Blog - Alan Dapré - Children's Author

Diary of A Stay At Home Author & Dad

Captcha? – Captcharrgghhhh!

It’s bad enough not remembering a password and having to drag it out of the back of my memory. Even worse when I can’t fathom if it needs a capital in there somewhere or a number, or both, or neither. Or…

It’s worse still when I riff on a certain word and have unlimited variants on a theme – Bond 007, 007Bond, 007boND, etc.

So it gets beyond frustrating when that irritating Captcha page pops up and I have to type in some unreadable scrawl … You know, the ones that look like this:

captcha

 

I appreciate this is all part of a website’s security, and possibly/maybe/perhaps is for my benefit so that my profile/page doesn’t get hacked by the NSA or FBI or B&Q.

But it is truly annoying. Usually the words I am meant to read and type in are written in pairs – one is readable and the other is from Mars or beyond – scrawled in some alien language with symbols my keyboard won’t recognise.

I then spend the next ten minutes clicking the Captcha reset button trying to come up with words that I can decipher and type in. Eventually the computer gets bored and tells me that I am not who I am and that I have to wait ten minutes/an hour/eternity to have another try. By then I am equally bored and have decided that updating WordPress or browsing Facebook is not a priority.

Sometimes I am desperate and resort to a list of passwords that I keep far away from my computer – somewhere mere mortals cannot access – like Waitrose. Sadly this list is on a crumpled piece of A4 covered with faded printed lettering and appalling handwriting.

Handwriting that is even worse than the scribble displayed by Captcha. I sit for hours trying to decipher my writing, unfathomably scrawled in pencil and now fading  out of existence. Why haven’t I allowed my iMac to remember my passwords? I mutter. Because I don’t trust computers, that’s why.

I am nearly half a century old and like paper too much – it feels far more permanent. I have had too many backup discs fail on me to allow electronic trickery to do my remembering for me.

So I am now saddled with incomprehensible scrawl on some creased A4 and equally bad scrawl on my computer screen. And still the Captcha thingy won’t relent. It mocks my very being, tugs at my patience and silently chastises me for being so forgetful.

Why can’t someone invent something better? A clear system with easily inputted security measures. I can’t wait for the day when all the computer has to do is scan my unique eyeballs/nostrils/buttocks to let me in.

No more will I rant at an inanimate screen or slam my mouse down so hard it squeaks. But that’s a dream not for today, but for…

tomo copy

The Author

Al Dapre

Alan Dapré lives in North Ayrshire, Scotland, UK where it rains a lot. He was a Deputy Headteacher and now is a radio and TV scriptwriter, published author, artist and very slow typist. He has had a few plays on Radio 4 and lots of stuff on the telly. His first book did not win the Pulitzer Prize. He loves long beach walks, sketching, crosswords and rhubarb crumble. He has written many books and plays for children that people have been quite nice about.

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