Little bits of techno-magic

I touched on some of this in my post about my new job – but I wanted to come back to it.

I’m a librarian, an infovore, and I consider being able to manage information one of the greatest forms of power. This means I’m on and around computers all day – and that I tend to build in little tiny pieces of ways to redirect my attention where I can. Here’s some of my ongoing and recent ones.

(I’ll note here that I use a Mac at home – in this case, a shiny new MacBook, which is why I’ve been thinking about this. I use a PC running XP at work, and work requires 5 different sets of passwords for various things.)

Music:

I create playlists in my iTunes for all sorts of different things: sabbats and elements, but also for particular kinds of working. For the long-term job ones, I used songs that were about things important to me. (Love of learning, sharing information, giving people tools to make informed choices, connection in community, etc.)

Desktop images:

I pick images for my computer desktop that reflect what I want in my world at the moment. (Right now, they’re very simple blue backgrounds from Marmalade Moon because I wanted something simple, but I’m also very fond of the art at Digital Blasphemy . I pick them based on my focus, on what I’m using that computer for, and on something that reminds me of beauty and attention to detail whenever I look at it.

The computer name.

I name my technology. (For people who think this is silly, I’ll say that I’ve had tremendously good luck with hardware over the last nearly 25 years I’ve been using computers. Stuff has occasionally failed, but it’s always been recoverable and I’ve had plenty of warning. Whether or not the two are related is hard to determine, but it doesn’t seem to hurt.)

I name my car, my iPod (a bad pun: her name is Polyhymnia, and she contains mostly Pagan chants and other related music much of the time), my computer. I pick names that reflect my hopes for the use: my previous computer is Esoterica, and my new laptop is musica humana (the term for the human music, the harmony between human spirit and the music of the universe, as opposed to musica mundana/musica universalis (the music of the spheres) or musica instrumentalis (instrumental music, a step away from that union, and considered more ‘mechanical’ in classical theory.)

Yes, it’s music-geeky, but it’s also a constant reminder to myself of where I want my focus to be. (In this stage of my life, using the music as a springboard for everything else I want to do. Everything comes back to the Song and the heartbeat.)

Passwords:

Speaking of typing all the time, my personal passwords generally reflect a current goal or interest. So, for example, when I was really hoping that the job would work out in my favor, I used ‘fruition’ for several passwords. (It is no longer any of my passwords, I rush to say.) It’s a great use for passwords that need to change every couple of months – I found that picking a related term helps me remember them.

You can do the same thing with an affirmation or a favorite line of poetry. Take the first letter of every word, change a few for numbers or symbols, and you have a great (and very strong) password. For example, if I were to use the following:

I am capable and competent and love my job

I might condense that first to: IACACALMJ
If I wanted to make it more secure, I might do: !AC&C&LMJ

Easy for me to remember if I say the phrase to myself – but hard for someone else to guess.

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