My Official Birthday

My very first bank card, I received it longer than I care to remember ago. It would only operate in the bank’s own machines, and the PIN number they sent could not be changed. So I had to make sure I remembered it. As time has gone by, it is now a standard feature on all cards, to be able to change the PIN. But that first PIN number stuck, so every card since then has been christened with that same PIN.

It was the same with computers. I bought my first laptop back in 1992, and so began the era of needing personal passwords for things. My first password was based on the model of that very first computer, now fortunately long-since forgotten so even harder to guess. Of course, over the years, the password has become more complex, just by concatenating several other pieces of information to it. Unless you’re me, you’d be lucky indeed if you guessed it – the phrase chance in a million springs to mind, but more like a chance in a million million million million million.

Now, with the coming of the internet age, we log on to many web sites, so I have added a site-specific element to go even harder. So that I have many different passwords. The passwords themselves may all be different, but the rules for building up the password are the same (almost) every time.

And thus it was with other data, too. When I got a Facebook account, it wanted to know my date of birth. So I made one up. It was sufficiently close to the real birthdate that I didn’t get tripped by silly age-verification checks, but that’s where the resemblance ends. Entered it, then promptly forgot.

So at that time, it was just a random, one-off invention, but since Facebook, more and more sites ask for this information (Spotify did the other day, see my recent post) although it is none of their business, it is easier just to fill something in. And so I dreamed up another date, which is slightly more memorable, and which I now use consistently. My official birthday – actually it was the birthday of my friend in elementary school. It took a few years for me to adopt that rule universally, but I now give that DoB out for most everything, except for important things. And using some online service is definitely not important.

So, dear reader, that is why I have two dates of birth, my real date and my official date. But if you wish to send a card on my official birthdayrather than my real one, go right ahead πŸ™‚.

Author: Stroke Survivor UK

Formerly, designed and developed IT systems for banks, but had a stroke in 2016, aged pre-50! I have returned to developing from home, but some of my time is also spent volunteering with the UK charities Age UK (www.ageuk.org.uk) and the [UK] Stroke Association (www.stroke.org.uk).

12 thoughts on “My Official Birthday”

    1. Hahaha, No I don’t remember a ZX80 – that was arund in my youth but before I was ever interested. I didn’t get interested really until PCs came along, and I was fortunate enough both to love tinkering and to build a career out of it. I suppose even now there are lots of brands, but back then there were millions.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh wauw you had a laptop in 1992? My first desktop was in 1998. I truly loved my pc as I now also talk to my laptop ‘Lappie’. I don’t like smartphones that much.
    Passwords are difficult. I have 1 ‘serious’ and 1 more random. I fill in those questions like I feel that day so now really the whole truth but sometimes you’re required to do that.
    I once paniced when I didn’t remember the pin to my phone and it was blocked. I went to the store to reset it and the youngster (those younsters!!) began to speak loudly to me and told me ‘and now we’re going to chose a PIN we can remember easily’. Damn! πŸ˜…πŸ˜†πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah that’s exactly why I settled on “deliberately wrong” over “random”, at least them I know what my deliberately wrong answer is, just in case I need it one day. It happened once.
      I was fortunate to get into PCs in my first job and have been programming them for years. I know Android less well, bu I can find my way around.
      My daughter is a whizz on her iPhone, but none of it is particularly useful knowledge.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Haha just wait when your coffeemaker starts speaking with the cat and your speakers starts serving tea, maybe your daughters knowlegde can come in handy! πŸ˜‚ Just kidding!
        Deliberately wrong sounds better indeed but I’ve filled it in all random. We’ll see what happens when I reach my 90th birthday what will be next year!
        But I’ll remember your tip for future passwords.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I do for web stuff, but it isn’t the master. My head is the master. Possibly a fatal flaw there πŸ™‚

      Totally unrelated, I was looking at your blog before to try and contact you. I was writing a post today about True Love Ways. I know it was his last session, and I think I also heard a documentary which referred to it as the String Session, but I couldn’t find anything on the web. You seem to know your music, can you confirm? Thx.

      Like

    1. Awwww….thanks. Actually my real birthday is around the festive season, and I remember people telling me as a kid that I was just getting one extra-special present to cover both birthday and christmas. Like I was going to fall for that one!

      Liked by 1 person

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