Two Stage or 2 Step Verification

So I have just spent about the last two hours going through all my accounts such a Google, WordPress, LastPass, Dropbox, Evernote,  Facebook, Twitter – everything applying two Stage or 2 Step Verification where ever possible using Google Authenticator, which for what it does seems excellent especially using QR codes to avoid loads of fiddly numbers! Not that I had any national secrets or anything stored in any of the accounts but I’d be a bit gutted if I lost all my photos or access to services I now rely on pretty heavily. Setting up has been pretty straight forwards, I’d held off setting it up as I use an app called GSyncIt to sync Outlook data between two PCs via Google and I was cautious about it breaking – 20 seconds later and with an App specific password it was back up and syncing away again.

The only trouble I’ve had so far is with my phone, as soon as I applied  2 Step it signed me out of my phone, now when I needed to sign in again I needed to get my phone, get the access code from Authenticator and sprint to login and enter a 12 digit password and the numerical code before the code expired, it took me six attempts before I made it and am hoping I don’t have to do it again for some time!

Some things I’ve learnt:

  • Print out the backup codes
  • Don’t wipe your phone as Authenticator wont use the same data again? Not too sure about this
  • Always have your phone handy – or the print out of codes

It’s not  as painless as it seems it could be but then I am in the first hour or two, I suspect I have some angst ahead as various Apps or Tablets slowly stop working till I figure out what’s wrong with them!

Picasa 3 / Dell InternetWriteFail

I don’t really know what’s going on here but I thought I’d put this up to see if anyone else has the same problem or any idea what’s goings going on. For a couple of years I’ve been using Picasa and Picasa Web Albums to organise my photos and back them up to Googles servers. I’d always had trouble uploading the photos with timeouts and stuff but recently it had been getting worse taking over 8 hours to upload 10 photos after numerous retries.

In the end I turned to the help forums and after hours of digging through posts I could see people having the same problems but no real solutions, I’d tried reinstalling, etc. and didn’t want to face rebuilding the face tags and geo tags I’d carefully done over the years.  One of the more radical things I tried was replacing my ageing Linksys router with a new Netgear one only to find that wasn’t the problem – then someone suggested trying the upload while wired into the router rather than wirelessly – BANG all the uploads went through in about 30 seconds!

Problem now confined to the laptops wireless connection – I dont know what to do about it but if you have a Dell Studio 17 with WiFi/Bluetooth mini card and you are having problems that could be your only solution. I have no problem with FTP or Dropbox or any other kind of software ONLY PICASA.

Anyway, for now I’m happy to carry on plugging in whenever I need to upload, if anyone has a solution please let me know below!