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MacHider 1.2.0

MacPaw Inc
Rating: (four burnt toasts)

Collateral damage:
$40 (regular price) lost forever
Getting blackmailed for millions

MacHider is an innovative product intended to put out of sight your confidential information from third parties or other unwanted eyes. Our user-friendly application makes sure all of your personal files and folders will be protected by password and stored in a place that only you will know.

Your private files and folders can be organised into groups, so you may easily and quickly locate them whenever you need. Simply organise them by category, and keep your private files structured.

MacHider integrates in Finder, so you can hide your files just by clicking on them and selecting 'Hide'. Want to keep your desktop clean? Hide all files with MacHider, and unhide the ones you need. Discover all the alternatives, just download and try MacHider, and forget about those little secrets!

Nothing like hyping your own product but this is really over the top. And it's always nice to see people from other parts of this world show enthusiasm for programming but there are at least three new rules of programming that must be applied.

  1. You can't hide anything on a Unix system. You fool. Don't even try.
  2. You can't hide anything on a Unix system. You fool. Don't even try.
  3. You can't hide anything on a Unix system. You fool. Don't even try.

Time to take a look at this gem. Keep those three rules in mind.

Out of the Box

MacHider 1.2.0 is a bit bloated out of the box. See this link for further info. Five seconds cleaning the vendors should have done and you lose about 30%.

So to start: touch a file or two. In this case 'foo' and 'bar' seem applicable. Give them a simple content so they can be tracked.

FileContentsFileContents
fooThis is a simple file called 'foo'.barThis is a simple file called 'bar'.

Simple enough. Now fire up MacHider and try to hide them. And so it all works according to plan: run it through Tracker.

First caveat:



Oh well. We won't branch into full time spooking until we pay. But we go ahead and 'hide' the file 'foo' anyway. Whoosh! Where'd it go to?

.SYS_INDEX

Here's the trick: MacHider does a few things when you 'hide' a file.

  1. Create a directory '.SYS_INDEX' at the same level.
  2. Move the target file into the directory '.SYS_INDEX'.
  3. Reverse the file's name - rename it s-d-r-a-w-k-c-a-b !!1!



Amazing. How about the contents of the files? Protected in any way? No worry - nothing's changed!

So that's it? That's what 'hiding' is all about? This is how one 'structures' one's 'private files'? What does the help file say?

Oops. OK so let's play with MacHider a bit. How about we ask it to hide its own .SYS_INDEX directory?



Aha. Ha ha.

FilesInfo.MacHider

Not that it matters but MacHider hides all this sensitive super-secret information in a file called 'FilesInfo.MacHider'. It's a NeXTSTEP object archive. Perhaps this is supposed to make it difficult to read. But it doesn't.

Modified
--------
~/Downloads
~/Downloads/.SYS_INDEX
~/Downloads/.SYS_INDEX/oof
~/Downloads/.SYS_INDEX/rab
~/Library/Application Support
~/Library/Application Support/MacHider
~/Library/Application Support/MacHider/FilesInfo.MacHider
~/Library/Application Support/MacHider/GroupsInfo.MacHider
~/Library/Application Support/MacHider/InProgress
~/Library/Preferences
~/Library/Preferences/com.macpaw.MacHider.plist

<string>Path</string>
<string>State</string>
<string>OriginalPath</string>
<string>Size</string>
<string>IsFile</string>
<string>GroupID</string>
<string>Name</string>
<string>~/Downloads/foo</string>
<integer>0</integer>
<true/>
<integer>2</integer>
<string>foo</string>

So once again the three new rules of programming. And best of luck. Really.

  1. You can't hide anything on a Unix system. You fool. Don't even try.
  2. You can't hide anything on a Unix system. You fool. Don't even try.
  3. You can't hide anything on a Unix system. You fool. Don't even try.

See Also
Learning Curve: Your Brand New Mac Software

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