Patreon Diary Entry, Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
TYPING PASSWORDS IN THE DARK

Hey.

Sun's a sleepy giant, and I'm huddled over a chubby work laptop, brandishing my fingers to perform a nonsensical glyph of symbols, letters and numbers. 

Wrong.  

Wrong.  

Wrong - the grouchy little box stutters.

Finger memory's an unforgiving sort.  One assumes that proper execution of the act could be done blindfolded.    But there's that brute magic of getting just enough light to see, if not the characters of the keys, the stocky outline of their dark bodies. 

I don't think my father, a self-taught programmer in the FORTRAN/BASIC mold, could have ever foreseen the daily calculus of navigating half a dozen passwords to memory, or having to paw through a half-written scrap of paper and mumble the scribblings aloud to cobble up sense, like intoning a summoning spell. 

Side note  - for a while, I used to keep a list of important passwords on the back of a Mama Mia theatre ticket.  Always used to make me laugh during that moment of frustration.  Being denied entry to a particular site, swearing and sifting through the clutter on my desk to find the cheery purple paper.   ABBA standing watch over my personal codes.

One of my favorite characteristics of my new laptop (Slappy the Lappy) is Mac's password key database.  Takes about ninety percent of the essential logs I use and stores them away in preserved silence, like Trappist monks and their brewing techniques.   Makes my personal computer feel less like an opposition force or a bouncer and more like a trusted valet.

But work log on info?  It's brutal.   HR access which has to be updated on a regular basis.  Logging in four times through a system just to begin regular functions.

And don't even get me started on searching military education records and having to cobble up nonsense based on Defense Information Systems Agency rules (and having to update this every goddamn THREE MONTHS) based on these qualifiers:

Minimum of 15 characters, maximum of 25 characters
Contain 2 upper case characters
Contain 2 lower case characters
Contain 2 numbers
Contain 2 special characters([email protected]#$^*_-=+,.?)
Cannot contain spaces
Cannot contain personal information such as names, telephone numbers, or account names
Cannot reuse one of the 10 previous passwords used
Password must be at least 4 characters different than previous password
Be case sensitive


It's like this comic hilariously illustrates: 

https://xkcd.com/936/

We've created these complex machines and processes, and in turn, made locks to favor them, not our image-making minds.

Morning after morning, we rise to an extant challenge:  We hunger to remember, tying with our eyes closed, grown-ups playing a digital game of "Mother May I".

Love,

Jara