Sunday, May 05, 2013

The Old and the New

Early this afternoon I signed on to one of my banking accounts, where I was immediately instructed to change my password. The latest update of this particular institution's web site requires that one change the password every 6 months, and old ones cannot be reused. In a couple of years, I will run out of memorable passwords

On one of the Facebook groups I'm in, someone asked about locating a copy of Setting III of the Holy Communion liturgy from the Service Book and Hymnal, the worship book used by most North American Lutherans in the '60s and '70s. The preface to the hymnal mentions it, but it was not included in the published hymnal for space reasons.

The ensuing discussion got me doing a web search and suddenly I found myself reading a post on the Delphi Forums. I didn't think much of that initially until I realized the post was less that a year old. On Delphi? That had been one of the earliest computer bulletin boards systems long before "the internet." While I didn't go actually go online until 1992, the BBS world had been in the background of some of my reading interests for more than a decade earlier, beginning while I was in university.

My own first account was on CompuServe, but among science fiction writers and readers Delphi was among the more frequently used modes for this new form of communication. But with funds limited, it was for me not one of the best options to supplement CI$ and LutherLink in those MS-DOS/early Windows days. I kept bouncing my third account around, trying AOL, GEnie, Prodigy, and others. Then the online services started opening to the Internet and the early World Wide Web, changing the economics of the field. Prices dropped, the various services were bought and sold and/or consolidated or fell by the wayside as AOL developed a market hegemony by offering a service that, while certainly not the "best," was easy enough to use.

Meanwhile, back to post I was reading -- one I had initially gone to because the websearch had indicated its author was a Lutheran pastor I'd known from LutherLink. I clicked his member ID and, along with his profile, was an invitation to log in. And it struck me that I had indeed signed up on Delphi when it became a free service. I wonder....

"Enter your Membername or E-Mail Address." Hmm. That would have been a lonnnng time ago. I tried my old CI$ address and a likely password. No luck. But there's always that sign-in page link to "request a new password." So I tried my original numeric address (which I still remember by heart) -- "does not exist" -- then my "name" address. That was half-successful, for the address was valid and Delphi reported sending a request. Of course, CompuServe doesn't exist any more. Hmmm.

I wonder what will happen if I try that address with the likely password? And there I was. On my Delphi profile. One that I had opened in 1998. That was connected to a forum for alumni of my high school. The most recent post there was dated 6/25/2009. Better, the Delphi Forums profile page lists "recently visted forums." And when I last visted them. October 10, 2003.

Yes, I've updated my Delphi Forums profile. :-)

Saturday, May 04, 2013

5 Years Later: PSA Zero

It has now been five years since my surgery for prostate cancer. At my latest check-up, my PSA (that stands for "prostate-specific antigen," and not "public service announcement;" or the Cursillo's "piety, study, action;" or our still-missed Pacific Southwest Airlines) level was still an undedectable less than .1. So, no change since my last report a year ago. And once again (and, I pray, the rest of my life), my urologist say, "See you in a year!"

Praise the Lord!

A Lockheed L-1011 TriStar in smiling PSA livery,
from when flying was fun.