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Issue #665: April 19-25, 2020

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Q: I don’t have a question. But I tried to register and comment about column #662, Microsoft Money 2006 (Geek Note: I.G.T.M. # 662, March 29, 2020). I have used that software on my Dell running Windows 10 for several years. So, it’s not a compatibility with the software issue. I wanted to comment but couldn’t register on your site. I couldn’t get past the “captcha” portion. It kept telling me “Captcha is not valid, please try again”

 – Tony M.
Niceville, Florida

A: Thank-you very much for taking the time to write-in, Tony.  The old adage goes “Ask the man who owns one!” and I fall short in that department.  It’s good to hear some validation that the program indeed runs under Windows 10.  Everything that I read about it indicated that, even under Windows 7,  its “offline” functions worked just fine, but all of what we would now call cloud-based services have long ago been shut down.  In reading back over the column, I note that the reader said “My laptop is old and I need to get a new one which will have Windows 10 to which the Money 2006 is not compatible.”  It sounds like the laptop purchase was still in the planning stage, so I can’t help but wonder whether the statement about incompatibility was simple supposition, since the software has been basically retired by Microsoft.  Anyway, it’s very helpful to hear from someone who is actually using it that it does work fine under Windows 10.

As for your problems with my website, let me take this opportunity to say to all my readers that I don’t generally get to see the website like you do.  As the Webmaster, I see it in an administrative window, without the menus and other features that you see.  I also very seldom peek in at the various webforms that drive things, such as the “Submit a question” form, or the one you mentioned, Tony, the one for registering to post comments.  I rely on reader feedback to let me know when something’s not working.

All web forms on my site use a CAPTCHA, which is a rather clumsy acronym that stands for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.”  The Turing in this acronym is Alan Turing, one of the pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence, particularly as it relates to testing a machine’s ability to respond in ways that a human being on the distant end cannot distinguish whether they are talking to a human, or a machine.  On my site, the use of CAPTCHAs is intended to ensure that people signing up for such activities as asking questions or posting comments are the real genuine article, and not web-crawling bots gathering (read: stealing) website information.  It is a simple, and mostly effective way of locking them out, which, among other things, protects the site from SPAM, certain types of denial-of-service attacks, and more.  It also allows me to positively identify people who use the service, so that in the event of threats, foul language, or any type of misbehavior, I know whose access to revoke.

In your case, Tony, I must tell you that I did visit the site as a non-administrator, and I found everything to be working correctly.  The sign-up page is actually created and displayed by WordPress, the Content Management System that I’ve chosen to run my site.  The CAPTCHA on that page displays a word that is visually altered in such a way that makes it very difficult for a computer to recognize the letters, but doesn’t garble them so badly as to make them unrecognizable to the human eye.  To register, you must recognize the displayed letters, and enter them in the provided text box. The message that you quoted is what the system replies when the text you enter does not match the displayed word.  I would encourage you to try again.  Make sure the case of each letter that you enter matches the display, and don’t mistake ones for lower-case L’s, or ohs for zeroes.  Good luck, stay safe, and happy computing!

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