Password confusion and mockery



  • We are a UNIX-using medical device testing lab, but need windows machines for some of the test gear. About 14 years ago, we installed an app on a windows box to allow it to save over NFS to our Sparc server.

    When it was all done, we explained to the microbiologist (who we will call Jim to save embarrassment) who used the machine that he had to type in a password to allow the windows machine to save to the NFS server.

    We typed in the password - everything worked. Log off.

    Jim typed in the password - no joy.

    We try again - perfect.

    Jim tries - nothing!

    So the conversation goes like this:

    Us:    Jim - what password are you typing in ?

    Jim:    exACTLY the same password that you are!

    Us:    and that would be ?

    Jim:    Same as you  - ********

    Us:    What ? 8 Stars ?


    Jim:    yes - that's the password that comes up in the box when you type it in.

    Us:    ROFL

    This is a true story. 'Jim' is a colleague and friend, and we have teased him about this mercilessly over the years. Any time we are in a meeting where the issue of password security arises, we chant:

      "star, star, star, star, star, star, star, star"

    :-)
     



  •  While funny I'm not sure how wise it is to tease a microbiologist. Doesn't he have petri dishes full of virus and bacteria? What if some of them "accidentally" escaped into the office?

    "Odd. You're the only one in the office not sick, Jim"

    "Yeah, I have a strong immune system..." 



  • I always make fun of that when a Mac user has their laptop attached to the projector and has to type in a password. I say "oh, six bullets... that's the same as mine!". Gets a laugh every time. Well, at least the first time for a given crowd.



  • @DOA said:

     While funny I'm not sure how wise it is to tease a microbiologist. Doesn't he have petri dishes full of virus and bacteria?

     

    The other reason to fear microbiologists is that they may expose you to the epMotion advertisement, causing at least temporary psychological scarring.



  • This wouldn't happen to be at UPMC, would it? 



  • Heh. Way back when, I worked with a group of programmers that included a Jim of sorts. Our Jim was the kind of guy who, once he learned a new skill, would use everywhere he could - and many places it shouldn't have been. This resulted in things like, oh, dividing his hard drive up into 20 partitions because 'it was more efficient that way.'  20 partitions. On a Compaq Deskpro 8086.

    In his mind, he was also the greatest programmer EVAR, and didn't hesitate to let us know it. He would admit to one weakness, though - he couldn't touch type. So we rearranged his keyboard. When he called tech support about his login not working, the tech sat down at Jim's PC, asked him for his username & password, and immediately logged in with them. Not in on the joke, TechGuy rebooted the PC and had Jim try it.

    TechGuy watched closely as Jim entered his username and password, hunting and pecking each character.

    "J-I-M"

    "Jim, has your name always been spelled out on your keyboard?" At which point TechGuy walked away. Much mockery ensued.



  • @protected static said:

    20 partitions. On a Compaq Deskpro 8086.
    How big were HDDs back in the 8086 days? 20-30MBs? 20 partitions is not a WTF. It's where you call the men in white.



  • @DOA said:

    How big were HDDs back in the 8086 days? 20-30MBs? 20 partitions is not a WTF.

    I don't remember 20Mb on an 8086. Most XTs that I encountered (and remember) seemed to have a 5 or 10Mb drive. I know at one stage I was working with a 10Mhz 286 with 20Mb, and was jealous of a colleague with a 12MHz 286 with a 30Mb drive.

    Ah .. those were the days .. seeing Windows 1.0 demo'ed and wondering what all the fuss was about. After all with Turbo Pascal I could make my machine sing!



  • @DOA said:

    20 partitions is not a WTF. It's where you call the men in white.
     

    We tried. Oh, did we ever try...



  • @protected static said:

    He would admit to one weakness, though - he couldn't touch type. So we rearranged his keyboard.

    I'm confused, if he COULDN'T touch type then rearranging his keys wouldn't affect him in the slightest and as you proved, he certainly didn't realise. Now if he HAD been a touch typer it'd have been a far crueller and more effective prank to play.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Flatline said:

    @protected static said:
    He would admit to one weakness, though - he couldn't touch type. So we rearranged his keyboard.

