Why else would he use it when entering a password?

Big company moves a group of engineers into the site where this IT pilot fish works, and for the first time they're added to Active Directory.

"One of the engineers asked me about valid characters for his password," says fish.

"I told him the normal set: upper- and lower-case letters, numbers and symbols.

"That wasn't good enough for this engineer. He wanted to know all the characters that could be used in his password.

"OK, this guy is an engineer, he must want a spec. So I searched microsoft.com and found Microsoft's tips for creating passwords. I figure this document should contain enough information to satisfy an engineer. I sent him a nice email with a link and suggested he review the tips.

"His response was to ask if backspace was a valid password character.

"Not knowing this person, I looked him up in the directory. His title was Senior Engineer. A senior engineer was asking if a Microsoft password could include a backspace?

"When I responded this time, I just sent the link. I think he got the hint. I never heard from him again."

Sharky's password is TrueTalesOfITLife. Send me your story at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll snag a snazzy Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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