How To Suck At Programming #392: Type your password into your AIM window


You’re on AIM blast. You’re having fun with your buddies, talking tech and shooting the breeze. You pack up to leave work early and run some errands. Just before signing off you can’t resist cracking one more dumb joke. “…and that’s why Budweiser employees don’t use Java!”, goes your reply to one of your AIM buddies. That triggers to one more round about Hibernate, Anheisuer Busch, and the stock market. Yes those are three topics that are totally unrelated but you don’t care. You tied them together in your twisted programmer humor-logic and made a funny. Good for you! Glancing at the clock in your Windows taskbar you notice you’re already ten minutes late! Windows Key+L locks your machine and you storm out of the building.

Arriving home after running back and forth across town to pick up odd items for your daughter’s 5th grade project, you have a chuckle at Judge Judy as she embarasses the plantiff just before awarding her the maximum amount of $5,000. That loosely reminds you of the last couple of tasks you neglected to finish before running home for the day. After firing up RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) on your Mac, you’re quickly greeted by the Windows desktop log in dialog to which your fingers instinctively dance over the letters spelling out your password. (This is, of course, the same password that you use for all of your online banking, bill payment, blogs, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.) A breif pause and the AIM outgoing message chimes. “That was unexpected!”, you mumble quietly in your skull. Your brain slowly pieces together the chain of events and colors the truth behind the chime. You weren’t sitting at your desk even though the Windows screen fooled your brain into believing you were. You were working remotely using RDC, a nifty program that can actually cache your log in password saving you the 8-12 characters that you’re too lazy to type if you don’t have to. You muscle memory just exposed your one-size-fits-all password to all of your buddies on the AIM blast that you never signed out of. Good job. You just saved over 8 key presses at the expense of the 80,000+ it will take to reset all of your accounts, explain the finger fumble to the blast group and more.

So if you wanna suck at programming, type your password into your IM window. Not only will you expose your darker secret Flickr account to all, you will have a lifetime of sleepless nights wondering “did I ever reset my other other email account?”

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