Changing user names...

I’m a little tired of this ARG220 business. When I first registered for the SD, I though that your user name had to be your AOL screen name too. (It didn’t dawn on me until afterwards that people from all over the world use this website) Anyway…

Do a lot of people change their screen names after they’ve posted for a while? I’m reluctant to change my name since I’ve already posted over 100 posts, and everybody knows me as “ARG220.” So, any advice? What should I do?

Well I think you should. . . . Uh? Oh, about your screen name? OK

Go ahead and change it. Drop a brief line into the BBQ Pit or Great Debates explaining what your knew sig will be, then add a line at the bottom of each post for a couple of weeks (either manually or through the sig preferences) that says “formerly Adam/ARG220” or words to that effect.

There are lots of reasons to change sigs; several folks have done it here. (There is not rampant sig switching simply because most people can live with their first choices and there is a mild hassle to change.) As long as you let people know there should be no problems. If, as a few trolls have done in the past, you started posting as John316 alongside ARG220 in a false attempt to make it appear that more people agreed with you, you would catch lots of grief. An open sig change should not be a reason for anyone to holler (not that some won’t).


Thor/Mr. Zambezi did it. His new sig is much truer to his character than his old one.

Isn’t pathunt now Mr. Know it all?

One thing to remember is that if you have a cookie on your system, it will remember your original name. I’m not sure how to get rid of it. I think Thor had to re-sign up as Mr. Zambezi to get rid of it. Now, if you’re not counting messages, it’s not a big deal to sign up anew, I don’t think. If you’re concerned and want everybody to know how many messages you’d posted, though…

I’ve just changed my username (I grew tired of using my initials, kd) and apparently I have the cookie problem as well because the board still thinks I’m kd.

What I don’t understand is my housemate is on the board as well and it never remembers her username–every time she posts she has to erase mine. As this is her computer this is a source of mild tension in our house :slight_smile: and instructions on how to stop it remembering my name would be most welcomed.

By the way, you can’t re-register with the same email address. As I’ve learnt.

Apparently the system will only recognize one cookie per computer. Let us kick this over to the technical staff at the Reader, see what’s up.

One screen name per email address, that’s how it works here.

If you want a new screen name here, first we have to kill off the old one. Send me email at (do NOT post your request to the board, please) and I’ll take care of that part of it for you.

your humble TubaDiva/SDStaffDiv
for the Straight Dope

[Note: This message has been edited by TubaDiva]

As for getting rid of cookies, there should be a file somewhere on your system that contains them all. (On mine (Unix), it’s in $HOME/.netscape/cookies.) There you should find a few entries starting with “”. Among others, there should be one line containing your user name and one for your password, all in clear print. Now, if you’re brave enough, you might try changing or deleting them, even though you’re not supposed to do this manually.

Jinky, you might delete your entries in the cookie file, then let your housemate log in first so that a new cookie is created for her rather than you.

Of course, caution is advised for all of this. Make a backup of your cookie file first. But I guess the worst that could happen is that you lose all your cookies. (Netscape say it’s safe to delete the entire file.)

Good luck!

PS. See also

My husband and I had this problem (we do have separate email addresses) We simply enter through profile and change user names. It takes about 30 sec. longer but not a real big deal.