I was thinking recently about password security. My goal is to have mostly random passwords, that are different for each site. But you also should be able to remember them (or re-generate them) without the help of any notes or the like. If I use really random passwords (generated by a password-generator), I can remember only a few. Many fewer than the number of web accounts I have. Simpler passwords often are easier to guess.
I thought that a compromise might be some easy to learn rules and some secret master-password, to generate a password from the name of the site. Say you have a password for ebay and amazon. This method should generate two different passwords, for 'ebay' and 'amazon'. But I should also be able to do the process in my head, without support from software or even paper and pencil. Commonly used passwords I will remember directly. But ones seldom used, and forgotten, could be reconstructed with such a method. Does anyone know about such a method?
EDIT: The thing I ask for should improve security, by making different passwords for each site/machine/program, but also keep all of them memorable. A password-safe is nice, but you are even more likely to forget the site passwords, and if you lose your store or it is damaged you have a problem. Also ALL the passwords can be compromised at once! And in the end, my local password-safe is not at hand, if I'm at the machine of a friend.