Sunday, December 25, 2011

Growing peevish…

I’ve already mentioned this peeve:  sites that make you create a high-security password to access such highly confidential information as PACKAGE TRACKING.  Today’s medium-security site is Starbucks, where I went to register the nice gift card my sister Abigail thoughtfully picked out for me.  (she knows how much I love green)

Anyway, an attempt to use my usual password formula* produced this error message.  Sheesh.

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* password formula:  Instead of using the same password for every single site (very unwise), you can use the same BASE password for many sites, combined with a numeric code that varies with the name of the site.  Base password can include two words, like beetle and fish, with a punctuation mark (maybe #) in between.  Then, if the code number for the S in Starbucks is “27” then your password could be something like “beetle#fish27”.  If you want to make sure it passes the HIGH STANDARDS of websites like Starbucks and Canada Post, however, you’ll have to use a capital letter:  “Beetle#fish27.”  For other sites,  you change the number – for instance, if the code number for the E in Ebay is 02, then your password there would be:  “Beetle#fish02.”  How is this easier than a million random passwords???  The core password becomes very easy to type after doing it a million times.  And you can use a chart for the numbers, which you keep posted by the computer, so all you have to look up when you get to a site for which you don’t remember your password, is type your standard one and look up the number.  If you are a techno-geek, you can use ASCII codes, which you either store in your head or look up online when you forget them.  The only problem is some websites that think they are SO special and require you to choose a super-short password.  In that case, I truncate the “words” portion of the password, because these sites usually demand numbers and punctuation.

Speaking of errors… I was all excited because with this card, Starbucks gives you "free drinks on your birthday."  But it turns out you have to register ahead and then they mail you a postcard, which generally arrives "about 3-7 days before your birthday."  It is only 2 days before my birthday now (December 26, my English birthday).  So I don’t know if they will even bother sending me a card.  Yet another reason to sulk on my birthday…! 

I did Contact Them to let them know of this problem, and ask whether there’s some type of workaround.  I’ll probably hear back from them around the middle of next week, when it’s too late anyway.  First world problems, indeed…

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