My last post, which detailed my switch to Mac, got a lot of attention from an unexpected audience: designers of password manager programs! Not only did I get a welcoming comment from the co-author of the wonderful 1Password, but I also received an email from Marco Barulli of Clipperz, an online password manager which I mentioned only briefly. Marco quite rightly wanted to point out that some of the things I said about his product could potentially be misleading, and so in the interests of accuracy I’m reproducing the meat of exchange (with his permission!) here in public:

I would like to thank you for the kind mention of Clipperz. You wrote about a “minuscule password limit”, but Clipperz has no limit on password/passphrase lengths. Also, with regard to the lack of integration with other password managers, I would like to point out the following features:

You can easily move to Clipperz all your passwords and access them even if you are offline. (Ideally you shouldn’t need any longer a software-based password manager) I hope you will give Clipperz a chance!!


As you can see, Marco was extremely courteous, despite my negative attitude towards something he has doubtless put a lot of hard work into! I had based my statement of “miniscule password limit” purely on my experience that it tended to slow to a crawl when more than around 100 entries were present in it (I have at least twice this many passwords!): this is due to the fact that the application is having to do some pretty intensive encryption and decryption in Javascript, of all things! However it seems that Clipperz has been working to improve this and that my experience may no longer be valid. Marco says:

I myself have more than 100 cards and both Firefox and Safari are doing a decent job encrypting and decrypting on my old G4 PowerBook. I’m sure that your new MacPro (what a beautiful beast!) will crunch your cards with ease.

Finally, he mentioned some of the goodies Clipperz users can look forward to in the future:

New features under development:

  • iPhone version
  • Tags & search
  • More intuitive interface
  • Sharing!

It looks like exciting times are ahead! However, I think I shall hold out for My1Password as a web based solution to my password management needs simply due to the convenience of integration between my desktop and web password databases. Whatever Marco may say, I still believe you can get some valuable ease of use gains by having a piece of desktop software that can hook into all the disparate applications that you need to use passwords with on a daily basis.

However, if you don’t share my point of view, or all the things you need passwords for are web based, I really can’t do any better than to recommend Clipperz! It very functional and polished and is a remarkable technical achievement both in all that it manages to accomplish simply with Javascript and in its novel zero-knowledge architecture which means that only you can get to your passwords! Finally, I should have done this earlier, but I’ve now made a donation to the Clipperz team due to how helpful they were in solving my cross platform password problems in the past: this is just the kind of innovative software development that deserves our support!