Apple working on making user accounts portable
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple working on making user accounts portable

Apple is working on ways to make your user account truly portable, per a patent (number 7925712) at the US Patent & Trademark Office. The invention relates generally to multi-user computer systems and, more particularly, user account management for multi-user computer systems.

Improved approaches for enabling user accounts to be portable across different multi-user computer systems are disclosed in the patent. A user account created at a multi-user computer can be stored to an external, portable data store, thereby rendering the user account portable. The multi-user computer system, e.g., through its operating system, locates user accounts on not only in local storage of the multi-user computer system, but also in any removable data storage attached to the multi-user computer system. Hence, by coupling the external, portable data store to another multi-user computer, a user is able to login to any supporting multi-user computer and be presented with their user configuration and user directory.

Since the data store that stores the user account is not only external but also portable, a user can simply tote the data store to the location of different multi-user computers. In one embodiment, the external, portable data store can not only store the user account but can also provide general data storage. In another embodiment, the external, portable data store can be a portion of a portable computing device (e.g., media player) that provides other functionality besides data storage. The inventors are Robert T. Bowers and Steve Ko.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Multi-user computer systems allow a single computer to support one of a number of different users. In particular, when a user desires to utilize the computer system, the computer system requires that the user login to the computer system. The login process enables the computer system to determine whether the user that is requesting to use the computer system is able to authenticate themselves as an authorized user of the computer system.

"If the login is successful, the user is able to use the computer system to gain access to various resources either stored locally or on a network to which the computer system is coupled as permitted by a user account. For each user account, the multi-user computer system can provide a separate environment such that different preferences, directories etc. are used for different users such that restrictions on accessing other user's personal space can be imposed.

"Conventionally, a user account is stored locally within the multi-user computer and a user's personal space (e.g., user directory) for the user is also stored locally. Hence, one problem associated with such conventional approaches is that the user accounts and user directories are provided on local storage of the multi-user computer. While such provides for multi-user support, the user accounts are thus specific to the multi-user computer and stored thereon. Consequently, the user accounts are not portable. For example, a conventional operating system, such as Mac OS X, provides for multi-user support but all user accounts that are created are stored locally in a netinfo database and also have a default user directories hosted on local storage.

"A few sophisticated users have modified operation of existing operating systems, such as Mac OS X, to provide some portability to their user account from a work computer to a home computer. This requires specialized software tools to manipulate and modify the data structures for a user account in a database (e.g., netinfo database). Armed with such specialized tools, a very sophisticated user would first establish a local user account on the multi-user computer (work computer), and then use the specialized tools to edit the location of the default user directory, such that it is made to reside on an external storage device.

"Then, at the other location where a multi-user computer (home computer) is to be used by the same user, a user account would be again established on such a machine, and then using special tools to render the user identifier the same as that which the work computer used when creating the user account at the work computer. These modifications to the multi-user computers are not intended modifications and thus tend to compromise the reliability of the operation of the multi-user computers. Further, the required specialized tools, although available, are neither well documented nor user-friendly.

"Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to enable user accounts to be portable such that a user can carry their user account with them and login to any multi-user computer system that supports portable user accounts.

"The invention relates to improved approaches for enabling user accounts to be portable across different multi-user computer systems. A user account can be stored to an external, portable data store, and thus the user account becomes portable. Hence, by coupling the external, portable data store to another multi-user computer system, a user is able to login to any supporting multi-user computer system and be presented with their user configuration and user directory. Since the data store that stores the user account is not only external but also portable, a user can simply tote the data store to the location of the multi-user computer system. In one embodiment, the external, portable data store is able to be coupled to the multi-user computer system for data transfer there between.

"The external, portable data store can merely provide data storage or can be a portion of a portable computing device that provides other functionality besides data storage. One example of a portable computing device is a media player.

"The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a method, system, device, apparatus, or computer readable medium. Several embodiments of the invention are discussed below.

