Daily Archives: 3 November 2004

Password Problems

Sometimes, well-intentioned policies make it impossible to
do the things we need to do. We, like millions of other
people, have to login in to our network to get access to the
resources there (mostly the file servers and e-mail). In
order to maintain security, our Information Technology office
has set a policy of requiring password changes every so often
(sorry about being a little vague here but I don’t want to
give out information that could be used to hack our

Well, this morning, when I logged in, I got the screen
saying I need to change my password. OK, no problem, I’ve
been doing that for at least 10 years so I know how to do
this. So I fill in the change password form and press enter.
But nothing happens. I try clicking on the enter button but I
can’t get the mouse pointer to display on the change password
screen. It’s as if the window does not exist. But it does
because I can slide the mouse pointer behind the screen
(where the mouse pointer disappears from view) and out the
other side. But I can’t get the focus to be on the password
change screen. Even using alt-tab doesn’t do any good.

So there was nothing I could think of other than
rebooting. But when I tried to login I got hit by another
policy decision. I can’t log in more than once and somehow,
the network software somehow believes that I logged in. Even
though my password has not changed.

I can’t log in because I’m already logged in and I can’t
change my password because I can’t get logged in. You know,
sometimes it’s really hard to like using computers…

Sigh. Fortunately, I can still access my PC (but not the
network) so I can do some work.