Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A final goodbye to Microsoft

What's lowercase, black & white, and died by heron?

No, this isn't the lead-up to a joke, it's my *secret question* for an old email account I haven't used in sometime and was updating profile information.

Until very recently, I had too many email accounts. Like, waaaaaaaay too many... and almost all of them were automatically forwarding to other email accounts, so I never actually needed to login to most of them.

Then hotmail had some kind of breach of security and I got locked out of all three of my hotmail accounts.

...which sucks because most of my email addresses were automatically forwarding emails to one of those three addresses. They also had the info for every single online account I've ever signed up for, from my Amazon account, to a YA Fantasy writer's community/forum I'm a member of.

So, bye-bye to those (other than Amazon and a select few accounts I use all the time and remember my passwords for).

I've still got my gmail one (linked to this blog), my *personal* email address (which I give to very, very few people to avoid spam/etc, and use to send queries), a graffiti account (which was going to hotmail), my address from university (also going to hotmail), and a yahoo account (also going to hotmail).

Yup, too many email addresses. The graffiti & university ones I can't remember my passwords to, and I can't retrieve them because the profile info holds a hotmail address as the secondary/backup email address to send it to... and the yahoo one, I can't even remember my login name.

So back to what sounds like the lead-up to a joke...

I always use a combination of names, numbers and upper/lowercase letters when I set passwords. Since they're pretty complicated, I always have a little trick to remember them... like, sometimes they rhyme (like my password for the 1000th.monkey gmail account), sometimes it's a pattern on the keyboard (or number pad), so my secret questions are always a little strange.

Thankfully, this was an easy one :)

All lowercase letters, black & white, died by heron.

It's a koi from my parent's pond. Or was. Since, y'know, it died by heron.

The trick to this is, whenever I use this particular name, I also always use one of two different sets of four numbers at the end.

So, it seems complicated, but my secret question (and strange password system) ensures I will get the right answer in maximum 2 guesses.

Every name I use has a unique/limited set of numbers at the end, again, ensuring I will figure out the answer within 2 guesses.

Perfect system... until hotmail decided to completely lock me out... And destroyed my rigorously organized email-forwarding-empire.

Amusingly, those hotmail addresses were my last, lingering link to any Microsoft branded product.

So... good riddance?

...although I know my technology-addicted husband is eying this new toy.


  1. ok I've signed up - I have a hotmail acct and 2 sympatico ones which I go to every now and then to clean the junk. I prob also have a university acct..long story there
    I keep all my passwords in a file which is password protected
    since we were speaking of files...
    bye, too hot in here

    oh have a pic of Bernie on blog for morbid curiosity

    1. Ha! I checked it out! I don't know why, but I never imagined him with a beard :)


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)