Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Power Cut

I was working away at Chapter 13 in the early hours when the power went off. The UPS began beeping, and I was bathed in the unholy glow of the various lights on the DVD player and the screen of my computer. I waited a few seconds in case it was a minor glitch, then decided to call it a night.
Control-Save. Sleep.
The computer screen light cut out and I realised I should have left it awake for another few moments. Since my computer hates being woken when it's just gone to sleep, I abandoned the idea of shaking its shoulder and instead got up (cautiously) and shuffled forward to rest it on its little platform. I unplugged it, in case the power spiked when it came back on. (I saw a power spike once. Sparks shot out of power points and those power safety thingies melted.) Next, I located the heater and felt my way along its cord to the extension, which I pulled. Then I betook myself to the bathroom.
Working by feel, I located my toothbrush and the paste. Having removed the lid, I decided the paste smelt wrong, so I put it back and took another tube from the drawer. Just as well I did, since it later devolved I'd picked up a tube of "A Little Bit of Relief" instead. Having brushed my teeth, I tried to rinse. No go. The pump was (temporarily) dead.
I gave up and went to bed. A few mionutes later, some clonks and whirrs announced the power had come back on.
All this goes to show how much we rely on electricity. But no, this is not going to be a spiel about how decadent we've all become. If we didn't have electricity, then we'd have candles and matches to hand. We'd have lanterns, ticky-clocks, and ewers of water on the wash stand. Because we do have electricity, we do not have lanterns. Because I have a computer, I do not have a typewriter. As my husband said, what would happen if I had to go back to typing? Well... I'd find running my business almost impossible because I rely on my computer. I am no longer set up with carbon papers, Tip-Ex and ring binders. I'm not even sure it's possible to buy Tip-Ex any more. Where would I buy a ewer? Or a lantern?
... and of course if I lived in the time of lanterns and ewers, I wouldn't have almost brushed my teeth with embrocation. It wouldn't have been invented yet.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Password Protected

Am I the only person who continually gets locked out of my various online accounts because I can't remember my password? Sounds easy enough - set up a username and password, log in, and Robert's your mother's brother. However...

My attempts at setting up accounts generally go something like this.

Set your username: JANNY (well... I'm not about to give you my real log in, eh? 'course not. I can't remember it!) Naturally, I write it down.
Username not available. Suggest JANNYA19, JANNYX&5 OR JANNYP79Q
I type in JANNYP, and write that down.
Username not available. Suggest JANNYPZ59, JANNYPX((5 OR PJANNY740Z
Sulkily, I select JANNYA19.
Set your password: PANSY. I write it down.
Password strength: weak.
Password strength: weak. Password must include at least one non-letter character.
PANSYPANSY1. I write that down.
Password not available.
Password not available.
Success! Login to go to your account now.
OK, so that wasn't difficult, was it? I have only to type in JANNYA19 and then PANSYPANSY2.
Only of course that doesn't work, 'cos I forgot to change the S into a Z. I meant to write it down, but after writing down several failed attempts, I just gave up. So, next time I try to log in, I have to hit Forgot password. The site obligingly sends me a new one, and then asks me to enter my old one so I can change it to the new one. Only I can't, because I forgot the old one. And the new one is something like BEETLETRACKSANSCRITX19OOPS 56 and I can't remember it. And the verification box is full of drunken squiggles that might be 2s, zs, Zs or 7s. Maybe.
My accounts are securely password protected all right. They're password protected from ME!