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Posted on Feb 13, 2011 in zeitgeist | 0 comments

The 20 Year Password

The 20 Year Password

Back in 1991 I left University and started work. I came from Glasgow to live at home with my parents in Edinburgh. But my job was in Glasgow. The weekend before my first day, I went into Princes Street and bought 3 books to keep my entertained on the train journeys to Queen Street.

The books I got where Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown, Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris and Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum.

And very fine books they all are too. When I got to work, I was plonked in front of a DEC Station 2000 so I could login to the VAX. Oh yes. One of the first tasks was to choose a password. I used one of the three books as inspiration and chose my first ever password.


Image courtesy of teclasorg

It occurred to me yesterday that I still use that same password to this day. Obviously, it is far too insecure to be used by anything serious but it remains the password to unlock my work Blackberry. Nearly 20 years and I’ve been using that same password for something or other all the time. Hard to guess how many times I’ve typed it in.

Is this nostalgia or laziness? I suspect the latter. Thinking up new passwords is always a little tiresome, albeit I’ve got better at selecting more memorable, more secure passwords as the years have gone on.

Maybe in July, as the 20th Anniversary arrives, I’ll read those 3 books again.

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