Today’s NYTimes had an article about passwords and how they are an attempt at personalizing what is essentially impersonal. It got me thinking about other names.

I once did work for a mfg software company whose servers were all named after the Marx brothers. After they ran out of brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo), they added Karlo. Wonder who the next server was named after. Keaton? Lenin? Trotsky? Moe/Larry/Curly?


Since I was mostly in charge of naming our companies’ servers, for a while we had one server called Pynchon, password Th@m@s. Our Exchange email server for that round of server was Trystero, password Oedipia49 which no one could spell correctly on the first try. It tickled me every time I saw that Trystero had passed on mail.

Personally, I have had computers named Valinor (the home of Tolkein’s gods and demigods) and Feanor (the elves’ master craftsman, who captured the light of the Two Trees in the Silmarills, coveted by Morgoth, of whom Sauron was only a servant).

I graduated to a computer called Fillmore, a laptop named FireFly and, predictably, a home computer called Winterfell (no link. If you don’t know by now…)

For passwords, I sometimes used my first telephone exchange. (Like “Ulster9”, though that wasn’t it.) Only my sister and mother are likely to guess that one. One company gave me a temp password of the CompanyName#year! (in which year was the year they gave it to me). I have since upgraded by adding a year every time I am asked to change it. I am now deep into the 21st Century.

For a security code at our first office, my then partner suggested 4235  for WordPerfect 4.2 and Paradox 3.5, the latest versions of the software at the time. By the time we left, they were of historical interest only.

How about you?


Passwords — 2 Comments

  1. You are much more creative than me. I find passwords to be mostly a pain as my memory has never been good for such things. I am constantly having to use the “forgot your password” option which slows things down. The personalization mentioned by the Times seems like hollow corporate thought but they are necessary for situations like the ones you describe. I like the way you creatively dealt with them.

  2. Great book cover! I have a laptop I call Little Devil. It became infected with a virus and I scarcely ever use it. I picture myself throwing it off a bridge.

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