In addition to just viewing files, Merlin also contains secure editors that allow you to create or revise most documents (MS Word, Open Office, PDF, rich text, plain text, etc.), spreadsheets (MS Excel, Open Office, etc.) and HTML files. Additional editors are being released regularly. The editors contain many of the same features and functions as Microsoft Office or Open Office, and are similar in appearance and operation, but the data (documents) you are editing remain safely within Merlin.
In Merlin you can create special encryption 'Packages' with separate keys that you can share with other people. These are similar to zip files, only with extremely strong encryption. A Package can be shared with other Merlin users just like anything else, but the recipient will need an extra key (passphrase) to open it, which you should supply separately. Another type of package is 'self-extracting', allowing you to pack up files, encrypt them and then send them to someone who doesn't have Merlin. Packages can use various encryption algorithms, depending on which encryption plug-ins you install. Packages do NOT appear in the Syndex™ until you enter the password to them, and are undetectable by any other means, creating plausible deniability.
File subjects are descriptive words or phrases that you can apply to files and later use to organize them. For example, if you take a lot of holiday pictures, you might want to place them in folders organized by the trip you took (Alabama 2012, Africa 2013, Alaska 2014), but then create file subjects to visualize them in different ways (the kids, my wife, mountains, beach, dinners, etc.).
For each subject you create, Merlin will create a subject folder, and then when you tag a file with that subject Merlin will place a link to the file in that subject folder, in addition to the normal folder (Africa 2013, for example). You can browse subject folders and work with files just as if you were browsing the folders they actually live in. So, if you had a picture of your wife on the beach in Africa in 2013, and another picture of her on the beach in Alaska in 2014 (brrr!), and you tag them both as 'beach', when you open the beach folder, you'll find both files there, just as if that was where they were actually imported into Merlin. Subjects can also be used in far more refined ways to organize files simultaneously into many categories.
Yes, Merlin keeps track of everything that happens to a file, including when and from where it was imported or received from another Merlin user, how many times and when it was opened for viewing or editing, when and with whom it was shared, and everything else that happens to it (such as moving it to a different folder or changing its Rating or Priority). Simply tap or right-click on a file to view its history going back as far in time as you like, sorting and grouping by date or the actions taken.
Yes. You can share a single file or any selection of files with one or many people all in the same action. The same goes for Packages. Select what you want to send, click on 'Share' and choose people or groups. Then press 'Send'. It's that simple. Merlin handles all the encryption stuff automatically.
Merlin automatically manages a remarkably complex series of events for each file you share with another person or synchronize with one of your other devices. For each recipient person or device, Merlin…
When the recipient receives the file on their device, Merlin...
Additional steps not listed above include validating the electronic identity of each recipient and ensuring that they have sufficient resources to accept the file, including enough Kahuna™ Traffic Credits to transfer it and enough encrypted Merlin data file space to store it. If a recipient does not have enough Kahuna™ Traffic Credit to receive the file, Merlin will let them know and they can obtain more. If the encrypted Merlin Data file is not large enough to hold the file, Merlin will enlarge it automatically, up to the device's storage capacity.
Each person has their own version of the file, and makes their own changes. If the file is shared between them again, the new versions are linked as new revisions, with the most recent one first. Differences between the files are not merged, so you have to work that out with the other person, but all revisions are kept and linked into a single chain.
"John, check this out! Look in the distance, just behind the robin perched on the branch and you'll see an extremely rare ground-dwelling yellow cuckoo bird."
And John can share the file back with his reaction, such as...
"Bill, the only thing here that's cuckoo is you, that's a fire plug!"
Merlin Earth™ will create a temporary, encrypted 'drive' to which it will export a working copy of your file. Use whatever program you like to open and edit it, and when you're done just tell Merlin Earth™ to import it again. It will then be encrypted and the working copy will be destroyed (along with any thumbnail images your operating system made of it in the interim).
Note that even this temporary working copy lives within an encrypted temporary folder. Plus, we're adding new, full-featured editors and viewers all the time.
The item will be saved as a new version of the same file you sent. You can keep it, make it a previous version (say, because you like yours better), or delete it. Merlin keeps a full revision history (all encrypted, of course).