    I'm confused, if he COULDN'T touch type then rearranging his keys wouldn't affect him in the slightest and as you proved, he certainly didn't realise. Now if he HAD been a touch typer it'd have been a far crueller and more effective prank to play.

     

     You do know that you can move the keycaps on the keyboard around, and it won't change the letter that's typed, right? Or are you some sort of god damned moron?



  •  When I rearrange my keys and don't look at my hands, deathless prose results.

    agwb U eweebfw nt jwta bs - well you can see what happens when I look down at my hands. 



  • @Weng said:

     You do know that you can move the keycaps on the keyboard around, and it won't change the letter that's typed, right? Or are you some sort of god damned moron?
    I'm going with the second one.



  • @Weng said:

    @Flatline said:

    @protected static said:
    He would admit to one weakness, though - he couldn't touch type. So we rearranged his keyboard.

    I'm confused, if he COULDN'T touch type then rearranging his keys wouldn't affect him in the slightest and as you proved, he certainly didn't realise. Now if he HAD been a touch typer it'd have been a far crueller and more effective prank to play.

     

     You do know that you can move the keycaps on the keyboard around, and it won't change the letter that's typed, right? Or are you some sort of god damned moron?

    On this occasion, I was clearly being a God damned moron. Thanks for so politely and subtly pointing that out. I definitely didn't think before I posted that time.



  • I wonder what would've he done if it had been Lotus Notes. Typing a password in Notes creates a random number of X's, so it usually ends up showing like 30 X's there. Yipes!



  • @protected static said:

    Heh. Way back when, I worked with a group of programmers that included a Jim of sorts. Our Jim was the kind of guy who, once he learned a new skill, would use everywhere he could - and many places it shouldn't have been. This resulted in things like, oh, dividing his hard drive up into 20 partitions because 'it was more efficient that way.'  20 partitions. On a Compaq Deskpro 8086.

    If he can get twenty partitions on an 8086's hard drive, he's either a genius or one of Nature's most inventive fools: the PC partition table only has four slots.



  • Heh, I had a mate who had his keyboard rearanged to dvorak layout, he was trying to get used it instead of qwerty (Personally I've never bothered with dvorak =)). I used his computer a few times and I never had any problems till I looked at the keyboard. If I looked down i had no idea where any key was but I could still touch-type on it. I actually tested it out and my typing speed/accuracy dropped a ton when I actually looked at the keyboard... guess it's like those sheets where you have to try to read the colours written on it when they're coloured a different colour. Or maybe my hands know the keys better than my brain =P

    EDIT: To clarify, the input was still Qwerty when I used it, just the keys were in the dvorak order, he had an app that swapped how it interpreted the input cause he wasn't as good at dvorak as qwerty at the time.



  • @Carnildo said:

    If he can get twenty partitions on an 8086's hard drive, he's either a genius or one of Nature's most inventive fools: the PC partition table only has four slots.

    I don't know about "back in the day" but you can create 4 "physical partitions" and many more "logical partitions".  So, theoretically speaking (in theory) he is smarter than you and will use his clever wiles to steal your wife! 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    If he can get twenty partitions on an 8086's hard drive, he's either a genius or one of Nature's most inventive fools: the PC partition table only has four slots.

    I don't know about "back in the day" but you can create 4 "physical partitions" and many more "logical partitions".

    In case you missed it, the computer in question is an 8086, which predates the "extended" and "logical" partitions you're referring to by a decade or two.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know about "back in the day" but you can create 4 "physical partitions" and many more "logical partitions".
    Wouldn't DOS only allow you to create 1 primary partition and 1 extended partition (where the rest of logical partitions would go)?



  •  @Carnildo said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    If he can get twenty partitions on an 8086's hard drive, he's either a genius or one of Nature's most inventive fools: the PC partition table only has four slots.

    I don't know about "back in the day" but you can create 4 "physical partitions" and many more "logical partitions".

    In case you missed it, the computer in question is an 8086, which predates the "extended" and "logical" partitions you're referring to by a decade or two.

    Well, DOS 3.3 (in 1987) let you create extended partitions.


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