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Oh, my favorite thing to do nowadays is PLAY DUMB...
And see how long I can keep them on the line.
I will tell them: "Oh, Dear... Really... This is quite terrible, I am so sorry, what do you need?"
Them: Can you go to your computer?
Me: Yes, Should I turn it on?
Them: Of Course!
Me: Okay, there it goes. give it a couple of minutes, I will make a coffee (I mute myself, put them on speaker)
They will usually ask if I am still there, I will apologize for the slow computer.
I can usually get 5 minutes out of them.
Then I tell them, okay, it says:
Welcome to MS-DOS 5.0
And they start asking about windows. LMAO. Playing dumb, to keep them on the line.
Eventually they yell at me, and call me a liar. But after 3 times of doing this to them,
I no longer get these calls!!! I guess I made it on their "Do Not Bother List!"
Let's just say it is for now, because I have a complaint.
I just joined a website to get a logo designed on the cheap. When I did, I used my password manager / creator (C'YaPass>[^] gratuitous self-promo ) to create a password, since I don't remember or type passwords any more.
Normally I like to make the passwords 64 chars long, but I figured the lame site might have a limitation so I cut it in half and made it 32. It said you need uppercase, and letters and numbers and I did all that.
Sign Up Worked
I created my password and signed up. It took my password and everything seemed fine.
Couldn't Sign In
Then I tried to sign in again and I couldn't. I pasted directly from my password manager but it didn't work. Hmmm??? I kept trying and then the the thought struck me.
I bet they do not allow over N characters. I guessed that the max might be 30, set my password manager to limit to 30, pasted it in and it worked.
Here's The Point
The ENTRY text box that I signed up on did not say, "max is 30" or anything. Instead it just took the first 30 chars and used them, but it didn't let me know that so I'm thinking something else is incorrect. Oy!!
Other Sites Do This Too
A bank site I use did this to me too. It allowed me to think it took N number of chars when I created the password, then wouldn't let me sign in. I finally guessed with that one too.
I think I've mentioned before, my first PC (1992) had the ability to set a password in the BIOS, but it treated DELETE as any other character! So I wound up with a password which contained DELETE -- e.g. Pi<DEL>assword .
Reminds me of when I was teaching a course in the wilds of [better not say where] many many moons ago. I had too many nosy students looking over my shoulder, so the course admin account had a password composed of the escape sequences for "Clear Screen", Home (twice) and some other erase. They never cracked it, but I saw a few trying.
Software rusts. Simon Stephenson, ca 1994. So does this signature. me, 2012