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Sunday, October 20, 2013

On Being a Robot...

"It does not compute!"

In the course of visiting various sites and communicating with a number of entities, corporate and personal, I have come to the reluctant conclusion that I am a robot.

I suppose I should have guessed it a long time ago, but the realization only unfolded itself this morning.

The Orphan's Tale (Book I)

I hosted a giveaway on Goodreads, (The Orphan's Tale Book I) and wanted to advise the winners that there had been a delay while the cover design had been finalized.   I pulled up the list of winners, composed a message to be sent to all explaining the reason for the delay, advising that the books would be sent out once I received them.  (I prefer to send things personally.  A handwritten note on the flyleaf, even if the book is destined to be maybe read once and then donated or sold, is a nice touch, as is a bookmark.)  Since the giveaway ended September 30, the delay was not unconscionable, but I thought it best to spread the news that the books would be on the way.

Then the fun began.  I pulled up the first name, smiled at the profile photo (a smiling mother and daughter), pasted in the message, and hit 'send'.

A Captcha image appeared on the screen.   

"Oh, goody," thought I.  "'Hotruct'? 'Hatruct'? The 'H' and the 'CT' are a given  I'll think about it.'  I looked at the other word.  It was obviously a scan from a older book, probably 18th Century.  Today it would be printed 'greatest', the 'f'-seeming character actually being an 's'.  But would a robot know that?    I asked twice for other images and finally answered correctly.  Whew!  That was worrisome.

I went to the next winner, a lady from Wales.  She seemed delightful.  I composed the message, pasted in the words and adjusted (I hate form letters) and hit 'send' only to be 'Captcha'd' again.

Oh, goody goody gumdrops... The second word was easy, but the first?  fEmpir?  Sleipnir's kid brother?

This is no time for joking, dang it!  I hit the button, found a more or less harmless choice, and sent the message.

I suspect a robot invented this nonsense.  If I find out who it is, I'll - I'll...

Well, I'll do something.


  1. Hi Diana .. I agree those captchas are so irritating .. and unnecessary - if you have anonymous unchecked .. occasionally something will slip through, but rarely ...

    So sorry for you ... irritating to say the least ... a robot didn't invent the nonsense .. there's a good explanation .. which I was / intend to post on .. if I can find said bit of paper ... I don't have robot cleaners sadly!!!

    Despite that it's a pain in the neck ... good luck, relax, have a cup of tea and some chocolate? Cheers Hilary

  2. LOL. I know, I hate the captchas too!! Honestly, mostly they just seem like a huge waste of time. You make a great robot, though ;)