PurpleJelly are committed to delivering efficient business IT support to Surrey and the surrounding area; not only that, but we’re always hot on the heels of the latest news, updates, and interest pieces surrounding software and technology in the news. The latest tech tidbit to catch our interest this week are people with names who break computers!
We all know the frustration of mistyping our names into an online form (our business IT support Surrey team know this too well!), or having our passwords rejected from various sites, but what about those people whose actual names won’t even be recognised by most machines?
‘Null’ may not sound like much of a strange name, but it’s something that can cause errors in coding, and even cause web pages to crash in extreme instances. This is because in code ‘null’ is often used to denote a blank field, meaning that if ‘Null’ is entered as a surname, some programmes might incorrectly flag this as an empty field and prevent the user from progressing any further, even when they have entered their name in the correct field – how infuriating!
Some workarounds are available for this, and sometimes it can be as simple as capitalising ‘Null’, misspelling the name, adding a middle name beforehand, or even entering a full stop afterwards. However, not every system will accept these solutions; some aren’t programmed to view ‘Null’ as different from ‘null’,and some input fields won’t accept punctuation or more than one word.
For more minor online forms and escapades, this may not be much of an issue, as an altered name can be used instead, but when it comes to trying to do something more serious, like online banking, tax returns and the like, then things can get tricky. Sometimes even buying plane tickets can be a chore to those with the technologically unfortunate name of Null, though it seems that the family does its best to power through the irritating situation by relying on a good sense of humour.
For the rest of us without this lifelong curse, it makes us feel relieved that any of our computer issues are much more short lived and often relatively easily fixed!