Sunday, June 12, 2005

What's in a Name? Why U&PU?

Unused and Probably Unusable- it's probably time to explain what the heck I mean by that.

When prompted for information by a soulless program (Enter a Username to Continue; must be 6-45 characters long, contain one number, one letter, one punctuation mark, one uppercase, one lowercase, and one invisible letter; must not contain any English, Chinese, or Swahili words; cannot consist only of vowels; and should not be easily guessable by anyone who lives with, knows, or has met you. DO NOT WRITE THIS PASSWORD DOWN. If you forget this password, knowing your social security number, hometown, hair color or first name will allow you to reset it.) I tend to subvert the paradigm.

My first ever chance at choosing my own username came late to my computing experience. I'd been assigned a first-letter-of-first-name-plus-last-name username at inception, back in, oh, 1993 or 1994, I think. The beginning of the Computing Era, as far as I was concerned. The password-changer on the account did indeed enforce some of the basics; can't use your username as your password, can't use simple English words, can't have just three numbers.

When I had a chance to choose, and faced a prompt like: "Please enter username," you know the first thing I tried to enter was "username." I like being uncooperative and literal like that.

And yes, I know it was bad security to, when prompted for my password, to type in "my password." Usually that's not allowed anyway. Or even drowssap.

As they say, the best way to do it is to pick the last letter of a series of words only you would think of in that context- marY haD A littlE lamB, for example. YDAEB. then capitalize and uncapitalize at random, throw in a number in an unexpected location, and change your password daily. No, hourly. And don't write it down. Give me a break. Wait, no, use the next-to last letter. Whatever.

When Blogger prompted me for a blog name, the interface was clumsy enough that you can't easily tell when a name is available, or what's a permitted blog name. You have to experiment.

I wanted a name that was unused, right?

Even better if the name is so abstruse that it's not just not in use, but in all likelihood could not be used.

And so here we are.


At 2:01 PM, June 26, 2005, Anonymous shell said...

Well said.

Strained for creativity, I came up with the least professional nickname ever given to me.

Yours still sound better, oh you naughty rebel.


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