solution by firstly always showing you everything you type, and thereafter always accurately recalling, and placing, the correct details. And (by the way) always doing this at the right time.
Many WebSite Logins have timing problems, so the final reason, explained below, is often important.
You type in your User Name and Passwords correctly, and click "Login". The WebSite rejects you ... telling you that your details were not correct. So you do it again ... until you are eventually signed in.
In many cases you may have made a typing mistake (after all you couldn't see your Password as you typed it ... because all you saw were "*****" characters).
(And, furthermore, under the latest Windows
Systems, even the number of asterisks can be deliberately displayed incorrectly).
However there are also many cases where you did not make a mistake ... but were still rejected. This is due to timing problems on the WebSite.
Using Merlin's "New" facility, it is possible to operate a Sign-In while Merlin records your conversation with the WebPage. If you then find you are rejected, you can firstly, see exactly what you typed (Merlin will show it back to you) and, if it was absolutely correct, you can use Merlin's "Sign-In" ability to run it.
You should find that when Merlin does it, will work - provided what you originally typed was perfectly accurate.
So why is it when you do it manually, it doesn't work ... but when Merlin does the exact same thing, it does work?
The answer is timing. Merlin waits until the time is right before applying your User Name and Passwords. He waits until the WebPage is truly ready to accept them.
Because of the WebPage design, you will have never have any way of knowing when 'the time is right'. So Signing-in manually, to those sites with timing problems, will always be hit and miss. And the most frustrating aspect is that it always happens just when you are in a hurry.
Would Merlin secretly post off all my Login information?
No. Merlin is white Wizard. He only acts on your command and for your benefit. Whenever your Login is posted off you will visibly see it happen. The WebPage will load into your Browser, and Merlin will fill in the details. He then tells your Browser to post it off to the waiting WebServer.
Merlin himself does not (normally) access the Internet. The only exception to this is when Merlin recalls, on your behalf, his own Spelles (Sign-In Templates). These are downloaded from this WebSite. Nothing is sent to this WebSite, except (obviously) a command to select the appropriate download.
Are you sure about this? Are you sure there is nothing
Pretty sure. After all, we wrote him.
If you have password-protected your Merlin Database then you will need to supply the correct Password before Merlin will open it and act for you. If you then run a Sign-In from it, Merlin will wait while you are logged in to the WebSite. He will remain ready to run another for you ... for a short period you can define ... or until you close him down yourself. This is merely a convenience to prevent you having to repeatedly supply your Merlin Database Password.
If you do not use password-protection on your Merlin Database, and consequently do not have to supply it each time you use him, then he will shut down automatically and disappear completely from your running tasks.
Can all this be proved?
Yes. Easily. Check with your Firewall.
See if Merlin has requested permission to use the Internet. This will only occur if you ask Merlin to download his list of Spelles (Sign-In Templates) so that you can import a blank one. You can allow Merlin through, and afterwards revoke Merlin's permission. He won't mind. He doesn't normally use the Internet.
(By the way: If you don't run a Firewall, then you really should. Here is where you can download the basic ZoneAlarm. It is free for personal use: http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp. And, while we are on the subject, an Anti-virus is fairly useless if not kept up-to-date. Here is where you can download a cheap one, that is good quality and keeps itself up-to-date: http://www.my-etrust.com/products/Antivirus.cfm. For Spam minimisation, a good 'all round' system is SpamNet: http://www.cloudmark.com).
Merlin has very recently been extended. The latest version (Build 122) can run any group of Sign-ins as a single request.
When the time is right (when the required information is showing in the Browser) Merlin V3 Build 122 will gather your information for you, and store it all locally on your hard disc.
He stores it in text format - so that you can manipulate it in any way you wish. You can use MS-Word, MS-Excel or MS-Access, etc. Merlin can collect your information even if the Browser itself refuses to properly "Save" the WebPage.
Information collected in this way could be snapshots of your bank/mortgage accounts, phone or utility bills, etc.
This version could also help when setting up a WebSite, because it can be used to exercise navigations and response times, etc.
Build 122 supports these features, however it is currently only available on request. This is because - at this time - it is still an 'alpha' version, and still under development. Please use the Feedback Form if you wish to try it out (you will need to have downloaded and installed Merlin V3 Build 120 first).
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