Maybe my brain is losing capacity, but I really feel like I have too many passwords. I simply wish that I could just give out a public key to everything I need to authenticate with. This isn’t going to happen soon because getting agreement on how to manage keys and authentication would be as successful as… say, Microsoft’s Passport or the Liberty Alliance’s efforts to do just that. In the meantime, I’m stuck with tons of passwords.

I had a brief brush with password nirvana when I was using OS X, because it has a wonderful little application called Keychain

that manages all of your passwords for mail clients, wifi nets, websites, your ssh agent and whatnot. It’s very well integrated throughout the system as well as popular applications.

I’m using a fair bit of Windows lately, so I recently started using Bruce Schneier’s PasswordSafe application to manage my passwords. In addition to storing them wrapped up nicely in Blowfish, it also is pretty handy at generating good random passwords. It’s the next best thing to Keychain.