"As a method for configuring a multi-user computer system for use by a registered user, the multi-user computer system including at least a processor, an operating system, a display device and a local data store, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: retrieving available user accounts pertaining to registered users, at least one of the available user accounts being from the local data store that is within the multi-user computer system and at least another of the available user accounts being from an external data store that is external to the multi-user computer system; presenting a representation of the retrieved available user accounts on the display device of the multi-user computer system; receiving a selection of one of the retrieved available user accounts by the registered user; authenticating the registered user as authorized for use of the selected one of the retrieved available user accounts; and configuring the multi-user computer system in accordance with the selected one of the retrieved available user accounts for use by the registered user.

"As a method for establishing a portable user account for a user on a multi-user computer system, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: receiving account information for the user; producing an account record based on at least the account information; storing the account record to a portable data store, the portable data store being separate and apart from the multi-user computer system yet operatively connectable with the multi-user computer system; and creating a default folder for the user on the external data store.

"As a method for establishing a user account for a user on a multi-user computer system, one embodiment includes at least the acts of: receiving account information for the user; displaying a list of available data stores on which the user account can be created, the list of available data stores including at least one internal data store and at least one external data store; receiving a selection of one of the available data stores; producing an account record based on at least the account information; and storing the account record to the selected one of the available data stores.

"As a computer readable medium including at least computer program code for configuring a multi-user computer system for use by a registered user, the multi-user computer system including at least a processor, an operating system, a display device and a local data store, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for retrieving available user accounts pertaining to registered users, at least one of the available user accounts being from the local data store that is within the multi-user computer system and at least another of the available user accounts being from a portable data store that is connectable to the multi-user computer system; computer program code for presenting a representation of the retrieved available user accounts on the display device of the multi-user computer system; computer program code for receiving a selection of one of the retrieved available user accounts by the registered user; computer program code for authenticating the registered user as authorized for use of the selected one of the retrieved available user accounts; and computer program code for configuring the multi-user computer system in accordance with the selected one of the retrieved available user accounts for use by the registered user.

"As a computer readable medium including at least computer program code for establishing a portable user account for a user on a multi-user computer system, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for receiving account information for the user; computer program code for producing an account record based on at least the account information; computer program code for storing the account record to a portable data store, the portable data store being separate and apart from the multi-user computer system yet operatively connectable with the multi-user computer system; and computer program code for creating a default folder for the user on the external data store.

"As a computer readable medium including at least computer program code for establishing a user account for a user on a multi-user computer system, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: computer program code for receiving account information for the user; computer program code for displaying a list of available data stores on which the user account can be created, the list of available data stores including at least one local data store and at least one portable data store; computer program code for receiving a selection of one of the available data stores; computer program code for producing an account record based on at least the account information; and computer program code for storing the account record to the selected one of the available data stores.

"As a multi-user computer system, one embodiment of the invention includes at least an external data storage device and a multi-user computer. The external data storage device is removable from the multi-user computer and portable. The multi-user computer has an operating system that includes at least an account creation module and a login module. The account creation module permits new user accounts to be created and stored to the external storage device. The login module permits login with respect to users having their user accounts stored to the external data storage device."

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Parallels Desktop 13.0.0 - Run Windows a...
Parallels allows you to run Windows and Mac applications side by side. Choose your view to make Windows invisible while still using its applications, or keep the familiar Windows background and... Read more
Mellel 4.0.0 - The word processor for sc...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard for long form documents since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical... Read more
Adobe Muse CC 2017 2017.1.0 - Design and...
Muse CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $14.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Muse customer). Adobe Muse 2017 enables designers to create websites as... Read more
WhatsApp 0.2.5862 - Desktop client for W...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
WhatsApp 0.2.5862 - Desktop client for W...
WhatsApp is the desktop client for WhatsApp Messenger, a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for... Read more
Things 3.1.3 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.292 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Things 3.1.3 - Elegant personal task man...
Things is a task management solution that helps to organize your tasks in an elegant and intuitive way. Things combines powerful features with simplicity through the use of tags and its intelligent... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.292 - Customize Multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
Bookends 12.8.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more

