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Forgot your password? Good luck, chum

Forgot your password? Good luck, chum

This retired pilot fish notices that nothing has shown up in his email in-box in almost 12 hours, which almost never happens. And when he tries his broadband provider's web mail access, he's got another problem.

This retired pilot fish notices that nothing has shown up in his email in-box in almost 12 hours -- and that's something that almost never happens.

"The email client seemed to be working OK, so I decided to check my email using the broadband provider's web mail signon online," says fish. "After entering the wrong password several times, I decided to use the 'Forgot your password?' feature and change my password."

Fish goes through the process and enters his email address, and the system informs him that he'll be sent a temporary password. Great, fish thinks, I'll go to my email client, retrieve the password and see if there's any email on the server.

But he soon stumbles upon a problem: The server requires authentication from the email client, and the email client can't sign in because it has the old password -- and that temporary password replaced the old password before it was emailed out.

And, naturally, he's in exactly the same situation with the web mail system -- except with that, he doesn't even remember the old password.

"I ended up contacting support and they helped me get a new password working," fish says. "Of course, the very first email I received was the one telling me my now-useless temporary password.

"I spent a further half-hour trying to explain the problem to the support staffer, but it seemed as if we were talking past each other, and I'm still not sure if this issue will be looked at and corrected."

Just don't forget Sharky! Email me your true tale of IT life at sharky@computerworld.com. You'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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