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This always happens.

I go to a website, try to access part of it, find it needs a registration. Or i try to post something on their discussion board. And it begins.

Umm.. do i have an account here already? I've been to this site before, haven't i? Did i register before? It was a long time ago, wasn't it? Have they deleted my account by now?
Maybe i should just sign in and see if it works. What user account did i use? What password did i use? There's about twenty different ways of combining all the different usernames and passwords i switch between almost at random depending on what's allowed, and almost all twenty have been used at least once, somewhere.
Whatever. I must not be in their database. I'll just sign up.

Oh. mcc's already taken. Is that me or not? OK, mccbaka's taken. That's me, it must be. I have been here before. Why didn't any of my passwords work? Maybe i mistyped one of them? What if the password here is something specific only to this site that was mailed to me and never changed from the random default? Maybe i still have the email sitting somewhere? On which computer, under which e-mail client, in which archive..?

There's an "i forgot my password" feature, but that isn't really much help without an "i forgot my username" feature, now is it? Of course, sometimes they're nice and have an "email password" feature. Those are lifesavers, or they would be if i hadn't signed up for that particular account way back when my e-mail was still on earthlink.
I have so many accounts on so many places and sign up for so many of them nonchalantly i can't possibly keep track of them all, and then things happen like me signing up under mcc, mccbaka, and mcc-baka on the appleinsider discussion boards at different times and forgetting all the passwords, blocking me from either using those accounts or recreating them. At times like this, something like apple's Keychain begins to look like an incredibly delicious idea.. and an incredibly dangerous one, since it means you lose your keychain and you become even more helpless than you would be had you never had it in the first place.

Of course, the little process of discovery isn't nice and linear like it is above. I usually just fall in at one of the paragraphs above at random, and then bounce between them at random. Confused. Lost. Eventually, just so i can get IN, i'll just wind up signing up a new account under some random name with no connection to anything, which i will have forgotten by the next time i visit the site.


Almost all of these 'mandatory free registration' websites let you choose your own username and password, and some even tell you the minimum length on the login screen (New York times, anyone?). The best service you can do is use a disposible hotmail account to sign up with an obvious username/password and spurious details.

Often you don't even need to register, someone else having done the work for you. Mr qwerty, and Dr zxcvb get around a lot. Often Mr Qwerty's account gets nuked, but they often overlook Professor Bvcxz.

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