KORG iMono/Poly (Music)
KORG iMono/Poly 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $19.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: *** Special Sale for a limited time to celebrate the debut of KORG iMono/Poly (33% OFF) until Sep 30! *** Reviving a... | Read more »
Super Phantom Cat 2 beginner's guid...
Super Phantom Cat 2 presents a whole new world of fun platforming challenges and perplexing puzzles. It's a well-designed platformer with a bright, neon aesthetic that brings the genre up to date. [Read more] | Read more »
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition (Games)
Shadow Fight 2 Special Edition 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ** New story chapter! **** No Ads! **** No energy! ** The best fighting series on mobile has returned and... | Read more »
4 RPGs like Final Fantasy XV that deserv...
Square Enix announced another Final Fantasy XV spin-off today - Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition. This mobile, episodic version of the hit RPG gives the game a chibi-fied makeover. The first episode will be free, followed by 9 more premium episodes... | Read more »
Guild sieges and soul gems in latest upd...
Webzen’s MU Origin hit app stores last year, giving fans of fantasy hack-n-slash MMOs like Diablo a new fix to fixate on. This latest update introduces a competitive guild battle, a fresh dungeon challenge, a mini-game and some elemental gems to... | Read more »
Little Red Lie (Games)
Little Red Lie 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ARE YOU MORE AFRAID OF POVERTY THAN DEATH? Little Red Lie is a narrative-focused, interactive fiction experience that reduces... | Read more »
You can now apply to be Clash of Clans...
Earlier this month, word got out that the Builder, the trusty handiman who tirelessly built every single building inevery singleClash of Clansbase had called it quits. Sick of seeing his work destroyed endless, the Builder has set out for our world... | Read more »
Meshi Quest beginner's guide - how...
Meshi Quest is Square Enix's newest free-to-play release, and it's a real charmer. You start off as the head of a sushi restaurant, upgrading your food and equipment as you serve visitors heaping helpings of your delicious meals. As you progress,... | Read more »
BUST-A-MOVE JOURNEY (Games)
BUST-A-MOVE JOURNEY 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: BUST-A-MOVE Features:- Shoot bubbles and match 3 or more bubbles of the same color to make them pop!- Complete your... | Read more »
The best card combos in Clash Royale
Clash Royale is all about building a deck of units that synergise well. To help you get off to a flying start, we've put together a list of unit combinations that are incredibly effective. Looking for some choice 2v2 combos? Check out our guide. [... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Clearance 2016 13-inch MacBook Airs, Apple re...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $809. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: – 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $... Read more
2017 13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for $100 of...
B&H Photo new 2017 13″ MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off MSRP, starting at $899: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $100 off MSRP – 13″ 1.8GHz/256GB MacBook Air (MQD42LL/A... Read more
Sale! 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pros for $100 of...
B&H Photo has 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook Pro (MPXQ2LL... Read more
2016 MacBook Pros, Apple refurbished, availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros available starting at $1189. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar Space... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished iPhone 6s...
Apple has Certified Refurbished unlocked iPhone 6s’s and 6s Plus’s available starting at $449. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each phone, and shipping is free: – 16GB iPhone 6s: $449, $... Read more
Apple offers Certified Refurbished Pencils fo...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Apple Pencils available for $85 including free shipping. Their price is $14 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for a Pencil. Read more
2016 15-inch 2.6GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro ava...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 15″ 2.6GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $500 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 15″ 2.6GHz Touch... Read more
21-inch 2.3GHz iMac on sale for $999, save $1...
Amazon has the new 2017 21″ 2.3GHz iMac (MMQA2LL/A) in stock and on sale for $999.99 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
Free Instant Translator 2.0 App For iOS Relea...
Mobile application development company, Neoappz has announced the release and immediate availability of Instant Translator 2.0 for iOS devices. Instant Translator is a user-friendly application which... Read more
2017 15-inch MacBook Pros on sale for $200 of...
Amazon has 2017 15″ MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free: – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2199.99, $200 off MSRP – 15″ 2.8GHz MacBook Pro Silver: $2296, $103 off MSRP – 15″... Read more

Jobs Board

Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Frameworks Engineering Manager, *Apple* Wat...
Frameworks Engineering Manager, Apple Watch Job Number: 41632321 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jun. 15, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 Job Summary Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.