This is not a press release; Amazon.com’s “operating agreement”:http://associates.amazon.com/gp/associates/agreement/103-7418193-3929441 specifically forbids my issuing a press release. But, this is a blog entry that mentions that I’ve become an amazon “affiliate.” This just means that the links that I make to amazon have some remote chance of earning me a little bit of money. Actually, I’m set up so they’ll earn me amazon gift certificate instead of money.
That I became an Amazon affiliate, I probably wouldn’t mention except that I was amused by the automatically-chosen associate ID. In the application, I needed to enter the “Name” of my site. I figured I’d mainly be linking from blog entries, so I put in the new name of this blog — Choicy White Boy. What I didn’t know is that they’d make me my userid from the name! Like many such IDs of the past, it’s…well, computer-y. I’m choicywhitebo-20. This makes me wonder though. Are there really 19 other Choicy White Boys?
In college, there was a campus-wide migration from VAX to unix as the back-end of choice, and as such, we all got new userids. I already logged into the CS systems as “capehart” and I wanted to keep that. The new unix userids were all capped at 8-characters, and so “capehart” fits perfectly. But since there might be people with the same last name (certainly reasonable since it’s not unheard of for siblings to both attend the same college!), a more general algorithm needed to be chosen. So instead of getting to stay “capehart”, I became “acapeha1” where the first charater was the first of the first name, the next 6 were the first 6 of the last name, and the last digit was an incremental counter in case Jay Smith, Jack Smith, Joe Smith and Jim Smith were all there at the same time. I don’t know what they would have done should more than 10 jsmiths show up at once.
My therapist even self-inflicted a userid like that. Again, there was the 8 character limit, so he couldn’t do his full name: “Bob Rannigan”:http://fatherdevelopment.net/. Instead he chose “branniga”. I wish I’d been there to see the crestfallen look on his face when another client pointed out that had he just stuck to his last name–“Rannigan” he’d have come in right at 8 characters!