Keychain Access Hurdle Cleared!

I have a quote in my email .sig file, and it is likely in this blog’s “random quote” database as well (just keep hitting “refresh”) from one of my staff. It goes like this:

There’s only so much stupidity you can compensate for;
there comes a point where you compensate for so much
stupidity that it starts to cause problems for the
people who actually think in a normal way.

-Bill, digital.forest tech support

“Bill” in this case is Bill Dickson, my highly valued, and true treasure of a sysadmin. You can see his blog (WRD) listed in my blogroll, though I swear he is going for a world’s record for NOT updating his blog. He’s close to a year now.

Anyway, that rather insightful quote sums up what is going on with me and my keychain. I vented on a couple of mailing lists and was informed (by some well-informed people both inside and out of Apple) that Apple originally designed the Keychain system to work just as I was using it. With it being independent of the login password and flexible enough to allow people to use multiple keychains however they wished.

The user community apparently bitched and complained a LOT to Apple that they didn’t like the fact that they were independent of each other and that a change of the login password SHOULD also change the keychain password. I guess the majority of MacOS X users DO keep their login and keychain passwords the same. Me? I think that is stupid. I guess a lot of software engineers inside Apple thought it is stupid too. It became something of a fight between engineering and marketing (isn’t it always?) and engineering finally lost with 10.4.

So Apple caved and compensated for their customer’s stupidity, and ended up burning not-stupid people like me in the process.

Oh well. If you are a software engineer at Apple, the phrase “Asshat at Apple” I used in yesterday’s rant was NOT directed at you. But feel free to assume it refers to the people who forced you to make that change in the default behavior.

Speaking of forcing… I got my password back. It seems the “please select a longer password” dialog box is a placebo. If you just keep force-feeding the Keychain Access utility your unapproved password, it will accept it. Go figure.

I’m happy as a clam.