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No More Letters Mixed With Numbers

a stop to the inaccurate and frustrating practice of serial numbers that contain letters
  (+3)
(+3)
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against]

We've all been there... trying to get a serial number typed into a registration field or spoken to a customer service rep. over the phone only to have O's read as 0's and 5's read as S's ect. The worst is trying to interpret a hand-written invoice!

There is no good reason to mix numbers with letters—unless you derive twisted satisfaction from driving your customers crazy. If you run out of number combinations (which won't happen) simply make the serial number series one didgit longer and you've got millions of new combinations.

If you're concerned about security... the customer paid for the software so let him have a working serial number! The "bad guys" are just as likely to steal a product or piece of software with a mixed serial number as one that's all numbers. So how does the mixed verity help?

jon3, Nov 30 2002

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       "Rage Against The Alpha-Numerical Machine"
tyskland, Nov 30 2002
  

       Your one and zeronly.
bristolz, Nov 30 2002
  

       Remember the days when a '0' had a strike through it?
tyskland, Nov 30 2002
  

       double zero seven just doesn't have the same ring as double o seven.
rbl, Nov 30 2002
  

       I bet your '1' has the little slopeing hat and foot as well.
tyskland, Nov 30 2002
  

       His may be a sans foot 1.
jon3, Nov 30 2002
  

       Sound like a good name for a font. "Sans Foot" A font without the bottom part of the letters.
tyskland, Nov 30 2002
  

       My handwritten zeoroes, sevens and zees still have a strikethrough. This a lesson hard won in the software activaion code wars.
bristolz, Nov 30 2002
  

       Also, in the military, a '0' and a 'O' can make the difference between life and death in artillery.
jon3, Nov 30 2002
  

       Zeoreo: an oreo with no filling at all. Or is that a Zenoreo?
RayfordSteele, Dec 01 2002
  

       I once designed a serial number scheme for the software company I worked for, and we used letters so we could encode more information in a reasonable number of digits. With an eye toward this problem, I chose not to use any letters that could be confused with numbers, so O, I, A, Z, B, S, G were banned.
krelnik, Dec 01 2002
  

       1. Teach kids the International Phonetic Alphabet as soon as they learn to read.   

       2. Ban handwriting. Make everyone use PDAs and keyboards.
8th of 7, Dec 02 2002
  

       let's start with changing Canadian "zip codes" to all numbers.....i.e. Nanaimo, BC, Canada would no longer be V9S 3P3 and Abbotsford BC would give up their V3G 1E9..... and don't get me started on some other country's methods of addressing mail....
Marassa, Dec 02 2002
  

       While we're on the subject of postcodes, that's why the UK Post Office is very careful with the combinations they allow.   

       For example, there is no L51 in Liverpool, because this would look too similar to LS1 in Leeds. They omit all sorts of letters from the bit at the end as well, such as I, O, Z.
PeterSilly, Dec 02 2002
  

       //I once designed a serial number scheme for the software company I worked for, and we used letters so we could encode more information in a reasonable number of digits. With an eye toward this problem, I chose not to use any letters that could be confused with numbers, so O, I, A, Z, B, S, G were banned.//   

       Why "A"? If you kept "A" but nuked the others that would leave 32 characters, reasonably handy for packed binary coding [pack four bytes into seven characters, with three bits for error checking, or eight into thirteen with 1 bit], or eight into fourteen with six bits.
supercat, Dec 02 2002
  

       I may have misremembered the list of letters. I think the theory on "A" was that it could be confused with 4. And now that you mention the 32 thing, I think that's exactly how we made it work, I remember getting 5 bits of data per character in the serial number.
krelnik, Dec 02 2002
  

       /There is no good reason to mix numbers with letters//
...says [jon3]. What's up with that?
angel, Dec 03 2002
  

       What a gr8 idea
hippo, Dec 03 2002
  

       //Also, if they used a slightly larger font size, erors would be less common//
Dø *nøt* change that error
thumbwax, Dec 03 2002
  

       This is a good idea. I don't know why it has half a fishbone at the time of this reading. However, krelnik's system seems to hold the best balance between ease of use and practicality. And since he claims that he already came up with it, I guess that means your idea is baked :/
Size_Mick, Dec 19 2003
  

       [Rods Tiger] However, say "zero" slowly... "zee rrr oh"... So one could say "oh" really is short for "zero".   

       Not that it doesn't annoy me too...
MaineCoon, Jul 29 2004
  
      
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