Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Passwords

Computer people (that's me) try very hard (sometimes with miserable results) to make software allow people to do things easily. That sometimes makes it easy for people to do things unreliably. If you don't know what you're doing, you still don't know what you're doing.

Security is one of those things you simply have to know. My advise: write all your passwords down on sticky notes and put them on your monitor. Sure, from a security standpoint, this is terrible. Anyone looking over your shoulder (even if your shoulder isn't there) could get into anything you can. But at least you'd know what you're doing.

I mean, are you really going to do what i do? I keep my passwords encrypted on my Palm Pilot. Not only is my Palm backed up, but i have an identical Palm that i periodically restore to. If the Palm is lost, no one will be able to get my passwords. If my Palm breaks (computers are not immortal, and portable computers are particularly mortal), then i can use my backup unit. If both are lost, i can buy a new one, restore to it, and get back on the air. If my backup computer is stolen, i can buy a new computer, restore from my off site backup, buy a Palm, restore to it, and i'm back on the air. When the Universe (Murphy) is out to get you, paranoid is just good sense.

5 comments:

Stephen said...

OK, so it's Pie Day. The 14th of March. I celebrated Pie Minute at 1:59 pm. I had my Palm Pilot (a tie in to keep this comment on topic) beep when the time was right. My Palm's clock is pretty stable, and drifts less than a second per day, and i sync it to a computer that is itself synced to a good time source.

Given that much precision, one could celebrate Pie Second. That's 3.14 1:59:26. That's fairly easy to do. One can go on as far as one wants. So, Pie Picosecond is at 3.14 1:59:26.535897932384, but doesn't last very long. It doesn't help (much) that it comes twice, AM and PM. I can't wait until Pie Year: 3141 (truncated) or 3142 (rounded). If you eat Hostess (R) FruitPies for a year, you certainly will be rounded. They're 470 calories each.

Missed Pie Day? There's next year. Or, you could try e Day. That's February 71. With a 24 clock, February 7 at 18:28:18 is e Second. Or do what you want with it. The number 2.71828182845904523536 can get you started.

David K. said...

It seems to me that anyone geeky enough to celebrate Pi Minute would be geeky enough to be operating on a 24 hour clock, so that only the early morning 1:59 counts. You celebrated Pi Minute at 13:59. Hah! Of course, the 24 hour clock fallback position of 15:92 doesn't exist. You should have set an alarm. I'm sure your wife wouldn't have minded.

Stephen said...

Sure 15:92 exists. How do you suppose i celebrate February 71st?

Another way to do this is to use the international standard for time. The second. Clearly, the pi instant was about 3.1415925 seconds after the birth of Christ.

I missed it. How about you?

There's always Einstein's birthday.

tigbeane said...

I've operated under the belief that "only the paranoid survive."

Stephen said...

If everyone is out to get you, paranoid is just good sense.