The Quest for Password Prowess – Part 1

The New Frustration

It used to be that we knew nothing more frustrating than getting locked out of our car, then someone invented computer login credentials! I’ll bet we can all relate to the poor fellow in this pre 2000 viral video!

Not only is it an inconvenient time-suck to begin password recovery, it is frankly a little offensive that a machine can have such power over us when we are the boss, not it! It doesn’t feel fair!

None shall pass!

None shall pass!

There can be nothing more frustrating than being told by a hunk of silicone and metal, “None shall pass!” The great news is: like the Black Knight of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”, password issues can be vanquished albeit with a bit of silliness. You can become the victor in this quest—every time!

I will assume that you have been beat up enough by the Password Beast that you are ready to begin your quest for Password Prowess. But, be forewarned, brave knight. In so much as this is “a quest,” plan on traveling. What I can do, as your wizard friend is provide you with a carefully crafted map and cadre of defenses in the form of great knowledge. Now, let’s begin our journey as many journeys begin, by looking inward.


The Emotional Aspect

Password problems can drive us to tears as we feel a loss of control and a separation from our once friendly and inviting digital friend. It is as if the computer or iPad just got rabies and has viciously turned on us. Sometimes we even feel like it may have been something we did that caused the problem. We can experience feelings of inadequacy or feel stupid for forgetting our own password. In the back of our mind we consider the possibility that the computer is making the mistake, not us. The whole wonderful computer experience, in an instant becomes a nightmare. As the emotional aspects of this issue boil over we may eventually wind up becoming a viral video on YouTube!


Inconvenience Factor

In addition to these very real and emotional aspects of password problems, there is the inconvenience factor. Authentication issues are aggravating because it slows us down, makes us loose our train of thought, blocks our legitimate efforts to use our own computer, kills productivity and just injects unnecessary complications into our already complicated life. We think to ourselves, “This should just work! It should not be this hard. Why does using my computer need to be this complicated? Can’t someone make this easier?” Fair questions for which there are answers. In order to find them, we will need to trod through Password Purgatory. Let me tell you what to expect.


Password Purgatory

Password Purgatory is a deep and wide land that we will explore in a series of articles designed to help you gain your crown of Password Prowess—power no mere mortal ought possess lightly. When we are done, you will have an understanding of the pearls, perils and pitfalls of the process! Here is the map…


  1. The Problem of Passwords
  2. The Purpose of Passwords
  3. The Authentication Process
  4. Password Recovery
  5. Anatomy of a Password
  6. Foolproof Password Storage
  7. Related Security Issues
  8. Password Nirvana

Before we go grabbing a sledgehammer as our preferred tool of access, let’s talk calmly about these little devils called “passwords” and let knowledge, understanding and wisdom be our guides.

We have covered topic one in this article. Next, let’s take a look at the Purpose of Passwords as we continue to look over our map.




Mindless Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping Realtime

In our January meeting, we talked about Mind Mapping. It’s a way to sort of scribble down your random thoughts in a really fluid manner on your computer. This video is a no frills look at the process and I am wrestling with what to do and how to manage all of the websites that are creeping into my life.

No major editing… just rambling… Hit reply and comment. Ideas are always welcome.


I Found the CSS for the Header

CSS Tags Isolated!

In our January meeting, we worked a little with CSS on this website to try to get the header font to change from Times to Helvetica. We were unsuccessful in identifying the correct tag and as promised, I found it and am letting you know where I found it and how I changed it.



January Monthly Meeting
Saturday, January 11 5pm


This month brings some really huge and wonderful milestones! First of all, we now have an online home! Welcome to! During this month’s meeting, we will be discussing this new site and how it was set up, some of the custom CSS and plugins that I am using and I will be introducing you to the new Forums and Members area. As we grow, this will be a great place to keep in touch, stay up to date, build relationships and get a little help.

 Hello England!

The next big news is that we welcome our first international member, Ed Walker. Ed is a resident of Burgess Hill, England. He found me after I commented on Pat Flynn’s Facebook page and reached out to me. We have been chatting online and via Skype for a few days. Ed is already helping us get the next big news thing tested… Google Hangouts!

Meet Online

With the arrival of our first international friend, it became obvious that we could all not physically meet, so we are going to give the Google Hangouts thingy a try. Ed will be visiting with us, this way. Google Hangouts allows us to add several people to the feed, so you can watch and participate from home. We’ll see how it works. In any case, I will see you all either at my home (refreshments provided) on Saturday the 11th at 5pm Eastern or online (no refreshments provided).

Sira Anamwong /

Sira Anamwong /

Poke Around

The Forums and Members Areas are active, up and running. Play around with them. Get your account set up here at the new web site and let’s get ready to have an amazing, liberating 2014!

Keep Moving Upward!

Dana Haynes Signature