Monday, October 14, 2013

The Broken Token

I'm an IT guy by trade.  I work in the Telecommunications industry, setting up and managing call centers for clients all over the US.  Well, to be fair, lately it has been mainly in Minnesota, but I did go to Phoenix a few months ago.  I'll do whatever my clients need me to do, from building call flows to deliver their calls to the correct agents, to building menus and automated systems that allow their calls to be handled without ever talking to a real person.  It's not very glamorous work, most times its pretty boring.  I'm either in the upstairs office of my home or in a random hotel somewhere, eating badly and not sleeping enough.

To gain access to the secure networks of my clients they often issue me a Secure Token generator.  Its essentially a key fob that generates a random 8 digit number every 60 seconds.  I use that number, along with an 8 digit PIN, and a password to log in to the systems I administer and support.  At the moment I have three separate token generators and they all look identical.  I needed something to help me keep them separate.  I figured color coding was the key.

Before I left home on Sunday, I grabbed some scrap pieces of 550 cord from my scrap box and attached them to each token generator.  Sitting in my hotel room tonight, I took a few minutes to tie those scraps into some cobra weave bars.  I don't have anything to cut the loose ends with, nor do I have a lighter to melt them if I could cut them, but they will work until I get back home in a few days.

In a few minutes and a little scrap 550 cord I was able to make something that will allow me to keep each token separate and look pretty cool at the same time.  You know, it doesn't have to be something amazing.  It doesn't have to be insanely complex.  Just making something, and not buying it, not spending money on something that you can easily make yourself, gives you a great feeling.  Try it, you'll like it, I promise.