Reply to post: Automatic User Name Creation

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool


Automatic User Name Creation

Back in the early 1990s, colleagues at a UK university created a database and application for user names taking data from various staff and student records. The user name was based around initial letters from the given and family names. My colleagues wisely ensured that user names such as COM1 and LPT1 were excluded, plus all of the usual rude words. About fifteen years later, an academic contacted the service desk to request a new user name for a post graduate student, ARSE1. Oops, one had slipped through the net so support staff contacted the student to inform them that a change would be made. It emerged that the student, a non-native English speaker, was unaware that the user name was offensive and had used it for two years. During that time, ARSE1 had established academic contacts and published papers using the email address

A department at the BBC used a similar user name generation system, based on family name and initial letters from given names. John Wilson, a common British name, would be allocated WILSONJ67. Fortunately for Kim Wan, somebody noticed before his user name was assigned.

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