It's academic!

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IT pilot fish at this small community college gets a call from a user who needs password help with a third-party site.

"She called in for help with resetting her password for the site," fish says. "I logged into the administrator part of the site and generated a temporary password for her that she had to change immediately after she successfully logged in.

"She began typing the new password in as I read it off to her: capital M, small a, small p, small a, 6, 4, 7, 1.

"But she told me, 'It says that's too long.'

"I was confused, and blurted out, 'I don't understand how -- it's only eight characters.'

"'Oh,' she said. 'Wait a minute.'

"And I realized what she had typed in: capitalmsmallasmallpsmalla6471

"Then I kicked myself for assuming the user would know the standard conventions for passwords. Especially since she's faculty. And especially since she's the division chair over the computer science programs..."

If Sharky had a password, it'd be TrueTalesOfITLife (which is probably too long for that system too). But you don't need a password to send me your story at sharky@computerworld.com, and you'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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