Mac OS - Creating a voiceprint password

What you may not realise, though, is that it is essentially the only way to protect your hard drive from mischief if you share your Mac. At Ease, Apple's now-defunct application for simplifying the Mac OS, no longer works under Mac OS 9 (installing Multiple Users causes At Ease to be trashed automatically, since they share many functions), and even the rudimentary protection provided by the Protect System Folder and Protect Applications Folder options in the general controls panel is no longer available. Open General Controls and you'll see what I mean - the options are tantalisingly still present, but irrevocably greyed out.

A voiceprint password essentially does what it sounds like it does: it allows users on your Mac to log in using a spoken password instead of a typed one. For this tutorial, I've presumed that you have not yet set up multiple user accounts. If you have, then you can skip ahead a bit. I've also presumed that you are the owner of your Mac, or at least the system administrator.

To use voiceprint passwords, you must have a PlainTalk compliant microphone. One of these should have come with your computer, and if not, your Mac reseller can help you out. Newer PowerBooks, iMacs and iBooks have such microphones built directly into them. You also need Apple Speech recognition version 2.01 or later. This will be on your Mac OS 9 CD.

The first thing you must do, before anything else, is open up the File Sharing control panel and ensure that an Owner Name and password are set up. The name and password you use in Multiple Users (not the voiceprint) should be the same as this. Then you can get started.

Note: Multiple Users replaces many of the higher-level security features of earlier versions of Mac OS, and thereby greatly simplifies the process of protecting your Mac. But it still leaves security holes big enough to drive a truck through. For instance, anyone with a Mac OS 9 CD can boot up from that and bypass Multiple Users altogether. For proper industrial-strength security, we'll have to wait for the beefier features of Mac OS X next year. However, Mac OS 9 also provides lower-level security such as file encryption through its under-utilised Keychain function. But that, as they say, is for another tutorial.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Tips

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?