Wednesday, August 22, 2012

PIN codes

Like any modern person I have so many passwords/PIN codes to remember that if they were strung together they would constitute the same amount of characters required for a short story or possibly a novella. The computer system at work requires one, as does my laptop, phone, debit cards, credit cards, blogger, project websites, tax information, my daughter‘s school web site, the security system at home, at work and so on and so on. Even our home appliances require pin numbers if they are to function again after the electricity has gone off – which thankfully does not happen often. Our TV has been out of service now for almost 2 years since we can‘t remember the code after unplugging it to move it to another place. We are not enthusiastic enough over what is on to go to any efforts to find out if someone in this world might have this information, or if the TV is now just a useless black sheet of glass on a steel pedestal.

Only a few of the pin numbers or passwords one requires are the same as another which further complicates matters. The computer generated ones must have taken the machines hours to make up as there is absolutely no system whatsoever in the sequences provided, just a jumble of numerals and letters, high and low captioned to make them impossible to remember. So they all end up on one’s phone. At first I tried to be sneaky about this, making up people in the phones contact list with the pins hidden within the numbers. Then these became too many for me to remember which were real people and which were phony so I ended up just entering them for what they are. Thankfully my phone is an 8 year old Nokia that no one in their right mind would ever steal.

As I travel a lot I regularly have my credit card information stolen and as a result I am issued new cards. This is usually preluded by a phone call or a text message from my credit card company telling me that suspiciously I am shopping in two continents simultaneously and pretty heftily in the foreign one. With the new card then comes a new phone number, just as I had managed to learn the old one by heart.

There are Olympics for just about everything. Coming up are the chess Olympics. The ones I miss are the humor Olympics, which sadly do not exist. Running at the same time as the Edinburgh Festival is on there is something named the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the world’s largest arts festival. Amongst those preforming are comedians and while there I came across a list of the best jokes on stage for this year. A semi joke Olympics if you like. This list included some of the best from past festivals and amongst those was a joke I found really funny. It was attributed to a comedian named Dan Antopolski and went like this: Hedgehogs — why can’t they just share the hedge?

But the one that made me think of the Fringe while contemplating pin numbers was the following joke by Nick Helm:

I needed a password of eight characters, so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Yrsa - Wednesday


  1. Yrsa, If there were Humor Olympics, you would be a gold medalist FOR SURE!

  2. I agree with Annamaria.
    You write "Thankfully my phone is an 8 year old Nokia that no one in their right mind would ever steal.'
    Actually at the Barbés Rochechouart Metro station in Paris they'd give you
    1,000 Euros ballpark for that model. Drug dealers want non-GPS harder to trace oldie phones for their business. Might be worth a Paris trip, Yrsa and could finance your stay.

  3. Hi Cara and Annamaria - unfortunately I would never be able to reach that metro station as I would get in a cab and try to say its name and end up at a racketball court. But it is good to know that there are people that admire my phone out there, it is not surpirisng that they are drug dealers - there had to be something wrong with them.

  4. There is actually a program for remembering your passwords, but you need a password for it-yes, I am being serious. You definitely need a humor Olympics, but you're a winner anyway.

  5. Yrsa, mou, I've been so busy preparing for my premature Grecian evacuation that I didn't get around to commenting timely on your PIN problem. I did though have time to laugh...endlessly

    But I have a cure for your dilemma. SplashID. It's godsend for the forgetful, disorganized, or demented. A trifecta for me.

  6. Tattoos, Yrsa. Tattoos are the answer. For extra security, have them inscribed backward so you can only read them in a mirror. Works infallibly until you run out of skin. Are you coming to Bouchercon? Do you have your confirmation number? Oh, skip it.