The Password

Posted January 5th, 2014 by June O'Hara and filed in Everything Else

September, 2013:

“I’m sorry,” my friend tells me. “That’s the one thing about this computer. It asks for a password that I don’t remember.” She sighs. “Okay. First try the basics. Welcome, user, admin. Stuff like that. If they don’t work, enter my initials, birthday, or house number. Fiddle with different combinations. Throw in some uppercase letters and the numeral 1. As in, Welcome1. cm2076ADMIN. Stuff like that.”

My computer is in the shop, where it could remain up to five days. Trina has lent me her old Mac.

Furiously, I write this down.

“cm2076ADMIN. . .”

“Yes,” Trina assures me. “It’s something like that.” Then she adds, “If you run out of ideas, give me a call.”

“Okay,” I tell her. “But I’m sure I’ll figure it out.”

The interesting thing is, I believe this. I believe there is no permutation too complex or obscure to elude me. Not because I think myself clever — I prove otherwise as naturally as I breathe — but because I’m pathologically focused, batshit compulsive, and known for courting futility.

At this moment, my BlackBerry is my sole technological bridge to the world. There are messages I’m not receiving. Statistics to which I’m deprived access. Facebook “likes” I’m not on top of. And, being unable to write posts or stories, my texts are becoming verbose.

A rat in a cage with a single lever, that which dispenses the very basics of survival, I continue to press.

And press.

Could it be T1076welcomeuser1?




will figure this out.

The Messages: Doom Of The Betta Fish | The Mystery Of The Blue Ass

36 Responses to “The Password”

  1. Mulled Vine says:

    A trick I was once told was to use the first letters of a phrase as your password, start with a capital, and replace E’s and I’s with 3’s and 1’s. That will pass most systems’ password requirements and the rule is memorable.

  2. cmasi says:

    I would try your own birthday.

  3. June O'Hara says:

    I did. And my cat’s, and my grandmother’s (she’s no longer with us) and my old English teacher’s.


  4. Dan Bonser says:

    Its sad, if it wasn’t a Mac, I could point you in a direction of some software that would crack it. You download it onto a disk, insert the disk, and it tells you all the passwords on the computer, including the logons. I had to use it to get into a computer of a deceased man family member.

    • June O'Hara says:

      Good gravy, Dan! In a way that’s kind of scary. Glad it worked for you, though, and hope you got the info you were after.

  5. PBscott says:

    Finding a good bunch of passwords is a difficult thing I used to work in a job that required seven different passwords for all the applications and they would also force us to change them every few months. What a nightmare. I gave up and wrote them down physically in a secret spot I could check if I ever needed it. Also sometimes I e-mail them to myself.

    • June O'Hara says:

      What a nightmare is right, PB. I’d be blogging it five days a week, at least.

      I have trouble with usernames because most sites won’t accept an apostrophe. If I forget/lose/etc my username, it’s much harder to retrieve than a password. Sites instruct, provide your username and we’ll email you your password. U.G.H.

      Your email idea is brilliant! I’m following your lead, that’s for sure.

  6. Lauren says:

    I’ve also got a password disorder. I changed my Apple password to make it simple. Then, during the password changing process, Apple asked me to include caps and symbols, not satisfied with my selection. Now, I can’t remember the simple password.

    • June O'Hara says:

      Why am I not shocked you have a similar problem, Lauren? And good God, those complicated passwords. I hate them.

      Good luck with yours!

  7. bev says:

    all my passwords are curse words. jesus christ was my go to for everything a year ago. now i’ve moved on to combos that start with f

    i wish you luck, although you’re kinda quite when frustrated. xxx

    • June O'Hara says:

      I’ve used curse words as passwords, Bev, when a site wouldn’t accept any one I came up with. After awhile of that shit, my attempts just get ruder and ruder. I never thought of Jesus Christ, though. That could get ugly.

  8. SchemaByte says:

    I would absolutely not focus on remembering the password and would instead focus on gaining access to the machine by changing that password. A place to start might be Apple’s support site:

    However, remember that if you get into the deeper stuff like booting to the command prompt and changing it with shell commands, you could futz the computer entirely. I’ve managed to do this before, myself, so walk carefully.

    • June O'Hara says:

      SchemaByte, you’re such a good guy. I’ve had my computer back for a few days now, but was compelled to blog the whole password thing. At least I got a post out of it!

      Good to see you.

  9. Ben Ellard says:

    Dan Bosner’s the dude. Love that hack. Handy. Reeeeel handy.

  10. Chris Dean says:

    We are the Sisterhood of Technological Warfare! I’m betting we’ll prevail. And if not? I got a BIG hammer!

  11. Too bad about the password-protected Mac. I wonder why your friend would have created such a difficult to remember password? Macs have a keychain app that lets you retrieve all your passwords with a click of the mouse, but obviously, that wouldn’t work in your situation.

  12. I had a boss who used to keep his passwords on a sticky note on the side of his computer. Now THERE’s some cyber-security! Like someone else mentioned, we had to change our passwords every few months, and there were different ones for different applications.

    Another friend of mine, who was going through a separation, had to have her computer worked on, so they needed her password, which she had changed to: imnottheasshole. She was just a tad embarrassed!

  13. I have no ideas for you. None.

  14. Babs says:

    I have a method for my passwords now. I have hundreds and finding new passwords was becoming a nightmare. I now use the first letters of a sentence, mixing upper and lower and adding some numbers, punctuation and symbols. Each password is exactly the same except at the end, which changes depending on what or who it’s for. Was that as clear as mud?

  15. Trying to crack passwords melts my brain. Uh, not that I’ve tried to crack anyone’s password. Eh hem. Well, anyway…

    I love your blog, so I’ve nominated you for the 2012 Blog Of The Year Award!

  16. June O'Hara says:

    Yoga Girl,

    Wow! I’m thrilled! I can’t think you enough.

    Eh hem. . .it sounded like you were going to say something. . .?

  17. J. Bear Savo says:

    I love the term “courting futility.”

  18. June O'Hara says:

    Thanks, J. Bear! You really made me smile!

  19. Jean says:

    Ok… inquiring minds wish to know, did you figure it out?

  20. June O'Hara says:

    Jean, no, I never did.

    Great to see you!

  21. MikeWJ says:

    You have a Blackberry? Where did you get it? The last time I saw one of those, it was on an archaeological dig in southern France back in the 80s. No wonder you’re having computer problems…..

  22. I admire your tenacity and I hope you figure it out!
    Take care,

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