September 17, 2015

Managing User Accounts and Passwords

While reviewing the video that goes along with this article, my mind drifted back to my first real paying job in radio. It was a big station with a big news department and what makes it pertinent to this discussion is the fact that they had a mini computer running Unix. This machine kept up with stories coming in off the UPI and AP news wires and the reporters used it to write local stories. There was a terminal in each on-air studio and more back in the newsroom. I can still remember the meeting I had with the sysadmin to get my very own user account on the system. Believe it or not, I can also still remember the password I chose after nearly 30 years. And no, I’m not telling.

Up to that point, my experience with computers mainly consisted of playing games on a Commodore 64 and typing term papers into my brother’s Tandy 1000. At the time, I remember thinking that it was cool to have access to a “real computer.” This was before the Internet. It had no GUI and the printers were tractor-fed dot matrix that could only print plain text. It was basically a giant word processor. What I found fascinating about it was the way I could sit down at any terminal in the building and login to find all my stuff just the way I left it. I could write a story, save it to a file, and send it to a printer all while the guy in the next studio was doing something else with the same system. (Read the rest at Freedom Penguin)

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