September 12, 2006

Still hopin'

One recalls having discussed one’s feelings re. passwords a few months ago. It turns out that the opinions expressed in that post merely foreshadowed the deeper trouble that was to follow. We speak, of course, of the singular events that came to pass last-to-last* Friday.

‘Twas on Friday morning that one was informed that a certain password was due to expire (again). One duly undertook the password-updating process. This, you might be aware, involves typing in the Old Password and then the New Password, occasionally followed by a Reconfirm New Password that, Sysadmin informs us, must be identical to the New Password.

Now one’s last three passwords, if you can keep a secret, have been MeghnaNaidu123, MeghnaNaidu124 and MeghnaNaidu125**. Always quick to spot a trend, one entered MeghnaNaidu126 as the New Password (and as the Reconfirm New Password) this time around. And waited with what is sometimes called Bated Breath.

The Gentle (if Hypothetical) Reader should be informed that one has been through a lot in life. One has survived temporary cripplehood, forced relocation, and multiple viewings of Jaani Dushman – Ek Anokhi Kahani. But nothing could prepare the One for what came next. For the computer had the gall, the Gall, to output thusly:

“Invalid password. The old and new passwords must differ in at least three positions.”

Yes. The system had evidently been Upgraded, and this meant the end of the MeghnaNaidu series as we knew it. Sustained outrage was felt, and some pain too. But one was not going to let this go without a fight. No. One went straight to the Sysadmin, and proceeded to give him what is commonly called a Piece of One’s Mind. One pointed out that one had used only Meghna Naidu passwords ever since Kaliyon Ka Chaman was released, and that one was in no mood to change the pattern just because some dorky operating system said so. This produced nothing beyond a condescending smile (which undoubtedly hid a certain bewilderment, for the chap had no clue who Meghna Naidu was, but being a Sysadmin he couldn’t very well admit to not knowing something, could he?)

Friday afternoon, people, found the One distinctly forlorn. And with good reason, for Sysadmin had given one a supposedly random password that sounded like a cross between a Klingon expletive and a Forbidden Curse, and one knew that there was absolutely no chance one would remember it. So one finally gave in and, in flagrant violation of password protocol, wrote the word on a little scrap of paper that was then kept in a clever, undisclosed location.

So clever, in fact, that one never found it again.

* One has always wanted to say “last-to-last” on this blog.

** And if you can’t, they’ve been something else entirely.


confused said...

Ah! Travails of the password. I have an easier solution, I simply forget them and then I forget the secret question. Nowadays, I dont even bother with the pretence, simply go to new password settings as soon as password is not accepted the first time.

apu said...

hey you're back....and glad to see you havent lost your humour in the dark non-bloggy void where you've been...

Kumari said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kumari said...

Been coming here from Smugbug's page for quite awhile, decided to say sth finally :)

Loved the post. I used to choose passwords based on the most important 'happening' of the day,like 'FrogPrince321' where the number would probably stand for the arbit time when Frog Prince was seen in horizon. The problem would be to recollect this password a day later as by then someone/sth else would have taken precedence.

Sigh!No one asks me change passwds anymore :(

Deepali said...

Is this why you haven't logged into blogger for a while hmmmmmmm? :P

We'd all been missing a few smiles :)

One in a Billion said...

Confused: Ah, of course. But (and one remembers having an Enlightened Discussion on such matters on this very blog) what do you do if you forget the answer to the secret question? And what if you forget the secret question itself? ('Tis painful, that one.)

Apu: Yes, that non-bloggy void called Real Life .. such a bore it is, no?

Kumari: Ah. If one employed similar password-choosing methods, one would end up with TookPenOutOfDrawer437, LookedOutOfWindow542 and, on a particularly exciting day, perhaps HummedRandomPhillumSoundtrack152.

And welcome, you are. Glad you delurked.

Deepali: No, no. 'Twas more to do with this Real Life business. See, one has put up the Blogger password on this poster right here, directly behind the computer screen, so that's always available. Don't tell anyone.

LAK said...

Lost in the real world, eh? So have I been. Am trying to correct the situation!You put up the post just as I was about to say, in a quavering voice,"Itna sannata kyun hai bhai?" So, have you plastered the password all over the office on little post-its?

Srihari said...

Fancy that!A brute force method if one is totally obsessed with the given password is to successively change your password to "notmeghnanaidu123",
"stillnotmeghnanaidu123" and "almostmeghnanaidu123"
respectively in the space of 439 seconds, and then on most OS, you should be able to use your very own, impossible-to-crack password: "meghnanaidu123" .

The Regular Joe said...

Ah! atleast they give you something to write about.

Anonymous said...

Interesting..could relate to quite a few. :-)

Came here from the SmugBugs' post, will surely return.


You know who... said...

Dude, you seem to have too much time in office to go and talk to the system admin :p

Sheetal said...

Ah, reading the One is always entertaining as well as educational. Me has looked up Klingon and is now much better informed on alien languages.

One in a Billion said...

LAK: Arrey. It would have been very nice to hear that Revered Line once again. Never mind. Next time.

And the Post-It deserves several posts of its own. No?

Srihari: Goodness. Quite stunning. One shall try that out pronto ..

Regular Joe: True, true.

N: Thanks, and welcome. And Miss (Mrs?) Soup should be thanked too, onethinks, for supplying much of this blog's readership.

Only too well ..: Yeah? And how would you know?

Sheetal: Ah, you return! Yes, the finer nuances of the Klingon tongue are indeed worth appreciating ..

Of-course-you-know-who... said...

Ahem, I would know... because I have spies in your office.
Careful. You are being followed. Muahahahahhaha!

Ph said...

I feel your pain. But we are OVERJOYED (yes, all caps) to read you again.

Anonymous said...

[And Miss (Mrs?) Soup should be thanked too, onethinks, for...]

heheh..Soups' current post seems have generated quite a curiosity about this. And her replies to the married/not married queries certainly clear up the air..both ways...leaving the readers exactly where they started. :-)


the Monk said...

You forget expletives? Expletives?

One in a Billion said...

Only too well ..: *gulp*

Ph: And we are overjoyed that you still visit us once in a while, O Ph ..

N: Indeed :)

Monk: No, no. This thing just sounded a bit like one. Pure expletives are entirely memorable. Come to think of it, they should make fine passwords ..

Deepali said...

you've been tagged!

One in a Billion said...

Deepali: Hmm .. so it seems :)

Monicawaqm said...

Dude, you seem to have too much time in office to go and talk to the system admin :p