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11:51am on Tuesday, 28th July, 2020:



It's work-password-changing time again for me. I've done it a whole 2 days before I was absolutely required (in the sense of do it now or you'll be locked out, right now I said, RIGHT NOW, this is no empty threat!). It's taken me half the morning, mainly because my email stopped working and I had to trick the university email server into allowing me to use POP3 against all its guidelines. I still have to update two laptops and my office PC (when I next get access to it), but my home PC and my phone are now email-capable and speaking to most of the University web pages without complaint.

As an experiment, when asked to invent a new password I created one exactly the same as the old one but with a ! at the end. I was informed that the new password was too similar to the old one. I can't believe they'd be so stupid as to store passwords as open text, so they must have run a bunch of mutation algorithms on the new password to see if any had the same encryption as the old one. Removing the last letter would indeed have resulted in the same encryption, so they complained. Unfortunately, I was so annoyed by this pettiness that instead of continuing my experiment (say, by adding a new letter at the start) I ranted in the "new password" box and now have to remember for another year a password considerably longer than the 20-letter old one.

Oh, if you've sent any email to my mud.co.uk address since a minute after midnight on Monday morning, I won't have read it yet. My mud.co.uk host moved everything to a new server, except, it seems, my passwords. This means I can't access my email or update my web pages.

Why do these things all happen at the same time?

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Copyright © 2020 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).